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What to Do with Wet and Frozen Subflooring

3 Min Read April 25, 2018

In home building, overcoming the elements is a normal part of the job. In the winter months, builders deal with snow and ice. And, in the spring, the rainy season makes it particularly challenging to protect exposed materials. Here are a few tips to manage inclement conditions when your subflooring is exposed to wet weather.

How To Combat Snow And Ice

When building with AdvanTech® subflooring, avoid solid or liquid forms of salt. While these are good for melting snow and ice, they can open the surface of AdvanTech subflooring, and let water into the wood pores. Instead, use the following methods that won’t affect the structural integrity of the panels.

  • Dark, course sand absorbs heat from the sun, helps with the melting process and makes it safer to walk across the floor without slipping. It can be purchased at a local big-box or hardware store.
  • Safe Paw Ice Melt is made with a glycol that can be applied before, during and after an ice or snowstorm.
  • Bare Ground Liquid Ice Melt is more time-sensitive. It should be applied one to two hours before a storm and the temperature must be below 35 degrees. It comes in gallon containers and can be applied with a garden sprayer.

Your Subfloor Will Get Wet - How To Combat Water

Heavy rainfall can lead to standing water on the floor deck. While AdvanTech subflooring is engineered to withstand extensive water exposure with a 500-day No Sanding Guarantee,¹ you can take extra measures to protect your material if prolonged frozen, wet or dry cycles are anticipated when the wall framing isn’t up yet.

Covering the floor deck with a tented tarp system is the best option, but pay attention to make sure water doesn’t accumulate underneath the tarp. The best way to mitigate water accumulation is to use temporary framing or equipment to allow airflow underneath the tarp. Tarps are a great safeguard, but it’s imperative to remove them as soon as the rain ends to prevent mold and mildew growth.

If it’s too late for rain preparation, there are a couple water removal options. For standing water, wet vacuuming and sweeping are the best methods. Keep in mind, sweeping may be more difficult if the wall framing is up, so wet vacuuming could be easier.

Even when using a highly moisture-resistant subflooring like AdvanTech subflooring, allow panels to dry completely before installing finished flooring.

Not All Subflooring Is Created Equally

Unlike traditional commodity OSB products that can swell or delaminate, AdvanTech subflooring is engineered with a unique resin formula and process. This allows AdvanTech subflooring panels to not only stand up to snow, ice and rain without flaking or swelling, but to also maintain its strength and stiffness.

When tackling a frosty, wet jobsite, keep in mind AdvanTech™ subfloor adhesive is a moisture-curing polyurethane adhesive. It not only provides a stronger bond than industry standards² even in wet or frozen conditions, but it also applies easily with a gun-applied, foam-to-gel application—so no squeezing frozen cartridges!

With this easy-to-apply, strong panel-to-joist connection, AdvanTech subfloor adhesive used with AdvanTech® panels provide the right moisture-resistance and strength and stiffness, even under tough winter conditions, to set your flooring on the right track to resist warping, buckling, bounce and squeaks.

Learn more at, or contact the technical support team for additional advice on using AdvanTech subflooring or ZIP System™ building enclosures products.

¹ Limitations and restrictions apply. Visit to learn more.

² Exceeds ASTM D3498 standard specification for field-gluing plywood to lumber framing for floor systems, dry, wet, frozen and gap filling adhesion tests.