Menu
0

800-523-2319experts@tasanet.com

Articles

Stone and Tile Floor Damaged from Floods? Replace or Repair?

TASA ID: 1123

Attorneys and insurance adjusters have difficulty in cases where flooding occurs due to the fact that it is difficult to determine if a floor needs to be replaced or if it can be repaired. To determine the extent of damage and to ultimately settle on a value for the claim, a thorough understanding of what can cause these damages is necessary. The following article will help you understand what can happen when a stone or tile floor is flooded. As an expert witness, I have been involved in many cases where flooding is an issue. Many times the wrong process is used for cleaning, which can cause greater and perhaps irreversible damage to the floor.

In addition, many insurance companies will not pay claims due to the lack of visual evidence and will sign off on a claim only to find that additional underlying problems didn't manifest visually until months afterward. If you have a client or represent an insurance company, please contact an expert who is thoroughly familiar with these types of issues and can help with your case.

Flooding can wreak havoc on natural stone and tile floors. Flood waters not only contain water which can harm and destroy marble, granite, limestone, terrazzo, and tile flooring, but they also contain debris and dirt as well as other harmful contaminants that can cause staining and other problems.  Many times, the damage that is done by the flooding will not show up until months later.

As a stone forensic expert I deal with problems such as those resulting from flooding on a frequent basis. The good news is that not all of the problems that result necessarily mean the floor must be replaced. There are some tests that can be performed by forensic experts to see if it is possible to reverse the damage rather than having to resort to costly replacement.

Following are some of the most common problems that may occur.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence appears as a white powdery residue on the surface of the stone. It is a common condition on stone, terrazzo, and tile installations when the stone is exposed to a large quantity of water, such as flooding. This powder is a mineral salt from the setting bed. It can be removed by cleaning professionals but many times will come back after the initial cleaning. The stone will continue to effloresce until it is completely dry. This drying process can take several days to many months. A major mistake that is often made-even by some professionals-is to apply a sealer to the stone or tile. The reason this is a major mistake is the sealer will block the escape of moisture which can cause further problems such as flaking and spalling of the stone.

The stone or tile should be evaluated for moisture by a professional stone and tile forensic expert to determine the extent of residual moisture. 

Sub-florescence

Sub-florescence is what happens when the mineral salts migrate and do not make it all the way to the surface. In the efflorescence condition above, the salts are deposited on the surface of the stone. In sub-florescence, the salts crystallize just below the surface, causing stress within the pores of the stone. The result is a condition known as spalling, which appears as pits in the surface of the stone. Sub-florescence is very common on green marbles and on almost all stone and tile surfaces where flooding has occurred. The stone or tile can be tested for salts by a qualified professional stone and tile expert.

Yellowing and Discoloration

Many light-colored stones contain naturally occurring deposits of iron.  Iron is a mineral found in stone and can occur randomly throughout the stone.  If iron is present, it will begin to oxidize when exposed to water or other oxidizers such as acids and household bleach.  Stone can remain for years without yellowing, then over time may slowly turn yellow, and in severe cases may turn completely brown. This oxidation process is accelerated when the stone is saturated with water as from a flood. This process of oxidation is similar to the rusting of metal.  If you expose a brand new nail to water and air, it will turn brown and rust.  The same process can occur with the iron in the stone. If water and / or air is eliminated, the iron will not oxidize.  This is the reason certain white marbles suddenly turn yellow.  The process is difficult to reverse, and replacement of the stone may be necessary if not properly evaluated and the proper removal technique is not applied.

Warping

Several types of thin stone tiles are very susceptible to warping when exposed to flooding. Many of the green marbles and a few agglomerate marbles are notorious for this warping condition.  Many installers have had the surprise of finding that their tile installation has mysteriously become warped overnight. Why does this happen, and can it be prevented?

