hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier

Hey Jason, we live in NW Florida and had engineered hardwood install three years ago over a cement slab in our great room. The cupping still remained until the fall/winter and the floors went back the way they should be. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with … We had oak prefinished 3/8 boards installed. RELATED: Can We Be Proactive in Preventing RH Problems for Wood Floors? Right now in Houston the weather has been cool and dry. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Of course I jumped up, turned off the water and opened up the drains and scrambled to get a mop towels bed covers anything to get the water. They were perfect. 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. How to Repair a Crowned Floor. Severe cupping should be addressed by a professional so that the edges can get sanded down, but often minor cupping will resolve itself as moisture in the air dissipates. Thank you. Is there anything we can do to help the process along? The oak was cupped, so I left it exposed for a couple of years. B. No moisture. The vapor-driven process is slower than when liquid water is present. There should have been moisture testing done on the concrete prior to installation to guide installation and there should have been moisture testing done on the wood prior to installation to ensure it was properly acclimated. There is still hope! I’m facing a similar situation. 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. Ivation 50-Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier. Hello, If you imagine a picture of a child drawing a boat in the water, then the water will give you a good idea of what a cupped floor looks like. Hardwood Floor Buckling and Cupping in Summer – What to do. You would be surprised what an expert can do to a floor that normal people, like you and me, might think is unrepairable. The rows were not always staggered 8-10″ row to row for the 5″ wide planks. Cupping in hardwood floors is caused by changes in moisture levels, whether decreases in the air RH above or increases in moisture from below. Cupped wood flooring should not be sanded down flat until it is completely dry, Reichel said. Unlike the situation with solid flooring, extended acclimation times will not lessen the possibility that an engineered floor will cup at a low MC. We have some doubts about the inspector’s honesty because his report makes no mention of our comments on the installation. Our cottage flooring as all pine (rather wide boards). My dehumidifier is showing 40 % . With a new addition and concrete, I would imagine the concrete was not sufficiently dry prior to the floor installation. Cupping in Solid Wood Floors. 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. The cupped board area is maybe 4 x 4 foot area. The floor is going back down but isn’t 100% flat yet. During the first week of December 2019, we installed new Cumaru wood flooring throughout the house.Our house is divided on 2 levels, divided by a mini staircase. It can be a nightmare for a proud and happy homeowner. Thanks! They should be able to give you the information you need to deal with the insurance company. I have had experience with this first hand. Thanks for the question. Dry cupping can be a yearly occurrence in cold areas with a long heating season. Wood Floor Trend Spotting: Wide Plank European White Oak Stars in L.A. Design or evaluate the site prior to delivery for proper moisture conditions. This type of construction involves two layers that react differently when the MC changes after the flooring is manufactured. We had 3" white oak hardwood floors installed on the entire 1st floor of the house along with the upstairs master bedroom. We recently had new siding put on our house, and now the wood flooring is starting to buckle. The floors are 3/8" Durawood Stained Brazilian Oak from LL. It’s possible that it wasn’t acclimated properly. We installed hickory 5″ x 3/4 ” think floors in our Maine home. The bottom of the subfloor(1 1/8″) is insulated with closed-cell foam. Plumber? Different products have strengths and weaknesses in different situations, and customers are best served when their vendor is knowledgeable about the properties of each product so that the chosen wood floor can perform exactly as hoped. 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… With those demonstrations, the source of the water is easy to identify because the water is liquid, but wood can also take on water vapor from the surrounding air to cause swelling in the same way. The planks have some shrinkage and a few of them are still cupped. Is this an engineered, sanded and finished floor on wood subfloor, or concrete? Thought comments appreciated greatly. Is it due to installation issues? Hardwood Floor Cupping Problems? I think restoration company did everything right. The floor will uncup again in October. Maybe the floor seems “wavy” or even rippled. (Again, assuming Wood Subfloor and crawl space), The most critical aspect of this installation is for the moisture content (MC) to reach an equilibrium with the wood flooring, humidity, and subfloor MC. This information would then be compared to current conditions, along with other things, to see what, if any, conditions have changed. John: They assured me they would send a copy of their findings. The reason the floors are cupping is that the cellulose in the wood is absorbing moisture and expanding. The planks are not nailed within 2 inches of each end or every 4-6 inches. (See Greenhouse Effect.) Almost immediately we noticed cupping in certain rooms and some hallways. The hardwood has roofing paper under it, probably 15 lb. It depends how noticeable the cupping is as to whether it is worth removing the floor and redoing it. Solid wood flooring moves constantly as the humidity level changes – expanding when the humidity is high and contracting when the humidity is low. 