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Have you ever seen PVC flooring that looked discoloured and wondered what caused it?

It’s a common misconception that yellowing is just the result of ageing, staining from dirt or a reaction to cleaning chemicals. In fact, the answer can lie below the flooring itself.

The moisture problem

Yellowing can also be caused by moisture in the subfloor. The moisture helps substances originating under the floor to migrate into the floor covering, resulting in discolouration.

This discolouration sometimes fades over time as the subfloor dries out. However, as with most issues caused by a damp subfloor, a long-term solution is needed to prevent the discolouration from returning.

Dealing with damp

Moisture in the sub-floor should be identified and dealt with accordingly. The very first thing to do is carry out a moisture test using the appropriate equipment. Sometimes, dampness originates from leaky pipework in the sub-floor; a pressure test can usually determine if this is the case.

It’s essential to identify and fix the cause of any leak. For new and old buildings alike, if a damp subfloor is identified, then it should be treated with a suitable damp-proof membrane. If problems have already occurred, the latex screed and floor covering should be removed and replaced.

As a solution

You can use a barrier such as Altro Everlay™ A or B. You could also consider using an adhesive-free safety flooring, such as Altro XpressLay™, which can be installed without a damp-proof membrane at up to 97% relative humidity.

We always recommend that installations are undertaken in accordance with BS 8203.

Yellowing of PVC flooring – the real culprit