Home Gym Flooring Issues

I took the last three days to get control of the construction mess that had been accumulating for a while now. Not only did I need get organized again so that I could find my tools, but I also needed to clear out the mess so that I’ll have space to build the vanities and cabinet for the bathroom.

I got most everything cleared out and organized, but I’m still waiting for some walnut trim that I ordered to arrive (which should be here Thursday), so in the meantime, I started doing some work in the home gym.

The floor in this room is kind of a mess, and I’m not talking about the drywall dust and drywall mud that are all over the floor. That stuff can be cleaned up, so I’m not concerned about that. I’m talking about the actual flooring in this room.

For some reason, it appears that there’s no barrier between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor underneath in this room. In the rest of the house, there’s a layer of tar paper between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor to act as a vapor/moisture barrier. But for some reason, there’s no such barrier in this room.

The walls in this room were originally thick wood shiplap installed vertically.

And I’m pretty sure that was original to the house because the hardwood flooring was installed after the walls. So after that thick wood was removed from the walls and replaced with 1/2-inch drywall, I was left with these pretty wide gaps between the edge of the flooring and the new drywall. And you can see that there’s nothing under the hardwood flooring. There’s no vapor barrier at all. In fact, in the gaps between the subfloor boards (they builder used 1″ x 10″ and 1″ x 8″ lumber as the subfloor in this house) you can actually see daylight in some areas.

The reason you can see daylight under the house is because there are vents around the perimeter that vent the crawl space, and there happens to be a vent right there that lets light in. But that just shows you how “leaky” this room is. I’m sure all of those gaps are just sucking our cold air conditioned air right out.

So the first order of business, after getting the room cleared out, was to use spray foam all around the edges. I used Loctite spray foam, which is much harder and denser than other brands that I’ve used in the past.

I went all around the two exterior walls in the room.

It took a while for it to completely expand, and then it took a couple more hours for it to fully harden.

Once it was completely solid, I used my most flexible knife and cut off the excess.

So at least that will stop our cold air conditioned air from being sucked right out of those gaps.

What’s interesting is that there was a very noticeable difference. While waiting for the spray foam to fully expand and harden, I left the room for a couple of hours, closing the door to the home gym behind me. When I returned to continue working, it was noticeable colder in that room. I was genuinely amazed at what a difference it made.

The other flooring problem area in this room is this one mystery hardwood floor board. I know I’ve shown y’all this before, but there’s one board that is being eaten away by something. And what is causing this is a complete mystery to me.

I looked back at the original pictures that I took of this room, and while this board had damage, it was nothing like what’s there now. Here’s what it looked like almost nine years ago…

And here’s what it looks like now. I could literally remove this board with my hands. No tools were needed.

I mean, it looks like an absolute mess. And while my first thought (years ago) was that it must be termites, I’ve literally never seen a single termite. Not only that, but the only thing affected is this one single floor board. Nothing else around it is affected.

I inspected the rest of the floor around it, and I found two more areas that seem to be affected, so I thought maybe whatever this is was spreading.

But nope. That’s the same board. It’s just a really long board, but it’s the same board.

Literally nothing else around it is affected. None of the other floor boards are affected, and the subfloor beneath this one affected board is perfectly fine. It’s the strangest thing. I have no explanation for it.

Anyway, I’m going to continue working in here for the next couple of days and see how much I can get done before that walnut lumber comes in on Thursday.

I can finish up the trim in here and get it all sanded, caulked and painted.

And then I still have this one door between the home gym and bathroom that needs to be trimmed out.

So this will be my project for the next couple of days. Hopefully I can get all of the trim finished, and then I can get started on the bathroom vanities and cabinet. At least now I have plenty of space cleared out to build those!



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    1. I’m pretty sure it’s not termites because I’ve never seen termites anywhere on or around this board, and yet it has gotten much worse since we’ve lived here. And it’s just affecting this one single board. I’m pretty sure that termites would damage more than just the one board, and would have also damaged the subfloor beneath it.

