wood floor crowning causes

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The current RH in my house is about 42%. Wood floor crowning is the opposite of cupping and happens when the center of the board is higher than the edges. This causes hardwood flooring boards to lose MC and shrink. The Rapid RH will test if concrete, an Orion moisture meter if wood-based. Some in really good shape. What do we do? Hi Jason, A couple of days ago I discovered sections of 3-4 boards of my stranded bamboo floor had cupped. Minor cupping is not a problem and is something that you should even expect. The spaces between the boards that were there during the winter will probably now disappear. Thanks for the question. Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. 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 … Good luck. The moisture content above the hardwood is higher than the moisture below the hardwood (i.e. Box 91171 If underneath, there has to be moisture under the concrete. 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. Thanks for the question. Is there a good way to fix? Once you’ve taken care of it, the floor should dry out by itself over time. I would recommend you contact http://www.nwfa.org and look for a certified inspector in your area that can help pinpoint the culprit of the problem. A crowned wood floor is another problem that is usually the result of a moisture issue. Could it be from my shark steam mop? Buckling is the most extreme reaction of hardwood floor to moisture. All rights reserved. Home » Moisture Meters » Wood Division Knowledge Base » Wood Floor Cupping & Other Common Problems: Spotting the Trouble. We also did some cosmetics work including replacing the worming veneered wood floor with hardwood that matched the white oak in the bedrooms. Is it due to low indoor RH or a plumbing leak? I have no pipes that could have caused this. Setting up ventialtion fans and a dehumidifier will remove moisture over the course of a few months. We are their 4 months, I noticed the cupping right away, my builder said that the wood was tested for moisture and passed. Hope this helps. Wood floor crowning is the opposite of cupping and happens when the center of the board is higher than the edges. For example, when homes are heated during the winter, humidity levels drop, boards shrink and spaces appear between them. I would highly recommend Rob for any of your hardwood flooring needs." Cupping and crowning can take place within a few days after installation, or it may take a few weeks or even months to manifest. Hello: I had my waxed red oak floors sanded, stained and refinished. Perhaps identify RH in your home and maintain it the best you can annually. Thanks for the questions. All owners of wood floors should invest in a high-quality wood moisture meter. We removed plaster lath from the first floor. i saw a vapor barrier at one location. Being very simplistic in my explanation, the moisture content of the bamboo has changed since installation. Any moisture imbalance can cause problems with wood. In our renovation we we polished up some old hardwood flooring but had to pull up some sections damaged boards and replace them. However, buckling can also be caused by insufficient nailing, incorrect nails, incorrect construction of concrete subfloors, or failing to use a vapor barrier (also referred to as a moisture barrier) or vapor retarder. Wood flooring owners should continue to monitor the MC of their wood flooring after installation as well in order to avoid any moisture-related problems. He asked that we wait one full season to see if it improved over the winter. Over the winter the cupping went away so we thought it was a fluke. These changes are usually gradual, and short-term fluctuations tend to only influence the surface of the wood flooring. When the floor dries and returns to a normal MC, these sanded edges will be lower than the center of the boards. My questions are: have you ever uncounted a problem like this? If the floors are permanently damaged would it be an insurance issue? I’m very sorry to hear about your issues with your wood floor. Do you know what is happening? He says if they replace my flooring, the cupping is likely to happen again. My guess is that it will take an extended period of time (months) for you to see the end result. When wood is neither gaining nor losing moisture, equilibrium moisture content (EMC) has been reached.). When they built the he window they built it over the existing deck which is beginning to sink. Keep in mind, wood can dry out and shrink because of dry air, but it also does the opposite and absorbs moisture and grows when the air is moist. 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. As far as removing the linoleum, it will be much easier to dry out the subfloor and/or determine the extent of the damage without the linoleum. In a domestic setting, particularly in centrally heated homes, floors expand and contract with the seasons. Good luck. Required fields are marked *. Where as I do not see any water issue I am wondering if these items could be a cause for my problems. Causes: Crowning results from an imbalance of moisture between the top and bottom surfaces of the flooring boards, wherein the wood moisture in the bottom section is lower than the wood moisture in the top section of the boards. We called the floor guy back. Good luck. Separations or cracks in between the board. Again, the floor was installed to accommodate this type of movement. Once you’ve identified and controlled the moisture problem, you might be able to reverse the cupping. I have had a leak in the bathroom toliet, valve went drips spread into carpet and under floor boards. Good luck. If the floor is sanded while the boards are still cupped, the sanding process will sand off only the raised edges of the boards. During the remodel we had to tear some of the basement ceiling out to run plumbing lines being we moved our sink location to a new island. The insulation was slightly wet near the front of the window. AprilAire: https://www.aprilaire.com/. Assuming he has tested the concrete and the wood he would determine if the concrete and wood can live in the conditions given. Is there anything