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. You might be able to figure out how to remedy the situation yourself if you find it’s due to humidity in the air or a leak or spill. 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. Depending on how bad the cupping is, left alone with no additional water, it may relax to an acceptable level. For many species and aspect ratios, a piece of flooring placed on a towel that is kept moist will show some cupping in a day or two. 3. This expansion can be in the form of cupping (the center of the board is lower than the edges) or crowning (the center of the board is higher than the edges). 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. You have to worry about more than water damage as you care for your floors, making it essential to keep an eye out for signs of the most common problems that plague wooden floors, like cupping, buckling and peaking planks. It will take time. So your flooring may show signs of staining from small spills.The wet floor … Upon delivery of the flooring to the jobsite, recheck and record the temperature and relative humidity in the space receiving the wood floor. Once the root cause of peaking is identified, the hardwood floor peaking problem can be fixed. Cupping. 3 - Constrained from swelling across the face. However, several common situations that are known to cause cupping can be addressed, and can even be reversed. 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. the contractor put down hardwood in the new area to match the existing floors. Very noticeable cupping will occur within a few days. The important thing is that we eventually get consistent reading throughout the entire floor. Install flooring only after the wood and site have reached proper moisture conditions they will see in service. What’s happening to your previously gorgeous flooring? The water and area rugs where there for all of ten minutes if that and nothing else is leaking. I hope this helps. They have risen right up off the subfloor and look as though they are about to pop any second! 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. Hope this helps. Since the process of cupping is the wood reacting to moisture, if the wood’s moisture level returns to the proper equilibrium, the cupping can resolve. You may notice small, raised ridges along the edges of some of the planks in the floor. We live in Canada and our house is normally heated with a heat pump in winter and even a wood fireplace that we use every day. You can speed up the process by using an electric fan, then leave your dehumidifier on for about 24hrs. Knowing what the concrete, plywood, and finished wood floor moisture content/condition where, prior to installation, would give a solid baseline for where the floor components started and should have all been measured prior to installation. They have been in my home 11 years. What do you mean by “grown” ??? (hardwood floors, dehumidifier, foundation, window) User Name: Remember Me: Password : Please ... My flooring guy said this was normal as the planks are 4" wide, thus more prone to cupping (they are real hardwood … Cupping is such you almost need look or feel for it. I was told to steam the floor to correct the problem but, am looking to see if this is the right direction or what would be best. There are some instances reported in wide engineered flooring where the curling is more pronounced along the edge of the plank above the groove. Set can often be reversed by treating with steam, but this is not a viable solution for an installed floor. Unlike solid wood, some engineered flooring cups when the MC is lowered. He said sanding will not help. How long do we wait to see if the area increases or improves more? Wood is hygroscopic, so it gains or loses moisture in your home seasonally. Picture a typical wooden floor plank. I would make sure there are no leaks under the house. When I moved into my house there was a ceramic tile floor over mortar and lath with roofing paper oner oak floors in the foyer. It ends up looking a little like an accordion. A poor flooring installation can also result in the cupping of a hardwood floor. Add fans in this room as well (and if there are windows in this room, open them as well if it’s not raining). It is finally cooling off and we should start using our heater within the next month. Any wood floor can suffer from cupping. We sprayed the entire crawl space with the foam insulation before we installed the floors. I would recommend that you seek out a National Wood Flooring Association certified flooring inspector at https://www.woodfloors.org/find-a-professional.aspx to evaluate and give you specific recommendations. It will then take some time for the wood flooring to get back to its normal internal humidity balance and shape. C. Upon delivery of the flooring to the jobsite, recheck and record the MC of the subfloor. There was a leak in the pipes that was minor and we didn’t notice the cupping till later after we got the leak fixed. Especially this early in this process, I wouldn’t even entertain sanding and refinishing. Hard to notice unless looking for. Not long ago I was standing with an experienced wood flooring professional when a room scene flashed on the screen. Dehumidifiers remove moisture content in the air and if you are lucky, a simple dehumidifying session might do the trick and help reverse the hardwood floor cupping. 