How can you determine if ceramic tile that was in flood has been damaged?

QUESTION

My basement flooded and had about of inch of standing water for 3 or 4 days. I have about 600 feet of ceramic flooring on a concrete floor. Should I be concerned about mold long term? How can the adjuster determine if it needs to be replaced?

ANSWER

ANSWER - If the ceramic tile was installed correctly and the water wasn't contaminated, then the tile should not have been damaged from the flood incident.

Since the tile is installed over a concrete substrate then exposure to moisture should not cause microbial grown if it is cleaned dried promptly.  Microbial growth needs organic food, moisture, and a temperature of at least 35 degrees F.   Concrete has a high pH and is not a friendly environment for mold unless there is organic material on it.

It is possible that if the ceramic tile was not installed correctly and didn't have movement joints to mitigate the stress from the tile expanding from absorbing the water, and that the resultant stress was greater than the tile bond strength, then that could cause tiles to debonded and tent (lift up).

Depending on the state and the insurance company, they may or may not cover the failed tile installation.  Generally speaking, regardless of whether the tile was originally installed correctly or not, the insurance company will cover the claim if the damage is the result of the flood incident.  On the other hand if it is pre-existing conditions/damages, then the insurance company will not cover it.

To determine whether or not damages were incurred from the flood incident would require an expert such as www.CTaSC.com to evaluate the situation.

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