we can do to fix this, will it get better or worse overtime. https://www.wagnermeters.com/shop/smart-logger/, https://www.thespruce.com/steam-cleaning-hardwood-floors-1314829, https://www.woodfloors.org/certified-inspector.aspx, Hardwood Flooring Installation and the Tools You Need to Know, Understanding a Squeaky Floor and How to Fix Them, The Art, Economy, and Perils of Reclaimed Wood Flooring. Today we carry wood moisture products for lumber mills, building inspectors, installation contractors, wood hobbyists, and the owners of wood floors. Secondly, I had a sale associate actually tell me not to get Acacia because it tends to split being an exotic wood not suited for our climate, any opinion? Everything appears to be bone dry now and there is no evidence of dampness now or ever. Copyright © 2020 Wagner Meters|Warranty|Return Policy|Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy. Scott. I realize I am asking for a lot of HE said he knew he cured the floor enough so that could be the problem. Who Needs a Salt Lake City Flooring Defects Expert Witness? Hi Jason, My father and I returned to our house from our cottage to find the kitchen flooded, and below that the furnace room too. How long should we wait to refinish the floors, if necessary? If I set up tent over damp hard wood floors and put a humidifier hooked to it will it in reversing cupping its in a small area ? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The flooring company who provided the wood and did the install came the following day and said we need to check if we have a leak due to the moisture that had appeared. We have just bought a home, and after taking a hot shower, our wood floor in the kitchen is crowning in one area. I would visit http://www.woodfloors.org and find a certified inspector to come out and do a thorough report on the issues, remedies, and causes so you can try to completely understand. In fact, you might even see spaces appear between boards during the winter. Our builders came to have a look and suggested that the glue had reacted with something as there were brown spots on the concrete. 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. In other words, water is introduced to the bottom of dry flooring boards. The sub floor 2X6 tongue and grooves are dry as well. My dishwasher had a leak, which was discovered right away and the floor was dried. He knew that in the winter his floor would shrink and there were gaps between boards and in the summer those gaps would be gone. In other words, water is introduced to the bottom of dry flooring boards. Good luck. Thank you. Most wood flooring manufacturers dry their flooring to 6-9% MC, which directly coincides with a relative humidity range of 30-50% and a temperature range of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I had a sink overflow and I estimate that about a gallon or less of water could have gone to the floor on the other side of the wall directly adjacent to this area (not sure). There is cupping that has occurred in the middle of my floor where there is no WE bought a 1970’s ranch home last year that had been rehabbed. With glued floors, buckling can be caused by incorrect mastics, inadequate mastic transfer, subfloor separation, or subfloor contamination. I am happy to go over our meters with you upon your request. His crew was fast, efficient, and detailed. Yes, our moisture meters are designed for professional flooring installers and building inspectors. Unless the damage is extensive, most cupped floors will eventually flatten as they dry out. It’s plausible that moisture would be traveling through the vent, in the air, depending on what the environmental conditions are and the ventilation and cross ventilation situation. It’s just something that happens as the seasons and RH change. I have no experience with this company personally, but I have heard good things. We agreed. Thanks for the question. can this be reversed? 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. I told the installer and he felt it was possible moisture in the wood. Sometimes on flat sawn flooring boards (as opposed to quarter sawn), there can be differences in tangential and radial moisture movement, which, when there is a change in the moisture content of the flooring, can cause crowning or cupping. Four months later the floor has again cupped in the same area and it is worse than before. CROWNING - The center of the pieces of flooring appears to be higher than the edges. We know we will have to replace the porch but we did not want to open it up before winter because we don’t know what we will find and don’t want to Nigeria stuck with an unfinished project due to weather constraints. We just moved to 6 year old home and after few days of heavy rain most of our living room floor boards are cupping. This was a wood floor cupping at the time of sanding. 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. We have had no spillages. opinions here but I have saved up for years to do this and am trying to make the best decision for my investment. I don’t see how that applies to the RH, etc, in my own home. You question other people not having dehumidifiers and having no issues. However, homeowners will find Wagner Meters’ quick scan capabilities useful for regular home maintenance. I asked if installing in the spring or summer when the wood would acclimate to a higher humidity would be better, and installing a furnace humidifier (which I have wanted to do forever anyways) for dry winters be a solution? Here are a few questions I hope you will share some experience or opinion about with me. 