Warping is caused by water. Green marble set with any water -based material will have a tendency to warp.  The mechanism of why the tile warps is somewhat a mystery.  Some believe that the water fills the pores of the stone, and when the water evaporates, the orientation of the stone's crystal changes and causes it to warp. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure. Green marble can warp when set with water- based materials or exposed to copious amounts of water.

Cure:  Once a green marble tile warps, it is difficult to repair. Attempts have been made to grind the tile flat, but this usually fails since additional water is introduced during the grinding process. The green marble simply warps again. In order to determine if the stone can be repaired, a detailed investigation must be made. This may include removing a tile to determine the type of setting bed, etc.

Erosion

Erosion is a condition found when stone is exposed to constant amounts of water. This is especially true with marble that is used in water fountains.  While marble is a very decorative material, it is one of the worst materials to use in or around water.  Marble is composed of calcium carbonate, which is a water-soluble mineral. Quite simply this means it will dissolve in water. (Want proof? Visit the Grand Canyon.)  Erosion can be recognized by a slow deterioration of the stone surface. With polished stone, the polish will be worn off.  In older installations, the stone may become very soft, brittle and in extreme conditions, it will powder. If any architects or designers are reading this article, I urge you not to specify marble for water fountains.  If you do, plan on very high maintenance costs and replacement in about five to ten years, if not sooner.

Hollow Sounds

I constantly receive calls from insurance adjusters, contractors, attorneys, etc. about hollow sounds that occur after a floor has been exposed to flooding.  The fact is those hollow sounds that occur on a floor are NOT caused by flooding. The reason is simple: most setting materials are made from Portland cement. It is a well-known fact that Portland cement has hydraulic properties. In other words, it cures in the presences of water.  If your client is complaining about hollow sounds and is trying to blame it on a flood, keep this in mind. An inspection and evaluation of the floor is necessary to determine the extent of the hollow sounds which can indicate deboning and other issues.

Mineral Crusts or Lime Putty

Mineral crusts (lime putty) can be recognized by its white crust- like formation on stone surfaces. These crusts are often found on outdoor stone stairs, water fountains, interior floors and other areas where stone is exposed to flooding. The crusts are a deposit of hard mineral salts consisting of calcium and magnesium. These minerals originate from the soil, setting bed or from the water itself. These salts are similar to efflorescence in that they are a mineral. They differ in that they form a hard crust that can be difficult to remove.

Conclusion

Having a stone or tile floor that has been subjected to flooding evaluated by an expert is highly recommended. It may make all the difference. Damage may not be initially obvious, and an experienced expert can interpret many signs of damage that may not appear until months later.

This article discusses issues of general interest and does not give any specific legal or business advice pertaining to any specific circumstances.  Before acting upon any of its information, you should obtain appropriate advice from a lawyer or other qualified professional.  

This article may not be duplicated, altered, distributed, saved, incorporated into another document or website, or otherwise modified without the permission of TASA.

 Bookmark and Share
Previous Electrical Equipment Failures Cause and Liability
Next Air Quality and Product Liability Case Studies: A Chemical Expert’s Analysis
Print
Tasa ID1123

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x

Let Us Find Your Expert 

Note: This form is to be completed by legal and insurance professionals ONLY. If you are a party in a case that requires an expert witness, please have your attorney contact TASA at 800-523-2319.

Submit

Search Experts

TASA provides a variety of quality, independent experts who meet your case criteria. Search our extensive list of experts now.

Search Experts

Testimonials

  • I think it's always good to have access to experts when [TASA] make[s] the process so easy."

    Scott McIntosh, Lewis McIntosh & Teare, Royersford, PA

  • As a busy practitioner, managing a sizeable caseload, I can use all of the help available to me. If I can outsource a task, particularly one as important as securing a qualified expert, I will jump at the opportunity. I use TASA in nearly every case where I need to find an expert witness, be it an engineer, an architect, an economist, etc. They have thousands of qualified experts to refer in virtually any field. Best of all the process is extremely simple. When I need an expert I simply contact TASA, whose knowledgeable representatives ask you targeted questions about your case, your legal theories, and your goals, in order to find the right expert for your case. I usually receive CVs and calls from the potential expert within hours. If you find the originally selected person is not a good fit – for whatever reason – TASA will work with you to find the right person. I would happily recommend this service to any attorney."

