Whether it’s a trailer used for work purposes or a holiday camper trailer used by the family to take short breaks, at some point you will likely have to repair some sort of flooring damage. The process is usually quite straightforward but to help you along the way we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to fix a trailer floor.
Step one: Check the area that needs repair
Before you get to work removing any of the floor covering you should first check the extent of the damage. If you are lucky it may only be a small area which will lower the cost of the job. Go around the entire trailer to ensure nothing has been missed and you can then start to move onto the next step.
Step two: Remove the damaged areas
Depending on the type of floor covering you have in place you will need to use different techniques. For example, carpet will come off in strips, while tiles need to be ripped up and vinyl flooring cut out. If you have wooden floors like phenolic plywood or keruing decking, these are much easier to take out by the section.
Step three: Fix the leak (if applicable)
Damage to a trailer floor can often be caused by a leak from a roof, window or toilet and in this situation the leak needs to be addressed before moving on. It can usually be traced quite quickly, so whether it’s a leak or insulation issue, fix this first before installing the new flooring.
Step four: Dry out the exposed framing
If the problem is leak-related then once the old material has been removed, the wood framing underneath needs time to dry out. Laying new trailer decking down too quickly would likely lead to the damp affecting the wood and creating a similar problem.
Step five: Remove any existing mould
Moisture in timber often leads to the creation of mould which can spread quickly. You want to ensure any traces of it have been removed and antifreeze spray applied to the wood can help this – although it needs a week or two to dry out. Borax is another good option, but it does cost a bit more to buy.
Step six: Seal the wood
Use epoxy resin and a hardener to create a waterproof bond on the wood. This will not only create a sealed barrier against any future problems but also strengthen the existing wood, while discouraging the growth of mould. Always follow the instructions when using any harsh chemicals and take the necessary precautions.
Step seven: Replace the damaged sections
You can now add in the new sections of wood for replacements. Unless you managed to remove an entire section and are replacing it with a like-for-like product, you will likely have to cut the timber to the correct size. Depending on the area affected, you may also want to add some new cross supports underneath to ensure it is strong enough for ongoing usage and to keep anyone using the trailer safe.