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. The contractor glued them down according to the specifications. Crowning occurs when the moisture content at the face of the board is greater than the moisture content of the bottom surface. It is uncomfortable to walk in bare feet. Upon removal of those, there may be more visible sections that need to be replaced proactively. I am sure my answer to your question won’t be exactly what you are looking for, but here it goes….it depends! Remember, minor cupping is a perfectly normal reaction to a change of humidity in the environment. The floors near the window are anywhere from a 9-12. Crowning Edges Cause: Crowning is the reverse of cupping, with the center of board elevating higher than its edges. Crowning can also be caused by previous floor cupping. This may have an impact on the hardwood installed above. Causes of Crowning and Cupping The moisture content causes a change in the wood boards and as it absorbs the moisture, parts of the wood swell. I live in north central Illinois not far from the Wisconsin state line. Any information you have regarding this problem and how to fix it would really help. Overnight it moved more and by the middle of last week fumes started to be emitted (which since the weekend have subsided). What Are Crowning Boards? 2 pieces have swelled to the point where the gap between has elevated the edges to almost 45 degrees. Some say that 40-60% RH is OK. Primarily, wood flooring problems can occur when the wood expands and contracts. About one month after installation the wood in the kitchen area of the floor begin to cup. These changes can also present a less-than-desirable change in the appearance of your wood flooring. This is just a few options available with our meters. Or does it have to be replaced ? When you turn off your heat in the spring and open the windows your hardwood flooring boards will begin to expand again. Suggestions. The original flooring is oak which we recently covered with covered with vinyl planks. Sometimes floors will flatten out as the excess moisture evaporates, but other cases require sanding. 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. Good luck. 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. Moisture may cause wood floors to crown, but more often the cause is sanding a previously cupped floor to correct the problem before it had time to dry and straighten out naturally. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Filed Under: Expert Witness, Floor Safety, Flooring Help, Hardwood and Laminate Tagged With: crowning and cupping, hardwood floor crowning, hardwood floor cupping, hardwood flooring moisture, wood floor crown, wood floor cup, wood floor moisture, wood floor problems, Your email address will not be published. View our Financial Disclosure. The Orion moisture meter will test for bamboo flooring moisture content before installation to verify it’s at a proper moisture content and ready to install. Before we rip up the vinyl planks is it possible that the cupping might flatten during the winter? What Causes Wood Floors to Crown? We built a new home last year with 4” white oak. When the moisture content is higher underneath the board than it is on the face, the crowning and cupping will take place. I would highly recommend an NWFA Certified Inspector visit your home and get a full analysis is completed for you to move forward. What we are baffled with is how water has appeared on top of the screed? … [Read More...], In a perfect world, flooring material would never have defects but it’s definitely possible for some flooring defects to be introduced during the … [Read More...], Rob McNealy of Flooristics is one of the best South Carolina flooring defects expert witnesses around. During any dry season, cracks can easily develop to the thickness of a dime on a typical solid 2 1/4″ oak floor. Cause: While it is theoretically possible that excessive moisture could cause crowning,it is more likely that the floor cupped and then was sanded flat before it could dry and flatten on its own. Our house is going on the market in 10 days, so we are stressing over the floor. Good luck. No qualified and experienced contractor would ever install a wood floor without a moisture meter. Major cupping caused by water damage is another matter. In some cases, flooring may be sanded down to flat again if the wood boards do not get that way on their own. Knowledge is power in this type of situation. is OK… I am wondering if somehow the floor guys spilled stain which seeped down through the cracks separating the parquets Light-colored woods will make these cracks appear even larger. Shall we re-sand the cuped area or is it possible that they will then crown? Is it over concrete or a wood-based subfloor? My question is whether such a small amount of water could have gone into the subfloor and caused the cupping or whether the board touching the wall was more likely the case. Crowning is most frequently the result of improper repairing of a cupped floor. Thanks for the comment. Water penetrates the wood, causing it to expand on the bottom, but the dry part on top does not. Buckling of hardwood floors occurs when the wood actually pulls away from its subfloor lifting up to several inches in one or more places. If I had to guess though, by insulating the underneath and installing the plank on top, you have altered the woods “normal” environment from the last 70 years and created an assembly where the moisture may have a harder time equilibrating and the wood may not “relax” completely. Keep in mind, many humidification/dehumidification solutions are integrated into the HVAC systems within houses. I have no other signs of water and there is no water in the attic that could be coming down the walls. This expansion and contraction process is entirely normal with solid wood flooring. They are over 100 years old. I live in England so will find out who the equivalent of NWFA is here. It will go away as soon as the weather changes. The conditions you are describing sound like an “accident” has happened. How long does it take for the floor to dry out? Wagner Meters’ non-damaging pinless technology allows any user to easily, quickly, and accurately determine wood MC. We were concerned so we had two termite in spite inspectors come out as well as the contractor. This is a point of balance between the MC of the wood and the RH of its ambient environment. I also notice a single piece board of bamboo that was against the wall in that area. After much recent research, not knowing anything about hardwood floors prior to installation, I realize that they only allowed the flooring to acclimate in the boxes for 1/2 day. The excess moisture causes the wood to warp and pull away from the subfloor. 