Read on and let’s get started. 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. The underneath of the wood that had risen was wet with moisture/condensation. TIA! Thanks for the comments. Everyone who owns a wood floor should use a moisture meter on a regular basis to identify moisture changes that can lead to cupping. Wood flooring is constantly exposed to both long term (seasonal) and short-term (daily) fluctuations in relative humidity and temperature of the surrounding air. I have had a leak in the bathroom toliet, valve went drips spread into carpet and under floor boards. Moisture can come from leaking water or water vapor from the surrounding air. The humidity in the house ranges from 45-60. We are sick over it as it is very noticeable. Your email address will not be published. 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. In the end, dry, warm, airflow across the surface of the affected area is usually your best bet. Special equipment that creates low humidity, air movement and heat can help. Crowning is the reverse of cupping. Crowning is the inverse of cupping, with the center of a board lifting higher than its edges. Hello, we recently bought a brand new home and tore out the ugly carpet and installed beautiful new hardwood floors. They are over 100 years old. Is it over concrete or a wood-based subfloor? That’s what he loved about the solid wood. We also insulated the underneath of our house. These changes are usually gradual, and short-term fluctuations tend to only influence the surface of the wood flooring. 7. 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. The floors are 23 years old. Crowning occurs when the moisture content at the face of the board is greater than the moisture content of the bottom surface. It depends on the extent of the damage. Also, can you seal in moisture that wil cause cupping later? This imbalance causes each plank to develop a concave shape with pronounced raised edges. This is usually slight, but in extreme cases, the wood can peel several inches away from the floor. The installer showed a floor humidity level of 8%. This “wood movement” occurs naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient RH levels change in the home. There is a hard pan and the rain will wick under the house, I assume. We may share your information with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. Our builders came to have a look and suggested that the glue had reacted with something as there were brown spots on the concrete. Separations or cracks in between the board. I have a newly installed oak variable plank wood floor installed throughout my home on the first floor. Some moisture reading were elevated. It might be better to call professionals and see if we need any floor or foundation repair services. 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. During our first heating season, we have seen some gaps in the wood as you described. For example, when homes are heated during the winter, humidity levels drop, boards shrink and spaces appear between them. Diagnosing the issues means visually inspecting the boards and looking for whether the center of the board is higher than the sides (crowning) or the sides of each board are higher than the center (cupping). Karen. Thank you for your time. During the repair of the c… 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. Unfortunately, it’s also possible to cause crowning in an attempt to fix cupping. The insulation was slightly wet near the front of the window. How long should we wait to refinish the floors, if necessary? Perhaps humidity is a big factor in my house? https://www.thespruce.com/steam-cleaning-hardwood-floors-1314829 Good luck. The owner says that it doesn’t matter because they were kept in a temperature-controlled warehouse. I told the installer and he felt it was possible moisture in the wood. We had the contractor come back and he nailed them down in several places. Since then we have noticed cupping of the original wood flooring. They are 6-8 in the other areas of the house not by that window. The floor was laid at the end of last August directly onto brand new screed that had been done in the middle of June. The answer is maybe, but I would guess it will never be complete as it was originally. In this situation, the wood floor pulls up several inches from the subfloor. Floor spongy at other locations. As the flooring dries, the movement occurs away from the pit… Where cupping often results from moisture beneath the boards, crowning usually happens when water is left sitting on top of the boards. We live in North Florida – very hot and humid. We are considering hardwood (ash) flooring for a mountain home where there is very low humidity, especially in the winter. This may sound redundant but the crowning you are experiencing is from moisture. So we have large openings between boards forming and some cupping. 