Digging Right In
After finishing up taxes for the year and getting them filed, I decided to spend the rest of the day starting the great bedroom swap project by tearing out the flooring in my MIL's bedroom. It looks really good in this picture but was in poor shape. Our house was built on an uninsulated slab of concrete with no moisture barrier and concrete, no matter how thick it is, allows moisture to creep through it. If you've ever been in the bowels of a dam, that is why the walls are always damp even through 20 feet of concrete.
Previous occupants didn't account for this moisture movement and installed cheap laminate flooring on top. As a result, at a lot of the joints, the thin laminate layer has bubbled and looks terrible in the right light conditions. It also causes enough swelling in the summer that the entire floor will buckle upwards so it is like walking across a sail laying flat on the ground with air trapped underneath. It had to go.
I really don't want to remove all the baseboard trim if I don't have to but that meant I had to sacrifice one row of the flooring in order to pull it up so I did. It came out in chunks but was thin enough that it wasn't terrible hard to do. Once I got that row up, all the others were simply a matter of unclicking the floating floor and stacking up the planks. Fortunately for me, the previous owners went with a cheap installation for their cheap flooring and didn't glue it down to the slab.
Once I had it all pulled up, bundled up and stacked, I pondered what to do with it. I really didn't want to pay to dispose of it at the dump and as bad as it was, it was still usable for a room where one might not be overly concerned with how the floor looked, like perhaps a hobby room. So I advertised it for free on our local Marketplace site and was swamped with responses immediately.
Out of the two dozen responses though, only one typed in a personalized message instead of clicking on the prewritten (Is it still available) button. This gets me since I always state in my ad that it will be marked SOLD immediately upon it being sold and if they don't see the SOLD marking, it is still available. So I defaulted to interacting with the person who wrote the personal message first even though he was actually number 23 out of 24 responses. He immediately responded back and a time was set up for 90 minutes later.
Sixty minutes later as I was returning from picking up the girls from school, I pulled into my driveway where an apparently homeless looking guy was walking down our sidewalk towards a small sedan nearly full of refuse of various kinds. It turned out to be the same person who had written me the personal response. He was a nice old man who looked about seventy and I helped him carry all that flooring and stack it on top of all the refuse that covered the back bench seat of his sedan. By the time we just barely got the last bundle squeezed in, the back of the car was surely bottomed out on the springs.
He was a pleasant man and we talked a bit. At one point he said we were probably the same age. Since he looked 20 to 25 years my senior, I kind of laughed and said I'm only XX years old. Turns out he was only 3 years older than me. Quite sobering of what hard living can do to a body. Anyway, he is also interested in the rest of the flooring, which is in even worse condition, once I pull it up from the family room downstairs. If he comes and gets it, I certainly hopes he empties out his small sedan first so that it will all fit inside.