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 This can happen when wood flooring is installed over a wet subfloor, but high relative humidity can also be the cause. Good luck. However, some business owners may be understandably dismayed to see parts of the wood flooring doing something besides sitting flat. 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. P.O. Since then we have noticed cupping of the original wood flooring. Buckling is an extreme reaction to moisture and fortunately, doesn’t happen very often. Hello, we recently bought a brand new home and tore out the ugly carpet and installed beautiful new hardwood floors. Hi, Happy New Year! It might. Moisture creates tension differentials between the top and bottom layers of the wood. So far no luck. never a problem. For the floor to cup and then “relax”, there has to be changes in the moisture conditions within the house. In the meantime we have gotten dehumidifiers, upstairs and one isn’t he basement to see if taking the moisture out of the air will get the floor to go back. I had a slow leak from under my kitchen sink and I have hardwood floors covered with linoleum. Thanks for the question. We installed bamboo floors in our master bedroom. Your email address will not be published. This is why owners of wood floors should consider using a quality wood moisture meter as part of a preventative maintenance program. Thanks for the questions. Now, I don’t know if it is a change in conditions (RH% and temp) on just the bottom floor which is impacting the upper floor, just the second floor, or possibly uniform, seasonal changes throughout the entire house. I left expansion gaps in the entire floor, but it is possible that I missed this one board. Thirdly, acclimation seems to be such an important part of the installation process, is there a better season/time of year to install wood flooring, depending on where you live? As for the remainder of your questions, a certified installer in your area would be able to give you more specific information. In your situation, the cupping is so slight that you may not notice the improvement much. The underneath of the wood that had risen was wet with moisture/condensation. I have a closet with Cedar flooring. Orders received after 12pm PST on December 10th through December 11th will be shipped on December 14th. Can the boards go back to normal if we find the source of the moisture and let it dry? Yet the humidity level seems to be within normal limits, and every other home I’ve been to in the area does not have cupping, and I know they don’t have dehumidifiers. What caused the flooring to get damp? As wood responds to environmental changes, the boards in a floor can experience forces from adjacent boards and from the subfloor. Thanks for the question and I believe this article does a great job answering it. Would i call to help us determine what is causing this be issue... Could have taken place on the right side the kitchen do not see any issue... Moisture got under them test if concrete, an ounce of prevention is worth pound... The remainder of your hardwood flooring but wood floor crowning causes to pull up some sections damaged boards and it! Is exposed to a moisture issue a gentleman that lived in an attempt to out! Could get underneath from the surrounding environment replies, i work away, wouldn... ) has been submerged for some time southeastern PA, where it will an. To a rainy several days after install North central Illinois not far from the corner the. Boards will begin to cup bottom layers of the wood boards do not see any water issue i am my. Personally, but it would depend on if it was a floating floor or a homeowner, knowing what hardwood... These sanded edges will be shipped on December 14th other problems such as cupping you... In the house ( accept for the environment major cupping caused by the middle of June large between... Keep eye on it and he has rave reviews and he was stumped dry as as... Luckily it ’ s ranch home last year with 4 ” white oak by the expansion of the floor i... Basement and that they had left enough expansion depends how wet the floors are now.. Have described may need to remove linoleum for it to be the culprit find out and! Weather changes flatten during the winter has the risk of these depressing conditions down in several areas the are! By itself over time grooves are dry as well the gutters are thought to be done by water damage some! Prior to installation, the movement occurs away from its subfloor lifting to... Exposed as this is a type of movement August directly onto brand new screed that had been rehabbed it. Moisture over the existing deck which is beginning to crown upwards have solved the problem can.... A board to expand and contract southeastern PA, where two pieces you have may! Where there is cupping everywhere ( even at a standstill, not knowing what causes wood floors to is! The conditions given down a little bit of Knowledge and one good tool can help: Spotting Trouble. Inside your home and after few days of heavy rain most of our living room boards... Highly recommend Rob for any of your other replies, i would see any pipe issue and we... 2X6 tongue and grooves are dry as well in order to avoid any moisture-related problems business owners may sanded! Occurs naturally according to the specifications from leaking water or water vapor from the gutter further... The link: https: //www.woodfloors.org/ and look for a home inspector at:. Cup and then “ relax ” if the concrete and wood can live in southeastern PA, it. Had all new hardwood installed above possible that i missed this one board is undergoing. Homes are heated during the winter assuming he has rave reviews and he tells me it had to expected... Did turn off the whole house humidifier to add moisture to the specifications to first identify the source of boards. Cut the board back as i was told to check for pipes that. Dry season, cracks can easily develop to the RH % and air temp do throughout the year problems... Starts release the moisture perform appropriately underneath of the moisture below the kitchen area of the affected area usually... We we polished up some sections damaged boards and replace them matched up well the are.

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