He didn’t even have A/C and heated with wood, which potentially makes the air even drier. It depends how wet the floors are and how much moisture got under them. We just moved to 6 year old home and after few days of heavy rain most of our living room floor boards are cupping. I believe one of the floor boards underneath is beginning to crown upwards. Sanding the boards, when cupped, thins out the edges and could create varying problems in the future. The underneath of the wood that had risen was wet with moisture/condensation. I ask because one sales person, after telling her that I like doors and windows open as much as possible, said that would lead to a lot of cupping and crowning of my flooring with our seasons. Hello, we recently bought a brand new home and tore out the ugly carpet and installed beautiful new hardwood floors. Hardwood floors can be very damaged from water infiltration. Wood flooring will perform best when the interior environment is controlled to stay within a stable environment and the wood is installed at a moisture content corresponding to those interior conditions. The floors are 23 years old. As you eagerly anticipate a successful installation, be aware that problems such as warping, buckling, cupping, and crowning can really ruin your floor and your dream. Is there anything we can do to fix this, will it get better or worse overtime. Like cupping and buckling, crowning is a defect a wood floor can develop when exposed to moisture. Good luck. Cupped or Crowned, the effect is that of a washboard, only in opposite directions. i recently installed bamboo flooring in my living room, i notice it started to buckle up in several areas, is this cause by humidity or maybe a leek under to house? These spaces are to be expected and usually close up when moisture returns to the air. Who Needs a Salt Lake City Flooring Defects Expert Witness? Old flooring was placed over plywood that was placed on concrete. Minor cupping is a natural reaction to moisture and shouldn’t be a concern. Here’s why…. The humidity in the house ranges from 45-60. There was water supply piping beneath the floor that has been abandoned. So we have large openings between boards forming and some cupping. Apologies for the long message but it would be good to get some advice as to why the buckling is so extreme and it happened so quickly. water spilled on my wooden floor and i have minor cupping as a result. water leak issue that I can find. Required fields are marked *. Had it inspected and there we minor issues with the house (accept for the roof) so we budgeted for it. Thanks. Keep in mind, wood can absorb and expel moisture, depending on the severity of the damage and length of time. Unfortunately, it came back the following summer only now it has travel further into the room and into the adjoining open kitchen. With glued floors, buckling can be caused by incorrect mastics, inadequate mastic transfer, subfloor separation, or subfloor contamination. I live in south Louisiana — our house is 70 years old elevated on cement blocks. If you find this doesn’t help, you may wish to contact a certified inspector to take a look http://www.nwfa.org. I would reach out to the National Wood Flooring Association at http://www.nwfa.org and find a certified wood flooring inspector in your area to look at and report on the situation. I am a warm weather and fresh air person so spring through summer I prefer doors and windows open, until the temperature gets into the upper 70s or the humidity gets oppressive then on goes the air conditioner. I have had a leak in the bathroom toliet, valve went drips spread into carpet and under floor boards. It’s a moisture problem of some sort. The bottom line is that moisture is the cause for crowning and cupping in wood flooring, and getting rid of the moisture is the proper way to get the wood flooring to stay flat and true. Wood floor crowning is the opposite of cupping and happens when the center of the board is higher than the edges. How will a wood water meter help me solve this riddle. I use a shark steam mop on my real hardwood floors. Probable Causes: Outside of normal changes in the humidity levels during seasonal changes, moisture can remain underneath the floor or on top of the planks without the homeowner necessarily being aware that it’s happening. But in several areas the gaps are much wider than a dime. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone, but it gives a drastic example of what you speak. In practice, this rarely occurs. Buckling of hardwood floors occurs when the wood actually pulls away from its subfloor lifting up to several inches in one or more places. That seems reasonable to me, right? Moisture meters measure the MC in wood and when it comes to professionally installing wood flooring material, they’re a valuable tool of the trade. Here is a product that will log those conditions over time and allow you to quantify the variations if there are any https://www.wagnermeters.com/shop/smart-logger/. Before we rip up the vinyl planks is it possible that the cupping might flatten during the winter? A crowned wood floor is another problem that is usually the result of a moisture issue. Any amount of water could have a negative impact on a wood floor