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. Additionally, a wide range of conditions can be experienced between individual job sites in the same locale, such as an ocean-front or lakeside home versus one that’s a few miles inland. There is cupping that has occurred in the middle of my floor where there is no Place mats under areas that are susceptible to water spills such as underneath a pet bowl or next to the sink. If the floor is sanded while the boards are still cupped, the sanding process will sand off only the raised edges of the boards. Assuming he has tested the concrete and the wood he would determine if the concrete and wood can live in the conditions given. Cupped or Crowned, the effect is that of a washboard, only in opposite directions. Keep an eye on it and see what happens. The builders have said that 2 layers of damp proof membrane were put down when the extension was being done as they knew we were having underfloor heating and a wooden floor. We removed the dishwasher and the next day our hickory floors started to cup. This results in a slight bow, or raised portion of the floor, where two pieces are joined together. Here are a few questions I hope you will share some experience or opinion about with me. I can’t answer the question of installation proficiency, but I can make a few general observations. But in several areas the gaps are much wider than a dime. Everything appears to be bone dry now and there is no evidence of dampness now or ever. Thanks for the questions. So far no luck. When any wood floor buckles, it’s because the wood has picked up moisture. This additional moisture causes the wood to swell, and yes, break your heart. Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. We had a pipe burst in the ceiling of the basement and that sprayed water up into the subfloor. We did turn off the whole house humidifier to see if that would help dry the floors faster, along with some fans. We can have damp and humid to very drying conditions in our homes with the changing seasons. When it comes to wood, almost every type of flooring endures some expansion and contraction as seasons and humidity levels change. 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. The floor has been down over 8 months and there is only cupping in this one small area (about 2 sq feet) out of 1900 sq ft. total. A crowned wood floor is another problem that is usually the result of a moisture issue. Water getting on it from the surface, or something else? Either the subfloor, the flooring itself, or the ambient environment. and Privacy Policy. Hi, Happy New Year! I live in Colorado, north of Denver. The kitchen area is in the center of the home and was a complete renovation. Kind regards. Copyright © 2020 Wagner Meters|Warranty|Return Policy|Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy. 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. Thanks for the question. The moisture level was measured and the wood was left to acclimate in the house well before install. At another location a new floor was installed over 2×10 sleepers. Good luck. Toward the fall we noticed some cupping in the dining area near our bay window. If I lay the hardwood flooring first will it be affected by the spray texture and painting done on the basement ceiling which is directly below the new floor? Box 91171 The original flooring is oak which we recently covered with covered with vinyl planks. Hello: I had my waxed red oak floors sanded, stained and refinished. 2 pieces have swelled to the point where the gap between has elevated the edges to almost 45 degrees. When wood is neither gaining nor losing moisture, equilibrium moisture content (EMC) has been reached.). Hi Jason, A couple of days ago I discovered sections of 3-4 boards of my stranded bamboo floor had cupped. So, expansion and contraction of hardwood flooring are normal. I have no experience with this company personally, but I have heard good things. We have baseboard heaters. My question is that both Air conditioning air handler is directly below this area and my gas furnace is located closely below the kitchen. Floor crowning occurs on hardwood floors when moisture penetrates into wood fibers. Trying to figure out the cause. 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. Your email address will not be published. Fortunately, even buckled wood floors can sometimes be repaired instead of totally replaced. The answer is maybe. Wood Floor Cupping leads to Crowning When Sanded . My solid wood floor is bulging and lifting in the middle of my room. 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. Thanks for the questions. I’m hoping you can provide advice. Wood floors are quite common in office or business settings, for their durability, appearance and easy care. Could the wood be getting wet from a vent bring moisture in? I would appreciate your thoughts on whether such a small spill could be the issue. We built a new home last year with 4” white oak. ... Low, or reducing humidity causes the wood to contract again. It might. Wood has an elastic property in response to a force applied to it. 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. Installing hardwood flooring is hard, thoughtful work that, if done properly, can yield lifetimes of warmth, elegance, and beauty in a home or commercial setting. However, those gaps will probably close naturally during the spring. Here is the link: https://www.woodfloors.org/certified-inspector.aspx Hope this is helpful. 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. is OK… I am wondering if somehow the floor guys spilled stain which seeped down through the cracks separating the parquets I’m assuming the only option at this point is replacing?? These spaces are to be expected and usually close up when moisture returns to the air. Salt Lake City, UT 84109 The spaces between the boards that were there during the winter will probably now disappear. Help!! If topical could be from a spill or possibly a leak above it. It may “relax”, over time, depending on what really caused the issue. 