We are replacing the carpet in our kids room and want to tackle the subfloor as it squeaks. There are two questions I have:

1 We plan on screwing down the existing subfloor, do I need to remove any of the nails in the subfloor? Someone I know did this but a contractor said it was overkill.

2 There are what look like dry water spots in some corners, near the exterior wall. Do I need to be concerned about these? We are having the siding on the outside of that wall replaced soon, so if there is a leak I assume this will be fixed then.

Some photos at https://goo.gl/photos/RH3CpsbfD24xY62V7

  • 2
    It is possible that the water stains came from something spilled on a previous carpet installation. It is also possible that they came from someone using a carpet cleaner that squirted excessive amounts of water on the carpet. One thing to take a look at would be the back side of the carpet that you removed to see of it also has water stains on it.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 23:31
  • The carpet did have stains too, but interestingly most of it is in a closet. The carpet cleaner theory could be a good one.
    – Joe Capka
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


When I redo flooring, I always remove all the nails, and then screw the subfloor down. It costs nothing but time, and I'd rather waste time doing it, than have a squeaky nail after the flooring is on.

As for the water marks. It does look like there was some water infiltration, but without poking around it's difficult to say to what extent. Replacing the siding could well solve the issue, depending on where the water came (is coming) from.

If there were animals in the house, the "water" stains could be from poorly housebroken animals. If you notice an odor, you might want to paint the subfloor with some Kilz or similar primer. If it's really stinky, you might want to treat the stains with an enzyme type cleaner before priming.

  • I have a pro coming to look at the water stains just to get some more info, but the screws are in and nails are out. We first did the screws and it helped a LOT with the noise but there were still some small squeaks. Now it's nice and quiet. I highly recommend getting the right tool for this job, I did a few with a pry bar yesterday and it was a real pain, so I bought a claw nail puller and what a difference.
    – Joe Capka
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 1:00

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