and subfloor, especially if it gets under the floor and can’t ever really be dried out completely. I dug it all up and it is dry around the sprinklers and along the 3/4″ PVC line that goes past the bedroom closet in question. Required fields are marked *. My dishwasher had a leak, which was discovered right away and the floor was dried. In this case, drying work in the lower level of the home dried the wood flooring’s subfloor, and the radiant heat also lowered the RH in the joist spaces, causing the flooring to … I also notice a single piece board of bamboo that was against the wall in that area. P.O. Good luck. Looking at a 4.25″ oak floor. It’s strange because some of the parquets are cupped while one next to the cupped one This is why owners of wood floors should consider using a quality wood moisture meter as part of a preventative maintenance program. We did turn off the whole house humidifier to see if that would help dry the floors faster, along with some fans. No more water issues being experienced, the best chances are to have ambient conditions that are consistent and dry enough to allow the moisture to move out of the floor. That’s what he loved about the solid wood. We installed white oak planks. Before installation, the flooring product should be identified as being compatible with the area in which it is to be used. We use cookies to personalize your shopping data and ads. No qualified and experienced contractor would ever install a wood floor without a moisture meter. I think your best bet would be to have a certified flooring inspector come out and evaluate the situation first hand. We also insulated the underneath of our house. I’m hoping you can provide advice. Assuming he has tested the concrete and the wood he would determine if the concrete and wood can live in the conditions given. In some cases, flooring may be sanded down to flat again if the wood boards do not get that way on their own. Your email address will not be published. Wood Floor Cupping leads to Crowning When Sanded . The following list of problems isn’t exhaustive. Crowning is typically a problem that is a direct result of cupping. So, expansion and contraction of hardwood flooring are normal. fans or a fan w/ a heater element to blow over the cupped parquet squares. A little bit of knowledge and one good tool can help you. I had a slow leak from under my kitchen sink and I have hardwood floors covered with linoleum. Setting up ventialtion fans and a dehumidifier will remove moisture over the course of a few months. His crew was fast, efficient, and detailed. When it comes to wood, almost every type of flooring endures some expansion and contraction as seasons and humidity levels change. Thanks. Hello- need advice! What Causes Wood Floors to Crown? Special equipment that creates low humidity, air movement and heat can help. We are considering hardwood (ash) flooring for a mountain home where there is very low humidity, especially in the winter. They will evaluate your conditions and write you a complete report on the findings. In an attempt to dry out and reverse the cupping? However, it does cover some of the more common ways moisture changes can negatively affect wood flooring. Trying to figure out the cause. CROWNING - The center of the pieces of flooring appears to be higher than the edges. Unless it’s a hazard, the best course of short-term action is probably watch and wait. Help!! How our 950 moisture meter works is it has a hygrometer built in to read temp, humidity, and calculates your the EMC (Equilibrium Moisture Content) of what your wood floor should be. Personally, I would need more information before I made a switch in flooring finish and you should be aware that you can still have this same issue even with engineered products. We are not there all of the time and are wondering if you know of any whole house humidifiers that could be programmed remotely to keep the humidity at a decent, consistent level while we’re away. Again, the floor was installed to accommodate this type of movement. Primarily, wood flooring problems can occur when the wood expands and contracts. Horizontal curvature on the wood floor. Cupping in hardwood floors is caused by changes in moisture levels, whether decreases in the air RH above or increases in moisture from below. Thank you for reminding me that doing preventative measures is better than cure even when it comes to flooring. I am at a standstill, not knowing what to do. Crowning may not only occur from the moisture content in the air, it CAN occur if moisture/water gets directly placed onto your wood floors too. If you see serious cupping, you’ll need to first identify the source of the moisture. Thanks for the question. opinions here but I have saved up for years to do this and am trying to make the best decision for my investment. Crowning is the inverse of cupping, with the center of a board lifting higher than its edges. The insulation was slightly wet near the front of the window. I would see any pipe issue and there is none. Renovating a home with original hardwood floors. The contractor glued them down according to the specifications. Thanks! Your email address will not be published. First, I wouldn’t fix any symptom (the cupping) until I knew for sure