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. Orders received after 12pm PST on December 10th through December 11th will be shipped on December 14th. 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. Crowning is a type of curling in wood floors where the center of the flooring pieces bends higher than the edges. Is the something I can coat the boards with to solve? We touched on this above. 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. Thanks for the question. Yesterday we noticed a couple more areas have started to warp. My opinion is that ANY product installed appropriately and with realistic expectations will perform appropriately. Thank you. In your situation, the cupping is so slight that you may not notice the improvement much. "Rob, from beginning to end was on top of the job and was there for me when any details needed to be discussed. 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. When you turn off your heat in the spring and open the windows your hardwood flooring boards will begin to expand again. Thus, it is always undergoing at least slight changes in moisture content. I live in south Louisiana — our house is 70 years old elevated on cement blocks. More than 7 years old. 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. 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. 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. A little bit of knowledge and one good tool can help you. Outside of the kitchen is our dining room with hardwood flooring. This may have an impact on the hardwood installed above. My questions are: have you ever uncounted a problem like this? My dishwasher had a leak, which was discovered right away and the floor was dried. The installers told me to wait to see if they uncupped during the winter, which they did. What I would suggest is to visit: http://www.nwfa.org. Once you’ve identified and controlled the moisture problem, you might be able to reverse the cupping. I would highly recommend an NWFA Certified Inspector visit your home and get a full analysis is completed for you to move forward. Hello, Jason. If the floor is exposed to water for an extended period of time, moisture will saturate and cause crowning. Lastly, we have gotten a meter to measure the moisture in the wood. Like cupping, wood floor crowning happens because the boards are exposed to a moisture imbalance over an extended period of time. Crowning is most frequently the result of improper repairing of a cupped floor. However, it does cover some of the more common ways moisture changes can negatively affect wood flooring. Sometimes floors will flatten out as the excess moisture evaporates, but other cases require sanding. I had he re look at it and he tells me it had to be done by water damage. What Are Crowning Boards? If the floors are permanently damaged would it be an insurance issue? I live in southeastern PA, where it is dry in the winter and humid in the summer. Who Needs a Salt Lake City Flooring Defects Expert Witness? Crowning Edges. Being drier on the bottom than at the top causes the flooring bottoms to shrink, resulting in the crowning. However, some business owners may be understandably dismayed to see parts of the wood flooring doing something besides sitting flat. What should i do? Crowning Edges Cause: Crowning is the reverse of cupping, with the center of board elevating higher than its edges. He also lifted the underpayment in the window seat to expose the joists and insulation. Wood floor crowning is the opposite of cupping and happens when the center of the board is higher than the edges. Had it sanded stains and three coats of an oil base finish. This is just a few options available with our meters. Rely on the Expertise of a South Carolina Flooring Defects Expert Witness, Utah Resilient Flooring Inspectors and You, Causes of Buckling in Loose Lay Vinyl Floors, Reasons Why Vinyl Floors Discolor From Underneath. Keep in mind, wood can absorb and expel moisture, depending on the severity of the damage and length of time. We believe the water could get underneath from the gutter. Good luck. The ideal average moisture content for flooring installation can range from extremes of 4-13% depending on many variables, including geographic location and time of year. Thanks for the questions. Crowning. However, homeowners will find Wagner Meters’ quick scan capabilities useful for regular home maintenance. When there is an excessive amount of moisture and humidity in the air, and you’re not controlling the environment your wood flooring is in, the wood reacts to the elevated moisture by crowning. One thing we did notice is that the areas with the worm like stains are higher in moisture than the rest of the normal planks. 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. What Causes Wood Floors to Crown? I would recommend you look for a home inspector at https://www.homeinspector.org/ that is in your area that can help diagnose the issue. I knew a gentleman that lived in an area like you speak and he sounds much like you. Big demo project. 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. 