99% of the time that moisture is coming from beneath the sub-floor. Hardwood floors are very durable, however, excess moisture is their worst enemy. Other causes of hardwood floor cupping could include situations such as basement plumbing leaks that allow moisture to migrate up into the subfloor and into the wood flooring or the heat from a wood stove that drys out the air in the environment. It’s my contention that maybe the wood hadn’t acclimated to the environment before it was installed. The builder has said that there is absolutely no moisture in the crawl space that would have caused the cupping. The contractor that installed the floors did not deliver the flooring until the day before they installed the floor. (dehumidifier, Home Depot, Lowes) User Name: Remember Me: Password Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Required fields are marked *. Shouldn’t the installer have told us about moisture issues, and used a moisture barrier prior to installing our floors. Sue. 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. Premium Partners I just noticed a small area where about three floor boards are also crowning. We extended our breakfast nook area last year. We also close our home in the winter. Crowning. The crawl space is vented and dry. But, I’m guessing that’s the air and not the wood. After about 2 months of living in the house I noticed the Red oak floors were cupping. I have Brazillian teak 3/8 thick solid wood floor, glued to slab foundation. Floors are 7 years old. I would contact the National Wood Flooring Association at http://www.nwfa.org and find a certified wood flooring inspector in your area to evaluate the specific situation. 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. I have seen floors flatten out totally. Our new home was finished about 5 months ago. Too much indoor humidity for an extended period will create the adverse effects of cupping and crowning. Thank you. When the moisture increases, the wood swells and then when it decreases, the wood shrinks. In severe cases, floors that have been at an elevated MC may experience compression set and have permanent gaps between the boards. “Buckling is when the hardwood floor lifts or separates from the sub floor. … The good news is that hardwood floor cupping can be reversed, setting the planks back to their original condition.. What does cupping look like on hardwood floors? Classy Walnut Stairs Spiral in Bulgarian Penthouse. Wood floor cupping, as the name suggests, is a condition … The Effect of Humidity and Moisture on Wood Floors. Reasons for hardwood buckling during summer; Rachael’s Recommendations on how to reduce humidity inside a house ; How to reduce Humidity under a House; The bottom line; Hardwood floors imparts a distinctive character and natural color in a home. We live in a pier and beam house in East Texas. E. When the wood flooring is to the expected in-use (e.g., normal living) and manufacturer’s required ambient conditions within the facility, and this coincides with the subfloor moisture conditions, and these conditions are being maintained, the flooring may be installed immediately. This allows the floors to be fixed right away, and may be cheaper than paying for them to be dried out. Can We Be Proactive in Preventing RH Problems for Wood Floors? Excess moisture is the culprit when it comes to hardwood cupping. It’s hard to say whether you will see more peaking in the spring. Through much stress and hell, the co-op board approved a FULL replacement of my hardwood floors. When moisture interacts with a hardwood floor, the side of the boards closest to the moisture expands. 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. However, in many cases, these problems can be resolved even you can manage it by yourself and they will look as good as new. Let’s face it, no matter if you installed a light-colored oak hardwood floor, a darker-toned cherry wood floor, or something in between – like hickory – you want your floors to look good!. The addition easy to demonstrate by putting a small strip of paper onto a small where. All of these things ( then some ) led the inspector to review your floor with water, up. Get adverse humidity said that there is a little larger the boards-the of. And leave it on for at least 24 hours its that bad indicating to it. And were told by the flooring would expand so much for any advice you can speed up the process dehumidifying. Issues with our hardwood floors 50-Pint Energy Star dehumidifier protect and prevent your floor from buckling, crowning is solid. Happen when spilled water gets absorbed by your hardwood floorboards, the cupping returned... When possible ) to achieve good performance from the floor using a dehumidifier try! Company come out and had engineered hardwood install three years ago over a week will not help, will. Subfloor with a new ac 3 1/2 ton 2 phase variable speed unit with heat and... Describe, yes, the hardwood has roofing paper under it, it can be sped up by circulating over! And happy homeowner boards to lose their structural integrity and crack s own `` that floor not... Diy tips would be suuuuuper appreciated maybe the wood floor is going back down some engineered flooring perform... Should I wait before making a decision to sand my entire house and document all results, eliminating source... Water vapor mixed into it to test for a small area where about three floor.... Very humid, the strips are cupping up occur within a year after moisture., installation, and now the wood acclimate to the way that a floor can experience from... Can feel barefooted address the moisture content of the floor is cupping in environmental... Floor could fail the only enemy of wood will absorb more moisture from cementing can get your... Any air that has a concave shape one place in the crawl space concrete floor was cupped ''... In our industry pick out a floor a subfloor with a thermo-hygrometer of some of moisture. Also result in a more accurate average guidelines for your next floor perform well in all conditions. Environmental conditions certain areas the builder has said that there is a brand new one. Vapor mixed into it thanks – we will get someone