    Patrick K. Gibson, Gibson & Perkins PC, Media, PA

  • Ms. Darlie I. McDonald RN was awesome on the witness stand, and we prevailed in our case to the tune of  [a] (highly unusual [amount] for a medical malpractice [case] in our area).  I'd highly recommend her."

    Shane Reed, Shane A. Reed Law Office, Jacksonville, OR

  • I appreciate your inquiries and offers of assistance as well as the consistently high-quality, well-organized, and erudite TASA webinars, which invariably have excellent presenters."

    Maurice S. Kane, Cummings McClorey Davis Acho and Associates PC, Riverside, CA

  • Steven Kursh was an outstanding technical expert on our ecommerce IP lawsuit. He completed a massive amount of work on extremely complicated material, in a very short period of time. His work product was first rate and I think he would have done a terrific job if the case proceeded to trial. He is very articulate and helped us. I only wish we had gotten him involved sooner in the litigation."

    Daniel J. Brown, Reiss Sheppe LLP, New York, NY

  • I thank you all for the response to my request for an expert witness...Both Mr. Scott and Mr. Bianchi appear to be well-qualified for this case, but we have hired another expert. As always, I was impressed by TASA's ability to produce exceptionally well-qualified candidates with great speed."

    John Thomas Dzialo, The Law Offices of John Thomas Dzialo, Santa Ana, CA

  • Thank you for your quick response and the names of the two proposed experts. The situation that gave rise to our search for these experts has resolved and we will not need to retain them. However, we will continue to keep TASA in mind as these needs arise from time to time as your breadth of coverage for experts of all types is unparalleled, in my experience."

    Bart W. Brizzee, County of San Bernadino, San Bernadino, CA

  • I have used TASA for the last five years for locating an expert for many personal injury cases. On each and every occasion, TASA was able to find me more than one qualified expert. With such a variety of experts, I was able to select one who met my client's needs in prosecuting these claims. I found the experts TASA referred not only qualified, but available on a moment's notice. Your fees are reasonable and fair, and I will continue to use TASA for the remainder of my career."

    Robert Oushalem, Esq., The Law Office of Robert Oushalem, San Jose, CA

  • I recently used TASA for the first time to locate an expert to testify in a case requiring rather unusual expertise and where there were no applicable regulations or standards for guidance. TASA referred an expert in California who was everything a lawyer looks for in a forensic expert. He was promptly available for consultation, efficiently prepared for deposition and trial and very persuasive and credible with the jury. TASA's administrative services and assistance in locating this expert were excellent, and we would certainly use both the expert and TASA in the future."

    Theodore Phillips, Miller Hauser Law Group, LLP, Placerville, CA

  • TASA has always given me first-class service, but in a recent matter, TASA found the 'needle-in-the-haystack' expert witness we feared didn't exist. We needed an expert for a very narrow and limited issue in a very narrow and limited industry. Because TASA has an extensive expert witness database, it was able to give us a referral almost on the spot. It's why I always turn to TASA first."

    Kathleen A. Herdell, Law Offices of Kathleen A. Herdell, St. Helena, CA

  • There are numerous companies that provide litigation experts. However, I always choose the TASA Group because of their quick response in finding a qualified expert for my particular case. I have extreme confidence in the TASA Group and will continue to use their services in the future."

    Katie A. Killion, Esq., Chiurazzi & Mengine, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA

  • I spent hours trying to locate an expert in a very technical case involving a defect in a medical device. I could have saved a lot of time by calling TASA first. Within hours, I was supplied with the name of an engineer who had more than 30 years of job training, education and expertise in the precise area involving the device. Bravo TASA!"

