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UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Questions about floors (Viewed 2193 times)
Ferbie 


Location: South Simcoe, ON
Gender: Male




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Questions about floors
< on 5/26/2010 5:50 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Hi all,

I'm new here and new to exploring! I made an introduction in the intro thread, so feel free to check it out for more details about me!

Ok, so I have searched and found tons of great info about the dangers of wooden flooring and how to traverse it safer. There was a ton of common sense stuff like sagging, warping, visible rot, that kind of stuff.

I do have a few questions though, some of them very specific. First of all, are there signs to watch for in floors that LOOK ok on the surface? I've been in a couple abandoned houses now, and the flooring looks fine, but have still been super nervous about going through it. Any ways to judge that?

Now first specific question. A friend and I explored a house, we did first floor, then second floor. Wooden floors seemed great upstairs, main floor was carpeted and linoleumed. We wanted to check out the basement, so I grabbed a flashlight and at the top of the stairs realized that the entire basement was flooded to ceiling. We booked it out of there, but I'm now wondering how risky is that first floor? Could another entry be made, or should we chalk it up as a crazy adventure not to be done again?

Next question. Flooring that is covered by carpet or linoleum or tiles.... how the heck do you tell if THAT is safe or not?

Final question. Concrete floors. Is there danger of them collapsing too? There is a hotel that had wet flooring, so I didn't proceed because I was afraid of wood rot. I have since learned that the floor is concrete.... any risk there, or good to go?

Sorry for the long post and number of questions, but I'm really new to this and don't want to get myself killed for some pictures!

Thanks for reading, looking forward to any advice that you guys can / are willing to offer.

digital_me 


Location: Bay Area
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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 1 on 5/26/2010 5:56 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
There's a risk anytime you go on any floor. Sometimes you can see that the floor is unsafe, sometimes you can't. If you think the floor might be unsafe, either don't go on it or test it as you go. Just put one foot out and don't put all your weight on it. If you feel it sag a lot then you probably shouldn't walk on it.

In a concrete floor you can usually see deterioration.

There are exceptions to all of this, floors can collapse without warning under you. Just be smart and use your common sense. You'll develop a better idea of what to look for as you explore more.

bfinan0 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 2 on 5/26/2010 6:00 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
There are many worse things to worry about than floors, especially first floors. If you're on a catwalk in an abandoned factory, or the second floor of an old farmhouse that is getting spongy, there's cause for concern but if it's a lower level and looks/feels solid, it probably is solid.

Loki 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 3 on 5/27/2010 12:47 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Never trust any floor anywhere, ever. This hobby comes with a certain level of risk that can only me minimized, not eliminated.

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MindHacker 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 4 on 5/27/2010 2:48 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
More important is to watch where the floor is. Under a hole in the ceiling? That's years of water and freeze/thaw cycles and etc etc....

The one nice thing about fully flooded basements is that it doesn't kill you if you fall in (just your camera). I was in one plant where there was an inch of water on the ground... except in the regions where there was no floor and it was 20 feet deep. It camouflaged the holes, but at the same time you weren't going to misstep and fall to a broken leg. (For the record, the floors were 2' of concrete, so I wasn't worried about the floor giving out).

Be careful, go slow, and step over the runners / at the edges.

"That's just my opinion. I would, however, advocate for explosive breaching, since speed and looking cool are both concerns in my job."-Wilkinshire
tribeachpunk 


Location: Halifax, NS
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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 5 on 5/27/2010 3:16 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by MindHacker
More important is to watch where the floor is. Under a hole in the ceiling? That's years of water and freeze/thaw cycles and etc etc....




I was going to say this.

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TuxThePenguin 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 6 on 5/27/2010 4:33 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
It's generally about common sense. If a floor looks deteriorated, then keep off of it. If you must cross, then do so slowly and gradually apply your weight to make sure the floor won't give.

And believe me, I've been through my fair share of floors.

AnAppleSnail 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 7 on 5/27/2010 7:04 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Look up. Broken-in windows, holes in the ceiling, any way for water to get onto a wooden floor is bad news. My protip? Check the ceiling. You should be nervous and tentative - you can't 'trust' these floors, only test them.

That depends on what's holding up the first floor - soaked wooden joists? Rotting wood piles? Steel beams holding nice dry timbers? It's tricky. With carpet and linoleum, check for noise, settling, and general sponginess. Squishing is a bad sign, as are soaked areas. You made it out of there alive, so give it another shot. In a year or two it'll be no good.

Concrete is probably ok. Note that where metal catwalks and ladders connect to concrete you'll find rust - they like to fail at connections points.

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geoff5093 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 8 on 5/27/2010 12:51 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'm always cautious about the floors I walk on. Generally speaking, it's usually houses and the upper levels of mills and industrial buildings that you need to be careful of (although you do need to pay attention to any floor). Those are the ones that are typically made out of wood or metal, both of which can rust and rot, it may look fine on the surface, but rust or rot may have eaten away at the underlying flooring. In these situations I ALWAYS put one foot in front of the other and slowly transfer my weight, that way if it starts to sag or break I can step back.

In buildings such as hospitals or commercial areas, I've found that as long as the elements haven't gotten to the inside then generally the floors are safe, since they are usually built out of concrete or other strong material.

Another thing to be very careful of are stairs and catwalks, look for rust at the connection points and always transfer your weight slowly from one step to the next. I also walk on the part of the stairs right above the framing, which tends to be the strongest.
[last edit 5/27/2010 12:53 PM by geoff5093 - edited 1 times]

Ferbie 


Location: South Simcoe, ON
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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 9 on 5/28/2010 1:37 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Thank you all! Some amazing advice here, I'm making note of it all! We were in a house yesterday that we decided was a no go, even the foundation walls in the basement were starting to crack and sag.

