QUESTIONHello, flood victim here in Houston. House flooded twice in less than 12 months. Have travertine tile on top of vapor barrier and below that terrazzo sub floor followed by another vapor barrier and then slab on grade throughout foyer, family room, and kitchen. Floors submerged in water twice over 12 months (1-3 feet of water in house). Adjuster finally gave us travertine removal but not terrazzo. Should terrazzo be removed for possible trapped moisture between slab and slip sheet leading to potential air quality problems and or potential bonding issues in the future?
ANSWERANSWER - I'm guessing that the terrazzo floor is the cementitious type and not the epoxy type, but either way, if the terrazzo floor was originally installed correctly, it should not have been harmed by the flood.
If you had a vapor barrier on top of the terrazzo then it may not have been saturated with water during the flooding. But even if it had, it should be able to dry out and it should not be necessary to replace it.
When you replace the travertine floor, remove the vapor barrier under it and let the terrazzo floor dry for a few days with fans and dehumidifiers. You then can put down another vapor barrier over the terrazzo. Use a grade D breathable vapor barrier cleavage membrane if you are going to install an wire reinforced mortar bed over it. If you are going to bond directly to the Terrazzo, I would first scarify it to open up the pores and then apply a liquid applied waterproof membrane that meets ANSI A118.10 and A118.12. This type of membrane is breathable and it is both a waterproof membrane and a crack isolation membrane. Make sure you run the membrane up the walls at least as high as the water gets. This way you can contain the water from future floods and limit the collateral damages.
If you are going to install a mortar bed over the terrazzo, then apply the waterproof membrane on top of the mortar bed and up the walls for preventing future damages from flooding.