      1. Dry rot from lack of vapor barrier? There might be some sort of moisture leak in the subfloor under that board….but I’m not sure.

  1. I’m a little confused. Are you replacing the floor in there then adding a vapor barrier, or relying on the foam? Has an exterminator been any help?
    I hope you get to the bottom of this. My first thought was carpenter ants; I didn’t see any telltale termite tubes.

    1. I’m not replacing the floor in here right now since I’ll be using the foam gym floor over this floor. If we ever decide to use this room for another purpose, I’ll replace the flooring.

  2. Kristi,
    I think that board has dry rot which is caused by a fungus. it appears to be slow growing but will eventually spread. in fact, it looks like it may be spreading from the right upper corner to the board next to it but I’m just going off the picture. it looks like the rotted wood is dry. wood rot travels from the bottom of the board up so it’s difficult to detect until the rot has taken hold. any of the affected boards should be replaced quickly to prevent spreading. good luck.

    1. Hi Kristi,
      Just wanted to alert you to the fact that your signature “well hello there I’m Kristi” at the bottom of your posts is repeated twice. You might wish to correct that. Xo

  3. I put this expandable foam around the bottom of a garage to keep weeds from growing in and to keep bugs out, but I cannot cut it like you did. It seems impossible to cut. What kind of knife did you use?

  4. The floor looks very much like powder post beetle damage. My mother’s house, in Tennessee, was silently destroyed by the little devils and a live beetle was never seen. In the end, they did over $50,000 in damage to her house…that was the estimate 4 years ago. In your case, the damage may not have deteriorated other boards up to this point, thus appearing like only one board was affected.

  5. We live in the north and I always find the difference in building codes between the north and the south interesting. Up north we seal every little crack or space so our heat won’t escape.

  6. Kristi, I agree with the dry rot theory and my reason is the length of that board tells me it was old. You don’t see that length in any kind of modern flooring. I would definitely get rid of it ASAP.

    1. Yes, remove that board immediately, and get an exterminator’s inspection performed… and a second or third opinion… yesterday, if not sooner.

  7. I would get a few different exterminator opinions, just to rule out any kind of insect. Then go from there. Can you get your contractor out there to give a opinion if its not caused by insects?

  8. It could have been an old termite area that has rotted or had carpenter ants get in there. They will follow in the same area. But the dirt on the wood is a tell tale sign of previous termites. If you have a contract already they should come out and inspect without an extra charge and treat the area again if needed. We have done the same thing with the foam before and it made a huge difference.

  9. Have you been under the house to see what is happening there to the floor? I wonder if you should pull up that board and see if you can see anything from underneath that might be causing it. Is it the original floor to the house?

  10. Kristi, no matter what, you need to get someone to look at that floor situation. SOMETHING is causing it, and I would hate to see more problems down the road after all your work. Surely something needs to be pulled out and treated before you go one step forward in that room!
    You are so right – it is WEIRD! 🤣

  11. Those boards almost look like a beetle tunneling, or maybe carpenter ants. I would take these photos to a flooring store and see what they think. Glad you are tackling the chaos in there. I also see you got one of those fancy rowing machines. They sure are nice looking!

  12. Looking the photo of what it looks underneath, my thought was that this looks like some kind of mold (fungus) to me. I see others mentioning a specific kind of it, though I’m not familiar with it. But if we are talking fungi, there should be something to spray and kill it before you replace the board, to make sure that the rest of the boards are not affected. I think I would remove any boards (or parts of them) that were touching it, spray some fungicide and let that exposed subfloor soak it up and dry. And then replace that patch.

  13. My first thought is “dry rot”. In the UK it is a big red flag if you are buying a house. It can destroy the building if left untreated. It is recommended to replace the affected timber, cutting about a foot of the surrounding good timber. If it is not possible for some reason, it could be treated with borate-based preservatives. Here it is possible to order a dry rot survey, and these companies can also identify other timber problems and suggest treating solutions. Hope you can do this in Waco, and please, do it now, it cold cause severe problems.