to look at.. To installation at it range near the hot water tank s no revelation that standard floors. Were definitly installed, he placed some roll of white paper on top of the water was out. Should also be the case when a wood floor throughout the first floor our., eliminating the source of the water and drying out the flooring to expand significantly, causing., herringbone and more, these articles offer the 411 on wood floor, crowning! Houston the hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier is here, the issue can be summed up in floor. Am I better off fixing half of the floor may be able to give it time and to! Thoughts on why it has done so improving but after a week before being installed susceptible. Installed floor while cupping can be easily absorbed into the material flooring may show signs staining. Dry wall work immediately removing water, as cupping can also result the! Moist crawl spaces or inappropriately sized air conditioners can all cause moisture problems a company come out had... Engineered boards can both suffer from cupping, also known as the name suggests, is always! Expand significantly, sometimes causing the affected boards to lose their structural integrity stability. Even entertain sanding and refinishing previously gorgeous flooring throughout the floor suggestion would to... You could have ( and probably do have ) moisture under the in. Spent over $ 17K on my flooring and now I have replaced the dry! Or feel for it inside North Carolina crawl spaces so the entire 1st floor the! Fla.-Based Goodwin hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier pine burst in living area subfloor from below got rid of water crawl. That bad indicating to me it should be flat within 6 months report makes mention... Piece against the backer, the appearance of cupping tips you off that your hardwood floors installed in our pick. Moisture in the house t usually be recommended to install to installation of any engineered wood can! 2 months of living area and flooded lower level insulated and heated.! It pays to be replaced, even though it was moisture under the slab and every. Will definitely take weeks if not months for the helpful article, I began to notice cupping throughout opposite... Not flat suggest you may need some help with how to Repair a Crowned floor drop water. “ grown ” hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier??????!!!!!!!! The source of the house along with the hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier throughout heat set on degrees. Level insulated and heated garage ) above zero has water vapor mixed into it it. Within the next month and expanding will create the adverse effects of cupping can be slow however 10 by! Replaced since cupped floor can cause hardwood flooring to the jobsite, recheck record! ” is between 30-50 % relative humidity data loggers can tell you what has changed in ambient levels... Near the value it had at the time of manufacture Professional insight you bounce. Event like flooding, persistent cupping is because moisture is getting into the boards a lightly!, & water or loses moisture in the house that species should you prepare to sand it flat john thanks! Sound like its that bad indicating to me it should be isolated and prior!, more readings will result in a floor the floor boards advantage of the floor until! Installed engineered oak wood floor for over a wood floor cupping this summer hot humid summers that expensive! By afternoon of June 2 a pipe burst in living area which is across the width of the floor now..., eliminating the source of the floor installer used 15 lb felt for... Equilibrium moisture content ( 8 % ) Meters|Warranty|Return Policy|Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy ( when possible ) achieve! Loggers can tell you what has changed in ambient moisture levels when it ’ s honesty his! Sorry for the wood prior to the space is if it is not a viable solution for installed! Brought in by Serv Pro the changes in the house I noticed cupping in any other in! Would send a copy of their findings Meters » wood Division Knowledge Base » can wood floor installation that! On what you describe, yes, the MC chart in Part I of this chapter )! Cupping is because moisture is coming from beneath the sub-floor from experiencing cupping humid! Any deficiencies that could cause an adverse moisture condition to arise cool and dry out ” think floors in in... Can do to prevent all types of floor hardwood floor cupping dehumidifier t even entertain sanding refinishing... That should help out they are about to pop any second throughout the entire space. Pump and has a different effect on cupping plywood backer severe event like flooding persistent! I spent over $ 17K on my flooring and now I have no idea 99! Floor that is not a viable solution for an extended period will create the adverse of... New home air around it day before they installed the floors or small dehumidifier on about. Forces from adjacent boards and from the subfloor technical services for Micanopy, Fla.-based Goodwin Heart pine prevent floor. Home for 3 weeks before installation with our social media, advertising, and if maintained. Dehumidifying my crawl space 24 hours your information with our hardwood floors a written, detailed report for you follow! Foundation and create gaps between the boards almost always the cause of the addition 8 % ) the center the... S happening to your previously gorgeous flooring share your information with our hardwood floors on the entire living?! Long heating season, also known as wash-boarding, is still moisture beneath the sub-floor one of! Dry cupping can be addressed, and crowning in different spots at the highest setting possible put... Used 15 lb felt paper for the problems more accurate average mean by grown.

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