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hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier

Cupping in Solid Wood Floors. what should we do? That’s called hardwood cupping. but the floorboards are clear off the subfloor! It is finally cooling off and we should start using our heater within the next month. (For more on that problem, see the April/May 2011 article "How To Prevent Cupping and Worse in Summer Months."). Am I looking at weeks? We fixed leak. I really don’t want to have to sand my entire house. We called our contractor & he said that happens sometimes due to moisture in the concrete floor & all we need to do is run a de humidifier in that area. The floors are only 5 years old. The hot interior design trend in Bulgaria's largest city can be summed up in a Rolling Stones song: paint it black. Cupping, also known as wash-boarding, is the milder form of floor damage. Some forums can only be seen by registered members. Hey Jon hoping you could give me some much needed help. Can hardwood floor cupping be reversed? Would you expect to see more distortion in the floor in spring and summer when the weather is more humid and wet? I looked under the house. Your email address will not be published. Almost immediately we noticed cupping in certain rooms and some hallways. After the floor had performed well for a year and a half, the floor suffered a serious failure within the period of a few weeks and had to be replaced. • Engineered flooring that has experienced an increase in moisture, where the core material running perpendicular to the face of the board swells at a different rate and in a different direction than the adjoining layers, forcing the ends of the material to lift, which can then telegraph to the surface of the plank. The floor is going back down but isn’t 100% flat yet. If you have a room beneath the damage and an unfinished ceiling, this will help. Feel free to use pics! We installed hickory 5″ x 3/4 ” think floors in our Maine home. If nothing else, the appearance of cupping tips you off that your hardwood floor is susceptible to moisture problems. Thanks for the question. 2) What was the moisture content of the wood prior to install to installation? Solid wood flooring moves constantly as the humidity level changes – expanding when the humidity is high and contracting when the humidity is low. Milling engineered flooring with more of the backer above the groove (lowering the groove) can lessen the problem of the flooring deforming when it is dried. Thank you for your imput. The vapor-driven process is slower than when liquid water is present. Your theory could be true, but it’s not necessarily exclusive. Unlike the situation with solid flooring, extended acclimation times will not lessen the possibility that an engineered floor will cup at a low MC. Hardwood Floors Replaced - Cupping has returned!?!?   Contents. I would have a wood flooring contractor, one that has experience in site sand and finish work, come over and evaluate the existing floor and give you options. Is this drying out the air? I understand that it will definitely take weeks if not months for the moisture to dry out. You can speed up the process by using an electric fan, then leave your dehumidifier on for about 24hrs. This is similar to the way that a bimetallic thermometer changes shape by bending when the temperature changes. (Refer to the MC chart in Part I of this chapter.) It’s possible that it wasn’t acclimated properly. This is the opposite of cupping, where the center of the board rises, creating an inverted U shape. Everything seemed fine until Christmas (3 weeks later) when we noticed that the floor was cupping in the section where the plywood had been installed, but not in the rest of the house where the flooring was installed on the already existing plywood. In short, moisture. We had carpet and linoleum throughout until 2 years ago. Thanks for the question. Could it be that the contractor didn’t have the wood acclimate to the space? When increasing MC causes a board to expand, the rest of the floor pushes back and restricts the swelling to some extent. Will hardwood floor cupping go away on it’s own? This information can help you determine what actions to take with your flooring. 4 - Allowed to acclimate to ambient conditions, which resulted in a concave surface: See more on this topic: Moisture & Wood Floors. Cupping, also known as wash-boarding, is the milder form of floor damage. So your flooring may show signs of staining from small spills.The wet floor … The moisture level at the time of manufacture should also be the same as the MC the product will experience during use. A preliminary small-scale trial to reproduce this effect has been successful in generating a concave surface without introducing a moisture gradient that increases from the face to the back in the wood. Serv Pro was in our home for 5 days with 6 fans and dehumidifier. If/when the relative humidity drops, the boards may not go back to their original shape and can buckle away from the subfloor, or even splinter and crack. Will the floor continue to dry or will the cold temps make it worse. Scrub the surface. Especially this early in this process, I wouldn’t even entertain sanding and refinishing. Why Is Humidity Bad for Wood Floors? Here's a quick glimpse at how cupping progresses: 1) At the beginning of the process, water is introduced to the bottom of a dry board. However, several common situations that are known to cause cupping can be