Buckled Hardwood Floors

Here's a situation we often hear from many that run into probelms with warped or buckledBuckled hardwood floor floors. Floors buckle because they have run out of room to expand across the face of each board. In other words, the floor has gained moisture either by the ambient conditions within the home's structure or it has flooded with water. With no more room to expand they lift from the subfloor forming a tenting appearance. Depending on the severity, some can actually pop loose from their fasteners (shown right).

No Protection From The Crawlspace

Had this problem been recognized earlier by minor swelling, the floor could have been saved. The determining cause of the problem was failure to provide any protection under a crawl space that was exposed to ground soil. That was not the worst part of it. Rainwater had found it's way into the crawl space area and puddled; leaving it sit with nowhere to go but be drawn into the wood subfloor above.

Moisture entered the wood subfloor and into the planks themselves. In other areas of this home, some were affected more than others, some not at all. It had a direct relationship with what was under the subfloor. Some may be wondering why no moisture barrier under the hardwood? Ordinarily you would see black asphalt felt paper that functions as a vapor retarder.

The product used was a wider four inch plank, often known to cause cupping issuesWarped floor boards given the right conditions in some locations. The installers not only nailed the boards but used construction adhesive in an effort to minimize the potential cupping effect. It did not work. These kind of issues are common with solid hardwood and rare with engineered, but one should recognize potential problems that may exist before any installation is started.

How To Repair?

Depending on the conditions everything must be dried out thoroughly with corrective measures that caused the problem. Instead of removing the entire floor and starting over, it may be possible to rip

cut some board rows to smaller dimensions so the flooring will fit back into place. Keep in mind this solution only pertains to mildly affected problems.

We suggest consulting with a seasoned hardwood professional to better assess the damage caused. More experienced professionals will recognize the problems and cause while performing moisture testing readings that are vital to insure the problems do not occur again. These procedures will also confirm the hardwood be repaired at the proper time so it does not become a rushed band aid solution.

Related Pages

Stopping Moisture
Good Installers
Avoid Problems
Traits Of Good Installers Not perfect science..but
Avoid Problems Before they start
Moisture Awareness & Control