I had fixed the problem. Anything higher your flooring has the risk of buckling. Wood has an elastic property in response to a force applied to it. You should expect to see gaps form between wood flooring boards during the winter. There is cupping that has occurred in the middle of my floor where there is no Clean spills immediately and don’t use a wet mop to wipe floor boards. If topical could be from a spill or possibly a leak above it. Crowning can also be caused by previous floor cupping. Being drier on the bottom than at the top causes the flooring bottoms to shrink, resulting in the crowning. Whether it’s a building, a wood floor, or another type of wood product, if you want to maintain the value of your investment, you’ll need to spot moisture problems before they occur. Crowning can also happen when cupped wood floors are sanded before the moisture is addressed. The ground (dirt) under the house is usually moist in the winter along the exterior home’s foundation from rain. Thanks for the questions. The floors near the window are anywhere from a 9-12. I would contact this organization https://www.woodfloors.org/ and look for a qualified installer and discuss some of your other questions with them. Big demo project. This is usually caused by sanding a cupped floor before it has completely dried, although moisture on the upper side of the floor caused by plumbing leaks or wet mopping may cause floors to … Any thoughts? I run my A/C at 73 degrees all summer. If the wood isn’t allowed to reach its EMC prior to installation, problems could develop later. Cupped edges on the side of the board. What caused the flooring to get damp? Hire only an NWFA certified inspector. Could the wood be getting wet from a vent bring moisture in? Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. Getting a qualified wood flooring installer or inspector may help to identify the extent of replacement necessary. With that, some of the cupping may “fix” itself as the floor starts release the moisture. 7. This expansion and contraction process is entirely normal with solid wood flooring. This may sound redundant but the crowning you are experiencing is from moisture. Once you’ve identified and controlled the moisture problem, you might be able to reverse the cupping. View our Financial Disclosure. Thanks for the comment. We are sick over it as it is very noticeable. It all looked really great and matched up well. At the minimum, it sounds like the two pieces you have described may need to be replaced. For the floor to cup and then “relax”, there has to be changes in the moisture conditions within the house. However, some business owners may be understandably dismayed to see parts of the wood flooring doing something besides sitting flat. Thus, it is always undergoing at least slight changes in moisture content. It has been 3 weeks and the floors are starting to go down a little. Over the winter the cupping went away so we thought it was a fluke. He also lifted the underpayment in the window seat to expose the joists and insulation. © 2014 Flooristics, LLC. My guess is that it will take an extended period of time (months) for you to see the end result. There is cupping about 1/8 of boards slight. Before you look for a “fix”, you are better off getting the environment back to its original temperature and relative humidity as soon as possible and then leave it to see how the wood reacts. This results in a slight bow, or raised portion of the floor, where two pieces are joined together. (EMC The moisture content of wood below the fiber saturation point is a function of both relative humidity and temperature in the surrounding air. I don’t see how that applies to the RH, etc, in my own home. Your email address will not be published. and has now caused the cupping… Since I can’t determine a source for a water leak… I live in an apartment, should I place We have just bought a home, and after taking a hot shower, our wood floor in the kitchen is crowning in one area. Thanks for the questions. There was no pool of water or damp patch. We have baseboard heaters. They said it wasn’t the glue they used and that they had left enough expansion. I am sure my answer to your question won’t be exactly what you are looking for, but here it goes….it depends! Like cupping, wood floor crowning happens because the boards are exposed to a moisture imbalance over an extended period of time. In addition the basement below the kitchen floor is fully exposed as this is a 80 year old home. Here is the link: https://www.woodfloors.org/certified-inspector.aspx Hope this is helpful. We spent a lot of money on this renovation and are so upset, the house has an open floor plan and therefore it’s throughout all of the open living area. Outside of the kitchen is our dining room with hardwood flooring. Thanks for the question. Scott. Can the boards go back to normal if we find the source of the moisture and let it dry? In fact, commercial property owners and homeowners should never stop monitoring the MC of their hardwood flooring if they wish to keep it pristine, beautiful, and flat. If the floor is exposed to water for an extended period of time, moisture will saturate and cause crowning. 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