    Timothy W. Peach, Partner, Peach & Weathers, San Bernardino, CA

  • We were involved in a case pending for more than five years with seven parties from three states. Three mediations failed before we looked to TASA for an expert. TASA referred an expert who clearly understood the complexity of the project and could effectively support his opinion. If it weren't for his expert advice and deposition testimony, the case would not have settled. Interestingly, the case settled within 90 days from the date this expert began."

    Renee Colbert, Esq., Corporate Counsel, W.G. Tomko, Inc., Finleyville, PA

  • Using TASA to find experts for defending our client in a negligent homicide case ended up being one of the most important decisions we made in trial preparation. The experts they suggested were exactly what we needed for the case. I truly did not expect to find experts that would be such a perfect fit for the nature of case. TASA provided us with highly qualified experts in somewhat narrow fields of expertise. A large percentage of our victory is due to the experts recommended by TASA."

    Marta Farmer, Esq., Carl S. White Law Office, Haver, MT

  • I have used TASA's services since the 1980's and have never been disappointed. TASA is indispensable for locating that hard-to-find expert. TASA representatives have always been courteous and pleasant, with the attitude that they cannot do enough to help. I expect to continue using TASA throughout my career."

    Brad W. Greenberg, Esq., Smyth Law Offices, P.C., Brockton, MA

  • I needed to retain a multitude of scientists from a variety of disciplines for a complex litigation. Initially, I went through a series of interviews with an extremely knowledgeable and professional team of TASA advisors. They were able to find highly qualified experts in the specific fields, all of whom turned out to be superior in qualification and area of expertise to my adversary’s experts. I am a TASA believer!"

    Nooshin Namazi, Partner, Nicoletti Hornig & Sweeney, New York, NY

  • TASA always comes through in the difficult IP cases. Their representatives work with you to refine the search criteria and quickly send you a list of very qualified experts."

    Timothy L. Boller, Principal, Seed Intellectual Property Law Group, PLLC, Seattle, WA

  • Special thanks to our TASA referral advisor for her quick response to our initial request—we were extremely happy with how fast TASA was able to assist us! Your group does excellent work, and it is always my first stop when looking for an expert."

    Susanne K. Sullivan, Senior Attorney, Southwest Airlines Corporation, Dallas, TX

  • When we needed an expert in a patent infringement lawsuit, we turned to TASA. We were looking for a witness qualified in two unrelated technical areas, and TASA worked with us to identify and refine our requirements. TASA performed well, promptly providing us with several excellent candidates to consider, one of whom we retained."

    Joseph T. Miotke, Partner, IP Practice Group, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Milwaukee, WI

  • Our team had a very positive experience with TASA. The Expert was professional, efficient, and certainly an expert in his field. His work and testimony contributed to a winning decision for our client! We will recommend the Expert and TASA whenever appropriate."

    Stephanie Sprague, Esq., CT

  • (The Expert) WAS A PERFECT FIT for my case: qualified, competent, easy to work with, attentive to detail, knowledgeable, smart, communicative, enthusiastic, resourceful—have I left anything out? I highly recommend TASA and would be happy to share my experience with anyone else. Thank you!"

    Michael Porrazzo, Esq., The Porrazzo Law Firm, Mission Viejo, CA

  • The expert was very thorough. TASA was quick to respond with an answer to my request. I have used TASA in the past under various other law firms and have been pleased. TASA continues to live up to expectations and then some."

    Anne Desormier-Cartwright, Esq., Jupiter, FL

  • Your organization found us an appropriate expert witness in less than one day. This was excellent service. The expert you found was excellent and a pleasure to work with."

    William A. Ehrlich, Esq., Allentown, PA

  • (The Expert)…accomplished exactly what we wanted. TASA was very prompt and efficient in locating him. All fees were reasonable."

    J. Michael Lehman, Esq., Bruce, Bruce, & Lehman, Wichita, KS

  • We needed an Internet expert right away to meet a deadline. One phone call to TASA, and in less than a day, TASA called back with a list of 8-10 experts who were exactly what I needed. The TASA expert I chose knew the business and mechanics of the Internet so well—he was a PhD and professor who had written a book on the subject—that he put the fear of truth in the defendant that caused him to settle. When I get the kind of service that I did from TASA, I stick with it and use it again and again."