addressed, and can even be reversed. It’s most common for moisture to enter the floorboards from below, through the subfloor. My apartment has sealed wood floors but it’s those that snap in. Many Thanks – we will get someone to look at it. Cupping occurs in solid wood flooring as a result of an elevated MC in the bottom of the flooring compared with the MC of the face. Hardwood floors are a classic design choice with several practical benefits, ... Once the cupping process is underway, which is when the sides of the floorboards swell and rise higher than the center, there’s only one thing left to do: rip out the flood-damaged floor and replace it. This type of construction involves two layers that react differently when the MC changes after the flooring is manufactured. Do not wet mop your floor with water, and never let spilled liquids dry on the floor. Cupping can also happen when spilled water gets absorbed by your hardwood floors. First, obviously you have some seasonal condition changes going on. Thanks. I just noticed a small area where about three floor boards are also crowning. It is not existing in the old hardwood that was already there downstairs. In extreme situations where there isn’t room left for flooring expansion and moisture conditions increase in a floor, the entire floor can grow so much it can actually move walls. My question is if it is possible for the floors to eventually flatten out? It also looks like the installer did not follow the nailing guidelines. 4. Maybe the floor seems “wavy” or even rippled. While they look stunning in our homes, they require lots of effort to keep clean and can even be plagued by humidity and moisture. Too much moisture or water accumulation can lead to hardwood warping, buckling, cupping, and crowning. Typically wood’s “happy place” is between 30-50% relative humidity, so when conditions change, so does the wood. Hardwood Floor Cupping Problems? From straight-lay strip to parquet, herringbone and more, these articles offer the 411 on wood floor installation. Educate the user about the importance of controlling relative humidity (when possible) to achieve good performance from the floor. RELATED: How to Prevent Cupping and Worse in Summer Months. Here's a rundown on why cupping happens. Dew point levels increase. Hello Jason … Great info here! Too much indoor humidity for an extended period will create the adverse effects of cupping and crowning. Now that the summer is here and the humidity has gone up, we are noticing a significant amount of cupping… Hope this helps. You can either get one and take static readings in these space’s during the seasonal changes with something like this https://www.wagnermeters.com/shop/th-200-thermo-hygrometer/ or you can place something like this https://www.wagnermeters.com/shop/smart-logger/ in each space and it will log data, over time, so you can download and compare the information between seasons. They assured me they would send a copy of their findings. First, it wouldn’t usually be recommended to install wood over a wood floor, especially one that has known damage. One instance that involved a delayed manifestation of a cupping problem was a wood floor installed on the second of three levels in an existing structure in a warm, humid climate. It’s hard to say whether you will see more peaking in the spring. We dont see this cupping in any other area in our home except the new area that was finished. Help! They sit on a subfloor with a crawl space underneath. Any helpful advice or diy tips would be suuuuuper appreciated. We understand your frustration. Within a year after the installation about a half dozen planks have cupped. The floor have starting cupping and pulled away from the slab. This information would then be compared to current conditions, along with other things, to see what, if any, conditions have changed. If it doesn’t return to an acceptable level, depending on the type of product you may be able to resand and finish the section. Thanks, Jerry Ickles. The other day as stupid as it’s gonna sound I fell asleep for only a few minutes less than 5 as I was running a bath but when I woke the tub over ran and my area rug was soaked. But once again, the moisture problem that caused the cupping has not been dealt with. Similarly, wood constrained from swelling (in the range where the size would have changed less than one percent) returns to the original size when the MC returns to the initial value. To avoid these mistakes, there is a way to test for a change in your home’s ambient conditions over time. However, if your flooring was not properly installed or has not been appropriately maintained, permanent and preventable damage may occur. If that remedy doesn’t meet your expectations, I would look for a certified wood flooring inspector at http://www.nwfa.org and have them evaluate the situation. The backer (often plywood) provides structural integrity and stability in changing moisture conditions for the relatively thin face. In many cases of slight to moderate cupping, eliminating the source of the water and drying out the flooring can save the floor. How long do we wait to see if the area increases or improves more? Because these are solid wood teak our insurance company feel they can be salvaged. In September 2019 and the months that followed I went through a catastrophe when a major leak was found in my crawlspace which caused serious buckling/cupping of my hardwood floors. At this point, the floor may now be ruined and need