MindHacker, interesting point about the water. That did cross my mind... but it was early spring and I think the water was pretty damn close to the freezing point. It also looked pretty disease filled.... LOL!

Here's the basement:

183423.jpg (97 kb, 399x600)
click to view


Tux, it's so tempting still! Those rooms in houses just cry out to be explored... it's so hard to resist the urge to wander across. And how many floors have you gone through? Injuries resulting?

Geoff, the caution about houses being the biggest danger is part of the problem, that's all we have around here that I've found. Doh!




yokes 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 10 on 5/28/2010 1:48 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
If you want to increase you chances of not falling through, look for the nails in the floor (if there are any) because that is where the joists would be, which are likely more secure than regular flooring more of the time.

Somewhat early on in my exploring I fell through a floor up to my armpits. Not fun. Thankfully it wasn't worse, though.




"Great architecture has only two natural enemies: water and stupid men." - Richard Nickel
Ferbie 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 11 on 5/28/2010 2:09 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Yikes! I haven't been on any floors that looked like that yet. WOW!

geoff5093 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 12 on 5/28/2010 2:41 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Ferbie
MindHacker, interesting point about the water. That did cross my mind... but it was early spring and I think the water was pretty damn close to the freezing point. It also looked pretty disease filled.... LOL!

Here's the basement:

183423.jpg (97 kb, 399x600)
click to view


That's every childs dream! Fill the basement with water and have your own swimming pool!


[last edit 5/28/2010 2:42 PM by geoff5093 - edited 1 times]

Ferbie 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 13 on 5/28/2010 2:53 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
LMAO! So true!

bouncewiggle 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 14 on 8/16/2010 7:45 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
you also need to watch out for dry rotted wood. there really isn't any way to tell if that has happened, though. just be very careful on wooden floors and walk where there are supports under the flooring. the floors in a favorite location of mine looked fine, but another explorer fell through a wooden floored catwalk when i was there the first time and broke her hand. wood floors scare the crap out of me.

"bouncewiggle, now more entertaining than Jell-O"
Gutter Monkey 


Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 15 on 8/16/2010 8:10 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
There's an old brewery in Melbourne which has been abandoned for decades, open to the elements and partially demolished in places. The floors are pretty nasty in some areas, like this catwalk:

1.

I've crossed over there several times but some friends of mine refused to go anywhere near it.

The upper level is mostly constructed from wood, and it's not doing so well either.

2.


3.


Another thing to watch out for is old staircases. Wooden ones can be particularly dodgy as several people no doubt found out here:

4.

It'd been directly exposed to the worst of melbourne's shitty rainy weather for decades and I wouldn't be surprised if a few UErs hadn't injured themselves there. I actually climbed that staircase but I did so very slowly and carefully, avoiding the steps themselves and using the thicker surrounding beams.


gr8fzy1 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 16 on 8/16/2010 10:03 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
When in doubt, walk flat footed. Walking heel/toe puts more pressure on the floor and can lead you to making holes around your foot.

When you go to enter a building and you see this...you should think things through...
1.

Then you climb a stairwell and see this...
2.

But this door just to my left beckoned me, so I approached...
3.

And made this whole as I went straight through the floor...
4.

and crotched myself on this pipe.
5.

I was lucky...
THINK before you step, and look for moisture.



[last edit 8/16/2010 10:06 PM by gr8fzy1 - edited 2 times]

Softly creeping through
Empty hallways decades old,
glimpsing history.
hedkace 


Location: MA
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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 17 on 8/17/2010 12:30 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Great thread and info.


When you start to take things for granted and get overly comfortable/confident is when something will most likely bite you in the ass.
But I think THE most important thing to remember is to listen to yourself and trust your gut instinct.
If you have any doubt that enters your mind, that is there for a reason. It is called self preservation, don't ignore it.
It's one thing to be a badass daredevil with balls of steel, it's another thing to have common sense. Don't mix the two up.

























vov35 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 18 on 8/17/2010 4:48 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I've had what looked like solid concrete break on me:
Cheap construction of chicken-shit-wire covered in like 2" of concrete. suffice to say it was interesting...
Conversely I've been in a HEAVILY fire damaged 3 story(I don't count basements) wooden house with gaping holes in the roof that looked like it could collapse any second... all the floors are solid enough to jump up and down on. wtf.

"Only sheep need a shepherd." -- Voltaire
bouncewiggle 


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Re: Questions about floors
<Reply # 19 on 8/17/2010 8:07 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by vov35
I've had what looked like solid concrete break on me:
Cheap construction of chicken-shit-wire covered in like 2" of concrete. suffice to say it was interesting...
Conversely I've been in a HEAVILY fire damaged 3 story(I don't count basements) wooden house with gaping holes in the roof that looked like it could collapse any second... all the floors are solid enough to jump up and down on. wtf.


in general concrete wont do that... but in general concrete floors are much thicker than 2".

it's all about the particular environment. the actual construction quality matters a lot too. something that is well buolt will stay sturdy for far longer than shoddy construction. humidity, exposure to rain/lots of sunlight, freezing amd refreezing... it all plays a part. unfortunately this makes it hard to judge what will hold you and what will be the last thing you set foot on in this life. the worst are the floor that hold you, but flex enough to make you think they're going to fail at any moment.

"bouncewiggle, now more entertaining than Jell-O"
UER Forum > Archived Rookie Forum > Questions about floors (Viewed 2193 times)
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