The dangers of blindly screwing into chipboard flooring

Before I explain the dangers of blindly screwing/nailing into chipboard flooring, or any flooring for that matter, let me give you my firm stance first. DO NOT DO IT!!! For a simple silly act, you are risking you and your families life. This is not some kind of sick scare mongering due to the nature of this website. This is serious! There are even gadgets on the market that go some way to re-assuring people that this is a solid practice i.e. the so called ‘O’Berry squeak no more kits’. It is NOT a good idea in the slightest to utilize such gadgets or techniques..

There are three main dangers when blindly screwing/nailing into chipboard (or again, any flooring material) flooring. Those dangers are Water, Gas, and Electricity.

The three utilities above are channeled through all properties like veins. Typically out of site/hidden. Water and gas is transported through a property via pipes. Electricity, via cables. With most properties, a large portion of these pipes and cables are channeled beneath the floors.

Gas

If a gas pipe is punctured, as with all pipes and cables, it isn’t always immediately obvious. You can’t always feel it (as a screw/nail goes into the pipe), you can’t always smell it, you can’t always hear it, and you certainly (in the context of this article) can’t see it!

A small gas leak beneath a floor, particularly the first floor (ceiling cavity) where ventilation is limited, can be extremely dangerous. As gas is highly combustible, a short period of unnoticed leaking combined with a spark from perhaps new ceiling mounted spot lights or an arcing single ceiling light etc has the potential to be catastrophic to any family.

If you screw/nail through a Gas pipe or for general gas leaks, turn the gas off at the meter, and call the relevant services.

Water & Electricity

I have grouped water and electricity together here due to a very real danger that is not obvious to most people.

Of course, if you were to hit a water pipe, there’s a pretty good chance you’d know about it in a short period of time. The cost implications of water damage to a property can be huge i.e. decorating, new flooring, plastering etc.

 

If you hit an electric wire, it may not always be obvious. Now, for whatever reason and the screw/nail was to remain live, in other words, be bridging the current travelling through the cable, the results can be deadly!

Now add a live floor screw/nail to say a water leak, bath leak etc, and what you have is the potential for that full sheet or stream of water to become an effective lethal killer. The entire sheet or stream may become live! This can and has happened!

If you screw/nail through a water or electric cable, turn the electricity (first) and water off at the mains, and call the relevant services.

Summary

Do not gamble with you and your families life! It simply is not worth playing Russian roulette for the sake of a noisy floor.

If you have to screw/nail into a floor, there is one must action you should take. Carefully remove the flooring material first and see for yourself what lies beneath. There is no better truth, in this context, than what you can see with your own eyes!

For guidance and to discuss your options, contact us here or fill in the form at the top right of this page.