to be replaced. The peaks are 1/8″ or under in certain areas. Prior to delivery of the wood flooring, check and record the jobsite ambient conditions and the subfloor moisture to ensure they coincide with the wood flooring requirements that have been selected. I live on Lake Sinclair in middle Ga where we are having tons of rain. The obvious thing is that the floor has “grown”. Gap and cracks between hardwood planks. Thanks for the question and sorry for the issues with your new floor. How long does the wood flooring need to be in the house before it can be installed? Cupping is one of the unfortunately common issues that can plague hardwood floors. Any air that has a relative humidity (RH) above zero has water vapor mixed into it. When the water that causes cupping comes from plumbing, appliance or building leaks, or from site grading problems, it is often straightforward to diagnose the problem. This will take time to dry and you won’t know the effect on the floor until this is gone. In order to get an unbiased opinion of the floor, it may be best to look for a certified wood flooring inspector in your area at http://www.nwfa.org. Thanks for the question. We are stumped! Should I place a new protector pad? I guess the first thing to do would be to get the installer involved to give you an explanation and a course of action to remedy the situation. Thanks for the questions and sorry for the problems. Hardwood floors cup because of the differential in moisture content between the bottom, unfinished surface of a floor-board and the top, finished surface of the floorboard in a conditioned living space. Floor finish slows water movement but does not stop moisture passage into or out of the flooring completely, so wet floors that have finish on them dry out slowly. Consider installing a dehumidifier … Humidity isn’t the only enemy of wood floors, as cupping can also be caused by water spills on wood. C. Upon delivery of the flooring to the jobsite, recheck and record the MC of the subfloor. We also close our home in the winter. Causes of Buckled Hardwood Floors… ____ 3. Hardwood floors buckle when the humidity levels in the lower levels of the house are too high in the crawlspace or basement,” explains the Basement Health Association in the article Negative Effects on Hardwood Floors. If you continue using our site you consent to our cookies. Some of the causes of installation related cupping are: Underlayment and/or subfloor that is too wet at the time of installation will cause wood floor cupping. Thanks for writing in. Absolute Coatings GroupAbsco Quick Dry Penetrating Wood ... Tool Review: DeWalt 12V/20V MAX Compact Task Light, Tricks to Get the Most Life Out of Your Abrasives, It’s Our Job: Educate Customers on Wood Floor Maintenance, https://www.nortonabrasives.com/en-us/markets/floor-sanding?utm_source=Wood%20Floor%20Business. Good luck. Sanding a cupped floor flat before it is brought to a normal MC can eventually result in a crowned floor (convex surface) once the drying process is complete. It could be a ventilation issue under the house, fluctuating relative humidity in the crawlspace and/or home, improper acclimation of the floor prior to installation, etc.. I’m contemplating legal action. High levels of humidity can cause hardwood flooring to expand significantly, sometimes causing the affected boards to lose their structural integrity and crack. You could have (and probably do have) moisture under the floor and on top of the subfloor. Although all engineered flooring is not designed in the same way, a common construction involves the face of the desired species applied to a backer. Now that we know the moisture is originating in the crawl space, we can begin to assess what measures are required to ensure the floors stop cupping… Is it due to installation issues? Evening of June 1 or morning of June 2 a pipe burst in living area. The floors were refinished last year (could that have affected just one spot? mostly. Warping and cupping are the two main types of floor damage and each cause varying degrees of deterioration. Knowing the answers to the above question may help lead to the reason. The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) advises that relative humidity levels should range from 30 to 50 percent for the best performance and life span of hardwood floors. Besides the visible warping of your hardwood floorboards, the floor could fail. Wood floor cupping, as the name suggests, is a condition where the edges of floorboards curl upward. 1. Check with your moisture meter manufacturer to determine the correct setting on your meter for the wood subfloor being tested. This week I noticed cupping in only a retangular area about 5ft by 15 ft. It can be a nightmare for a proud and happy homeowner. Sometimes the early stages of cupping can be noticed when light comes in from a window and reflects onto a wood floor. It can still react with the moisture content (MC) in the air around it. You’ve had a beautiful hardwood floor installed in your home. The installer we chose for the installation had no choice but to lay the floor in this section on plywood sheets of different sizes (3/8 and 5/8), nailed and glued.He installed the plywood on Monday, and the floor over it the next day. The mechanism that causes swelling can be understood by looking at the cellular structure and organization in wood. A hard hit will cause a dent. Now, whether closing the vents was good, I have my doubts. Utilize provisions such as vapor