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. Outside the window on the bottoms is a stone facade which was pulling away from the porch in the spot where the porch is sinking so my husband air I think out with fans and injected spray insulation with a wood trio and then sealed it with rubber cement caulk to get us through the winter. Knowledge is power in this type of situation. Whether the wood flooring is solid or engineered wood, it can be subject to crowning and cupping. Remember, minor cupping is a perfectly normal reaction to a change of humidity in the environment. I am sure my answer to your question won’t be exactly what you are looking for, but here it goes….it depends! I sympathize with your situation. A flooring inspector can assist concerned business owners or home owners about the next step in fixing these issues. 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. 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, Wood Floor Cupping & Other Common Problems: Spotting the Trouble, Download Free – The 4 Reasons Your Hardwood Flooring Failed – by Signing Up for our Newsletter. Unless it’s a hazard, the best course of short-term action is probably watch and wait. If you had access to that area under the house and could place a device like the Smart Logger, you could log the conditions to have a better idea of what was happening. 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. Thanks for the comment. If the gutters are thought to be the culprit find out why and remedy it. I live in north central Illinois not far from the Wisconsin state line. Yes, our moisture meters are designed for professional flooring installers and building inspectors. How long does it take for the floor to dry out? Buckling is the most extreme reaction of hardwood floor to moisture. I have no other signs of water and there is no water in the attic that could be coming down the walls. Sometimes it’s a matter of obtaining better environmental systems to regulate conditions more succinctly or obtaining better cross-ventilation in basements and crawlspaces. Now there is cupping everywhere (even at a location where new flooring was installed). This may happen again and we are puzzled. Who would I call to help us determine what is causing this? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. What happens when that moisture releases from the floor and it returns to its original state? The floors near the window are anywhere from a 9-12. Wood moisture meters have come a long way since we formed Wagner Meters in 1965. (EMC The moisture content of wood below the fiber saturation point is a function of both relative humidity and temperature in the surrounding air. 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. However, it’s possible that once you’ve determined the source of the moisture, the floor will dry out eventually and the cupping will disappear. What caused the flooring to get damp? It has been a humid summer and in spit of running a/c the floors are now buckling. Some would probably not even know they were integrated into the system. 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. These can all influence how an installed floorboard performs when it changes MC. Your email address will not be published. I would highly recommend Rob for any of your hardwood flooring needs." He said there is nothing we can do about it. Thanks for the question. It’s strange because some of the parquets are cupped while one next to the cupped one Now that its summer again, they’re badly cupped again. Crowning, like buckling and peaking, occurs when a floorboard is higher in the center than it is on the edges. Hire only an NWFA certified inspector. I think your best bet would be to have a certified flooring inspector come out and evaluate the situation first hand. 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 ? The following list of problems isn’t exhaustive. Thanks! 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. The exposed decking in the window seat measures 27 but the floor joists against the house measures only 8. Good luck. First, engineered flooring is touted as being more dimensionally stable, especially in varying ambient conditions. Shall we re-sand the cuped area or is it possible that they will then crown? In an attempt to dry out and reverse the cupping? In fact, you might even see spaces appear between boards during the winter. I believe one of the floor boards underneath is beginning to crown upwards. I had 3 1/4″ maple hardwood (Lauzon) installed on my second floor last May (2017). The contractor glued them down according to the specifications. Buckling is often due to flooding and happens after hardwood flooring has been submerged for some time. September 23, 2016 by Flooristics staff Leave a Comment. 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. I had a slow leak from under my kitchen sink and I have hardwood floors covered with linoleum. Old flooring was placed over plywood that was placed on concrete. Crowning is typically a problem that is a direct result of cupping. 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). This is because prior to any installation, the wood must reach its ‘equilibrium moisture content’ or EMC. 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. can this be reversed? A cupped floor needs ample time to dry. The floor was fixed after the that. With a cupped floor like this, they may not ever go back to their “original” state, but they will probably lessen in their degree of cupping. Here’s why…. 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