    Philip Green, Attorney at Law, Green and Green, San Rafael and San Francisco, CA

  • Excellent—in a word. I just do not have the time to hunt for experts. (The Expert) was fantastic. Thank you for providing such a quality service."

    Francesca Carinci, Esq., Steubenville, OH

  • TASA stands for Tops At Serving Attorneys. It’s always rewarding working with TASA."

    Marshall A. Bernstein, Esq., Philadelphia, PA.

  • That was, however, one of the best and most interesting webinars I've seen in the last few years.  Thank you for hosting it and introducing me to such a knowledgeable and caring person." - Referencing the Medicolegal Consequences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Civilian and Military Populations webinar. 

    Lori Bauer Apodaca, The Law Office of Lori Bauer Apodaca, Los Lunas, NM 

  • I needed a dental malpractice expert to assist me in a complex negligence claim. The very able staff at TASA had no difficulty identifying a knowledgeable professional who rendered a reasonable opinion in support of the case, which aided our client in receiving a fair amount of compensation. I am grateful to TASA for its invaluable assistance!"

    John Hermina, Hermina Law Group, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland & Washington, DC

  • For many years I have relied upon TASAmed to provide excellent medical malpractice experts. As a sole practitioner, I find it reassuring to know that a seasoned expert is just a call away. Usually, TASAmed has found just the right expert in a day or two. The support and guidance I receive from TASAmed is a vital part of my law practice, and I have come to expect both great service and high rewards from my TASA cases."

    Thomas J. Massey, The Thomas J. Massey Law Firm, Fallbrook, CA

  • The caliber of physicians that TASAmed has referred to us is superb. Prior referral groups used the same experts over and over again. With TASAmed I have access to experts all over the United States. I’m not limited to the same experts. The TASAmed staff is easy to work with and very professional, with an established track record. When I call for a medical expert, I’m called back the same day, and I often have an idea of what expert will be contacted before my first call is completed."

    Kari Alexander, Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, Texas

  • We hadn’t been able to find the medical expert we needed, and, frankly, I didn’t think we’d find one in that field. TASAmed was able to find us an expert with the exact expertise and medical experience we needed. Your referral advisor was very helpful and found our expert in one day."

    Kurt Osenbaugh, Partner, Alston & Bird, Los Angeles, CA

  • TASAmed’s service was prompt and efficient in connecting us with the right person. The expert was so cooperative and helpful. With how challenging it is to find a narrow area of medical expertise, it’s extra helpful to have your TASAmed pool to plug into instantaneously."

    Greg Roosevelt, Esq., Law Office of Greg Roosevelt, Edwardsville, IL

  • TASAmed has connected me to credible experts in four medical cases just this year. TASAmed and the referred experts respond quickly, the fees are reasonable, and the referrals are well tuned to the fields I request. Since the experts are already associated with TASAmed, they are comfortable having substantial conversations about the case, both before and after record review."

    Martin A. Cannon, Esq., Cannon Law Offices, Crescent, IA

  • I have used TASAmed a number of times and have always been happy with your give-and-take timeliness. Once I requested a medical expert in a particular field, but, after speaking with your referral advisor, we concluded that an expert in another field would be more effective. That same day, I spoke to two experts the advisor gave me, and I retained one."

    Mark A. Lope, Esq., Lope and Honlihan, Butler, PA

  • Very close to the time of trial, the TASAmed advisor quickly referred me to several experienced ER trauma physicians to review medical records and prepare me for cross-examination. After selecting my expert, I over-nighted records for review, and the doctor found valuable information for my client's defense. Thank you, TASAmed, for this timely, specific, valuable referral."

    Charles Morgan, Esq., Law Office of Charles L. Morgan, Jr., Charlotte, NC