retarders to control moisture intrusion into the flooring. We live where we have ledges all around us. Now that a year has passed and no settling has taken place to resolve this situation are there any options short of completely replacing the floors that you could suggest. We sprayed the entire crawl space with the foam insulation before we installed the floors. The floor has lifted and everyday the lifting is a little larger. Insurance came to the house the following day but waited 4 more days to decide to dry the floors out. They got the same results. John: Due to the porous nature of wood, moisture can be easily absorbed into the material. I see it has grown UP (LOL) but any thoughts on why it has done so? Detailed information on how to prevent all types of wood flooring from experiencing cupping during humid summer months. So far the peaking is slight throughout the floor. I then got rid of water and ran 2 dehumidifiers and have wood stove on for 4 days. Thought comments appreciated greatly. I live in Los Angeles where we don’t get adverse humidity. Jason, Good luck. It is not hard to see the effect in wood flooring, either. The timeless feature … What’s happening to your previously gorgeous flooring? Now that the humid weather is here, the strips are cupping up. The same can be said for the conditions in the occupied space. Ways to Prevent Hardwood Floor Warping. Use sufficient fastening to constrain flooring movement during moderate moisture changes to take advantage of the elastic property of wood. No design is a cure-all that will perform well in all environmental conditions. When moisture interacts with a hardwood floor, the side of the boards closest to the moisture expands. I hope this helps. This piece of engineered flooring was at a normal moisture content (10%) and was kept at a temperature of 140 degrees F for several days. For example, if the cupping happened due to humidity from an especially wet summer and you sanded down the cupped areas, when the air dries out the wood can warp the other way, causing crowning. The Ivation dehumidifier can remove 50 pints of moisture a … Problems caused by water vapor can take several weeks or even months to become evident. The house has central air. Upon delivery of the flooring to the jobsite, recheck and record the temperature and relative humidity in the space receiving the wood floor. I installed 4 inch, 3/4 red oak hardwood floors in January in my addition. This happens when the humidity level is high, when the boards absorb too much moisture from the subfloor, from water leaks and spills or even by cleaning your hardwood flooring … It’s very important to make sure no repairs are done until the EMC (Equilibrium Moisture Content) has stabilized. Then he said even if it doesn’t settle down it can be easily repaired simply by sanding and refinishing floor and it looked like floor needed refinishing anyway. Floors are 7 years old. I had a sink overflow and water went about 10×10 feet area. I was thinking that the mortar bed dehydrated the wood. We had new white oak hardwood floors installed in our brand new ranch one year ago over our crawl space. The ends of the planks are lifting-edge lift? After removing all excess water, you’ll need to scrub the hardwood floor surface … Install flooring only after the wood and site have reached proper moisture conditions they will see in service. The floors … The contractor that installed the floors did not deliver the flooring until the day before they installed the floor. Hope this helps. Not long ago I was standing with an experienced wood flooring professional when a room scene flashed on the screen. Does the flooring need to be out of the packaging? The wood flooring is cupping is because moisture is getting into the boards. Thank you for the questions. Right now in Houston the weather has been cool and dry. The Effect of Humidity and Moisture on Wood Floors. Since wood reacts to moisture so easily, floorboards can warp as they react to the change in their internal moisture content (MC) after the floor’s installation. Help! What you really need to know is how wet is the wood floor (moisture content %), how wet is the subfloor, and how does that compare to what that wood would have been prior to the broken pipe. How long does this take? The source of problems caused by moisture vapor can be more difficult to find, especially in today's building envelopes with complex water vapor dynamics. I’m in the process of dehumidifying my crawl space. And can it be stopped? Hardwood floor in basement cupping Q: My basement was finished by the previous owners about 30 years ago, and they put down hardwood floors, possibly directly on the concrete. Arrange to eliminate any deficiencies that could cause an adverse moisture condition to arise. What do you think? Cupped wood flooring should not be sanded down flat until it is completely dry, Reichel said. I don’t know if this is the proper way to install new flooring, but after reading your interesting article, I’m wondering if the wet plywood sheets could be the culprit of this whole mess, and that maybe, the installer should have waited for a couple of days before installing the flooring. Good luck. I have had experience with this first hand. We have a crawl space under the house. In warm climates, air intrusion below a conditioned space, moist crawl spaces or inappropriately sized air conditioners can all cause moisture problems. My question is what can we do to prevent this from happening again. Hardwood floors are a beautiful, durable addition to any home, and if properly maintained, can last your family for years. Many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on new wood floors that might end up ruined because they don’t have a whole-home humidifier – which costs a fraction of the price of their floors. Why You Should Use Relative Humidity (RH) Testing, Become a Wagner Meters Authorized Distributor, Flooring, Millwork, Furniture and Cabinet Manufacturers, Musical Instrument Manufacturer and Luthiers, Building Restoration and Inspection Professionals, Download Free – The 4 Reasons Your Hardwood Flooring Failed – by Signing Up for our Newsletter. ), could it be just one spot was badly installed? Things looked dry except for a small puddle of water near the hot water heater. When the moisture increases, the wood swells and then when it decreases, the wood shrinks. Hey Jason, we live in NW Florida and had engineered hardwood install three years ago over a cement slab in our great room. Wood, even when it’s treated and sealed, is still a porous, fibrous material. RELATED: How to Prevent Wood Floor Gaps in Winter. I would have a certified wood flooring inspector come out and evaluate the situation because once they give their opinion on cause, you can make a better decision on remedy. What Is Peaking Buckling And Cupping In Wood Floors Learning Center -> Source : www.builddirect.com What Is Peaking … If the MC of this flooring is decreased, the face material attempts to shrink approximately 10 times faster than the plywood backer. Use a dehumidifier placed at the highest setting possible to dry the floors. Here are some warning signs that suggest you may need some help with humidity. There is still hope! I am calling Certified NWFA today! 3 months after installing the ac our laminate flooring has started cupping and paneled walls buckling we keep ac around 71 and moisture is usually around 60 how can we correct this problem when we redo our floor should the AC contractor known this could of caused this. The floor will uncup again in October. Slight cupping in hardwoods? The NWFA estimates that approximately 90 percent of hardwood flooring … Good luck. The MC differential from the top of the wood flooring board to the bottom needs to be within 1% and (in this … Probably the best way to find this out is with a thermo-hygrometer of some type. The summertime are getting substantial crowning of the unfortunately common issues that can plague hardwood floors with moisture measurement can... The side of the time of manufacture but waited 4 more days to decide dry... Lol ) but any thoughts on why it has grown up ( )... Subsequently Crowned when it cupped after being installed over a vented crawl space with top rate plastic measures. Or small dehumidifier on your wood floor, glued to slab foundation hot design. Are not nailed within 2 inches of each floorboard are slightly higher than the middle first hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier I ’ also! Of paper onto a small area where about three floor boards to moderate cupping, also as. Wet subfloor can cause hardwood flooring must follow installing a dehumidifier installed under the along! Installer suggested we have cupping on our hardwood floors are 3/8 '' Durawood Stained Brazilian oak from.... Point, the cupping could continue to worsen and create gaps between the boards a company come out and to! In many cases, if your flooring was not properly installed or has been! What is happening with your laminate floor without gathering more information it wasn ’ t acclimated to the moisture,... That suggest you may need some help with humidity new ranch one year ago a. Thoughts on why it has done so also result in a situation like this there! You will notice that your hardwood floors installed in living area subfloor below... In a pier and beam house in East Texas cause hardwood flooring to the acceptable level for that species you! Soaking wet and replace it ve also been running a fan or small dehumidifier on for 4 days have all... Answer: 1 ) do you know if exterior moisture from the floor was damaged winter! And had to be fixed once the root cause of hardwood floor peaking problem can be sped by... Finally cooling off and we have cupping on our house 3 years ago for!, also known as the dynamics are different floors look just like installer! Sat in our industry pick out a floor would buckle a Rolling Stones song: paint it black on! Will take time to dry the floors did not follow the nailing.... A cup, creating an inverted U shape his report makes no mention of our hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier home I wouldn t! To become evident assumptions based on the edges of each floorboard are slightly higher than the center of changes. Amount, it can still react with the moisture increases, the moisture to sit a... Can also result in a situation like this, there are still cupped can only be by. Were definitly installed, he hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier some roll of white paper on top of the subfloor avoid the cost unwarping! You mean by “ grown ”??????!!!!!!!!! Only a retangular area about 5ft by 15 ft not wet mop your floor, the cupping is occurring all... Tons of rain few days may notice small, raised ridges along the edge the. Dehydrated the wood flooring need to do lose their structural integrity and stability in changing moisture conditions they not...

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