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Wednesday, December 9th, 2020
– If you are a “snowbird” and leave your home unoccupied for weeks at a time, make sure to always keep temperature and relative humidity at recommended level. Hello. We recommend submitting questions involving such matters to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show. The majority of the problems plaguing a wooden floor are related to moisture. It happens when the floor expands beyond expansion gaps and literally pulls away from the subfloor, as high as several inches. Is this covered by homeowners insurance. The COLDER the temperature difference from the interior to the exterior -moisture drive becomes exponentially stronger from outside to the interior! Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. That is why all homeowners should own a hygrometer to measure the temperature and relative humidity (RH), and be sure to respect the guidelines above. Your hardwood floor is made of… wood. From Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, one can experience high humidity in every state. To discover how Lauzon is going the extra mile for your health, by purifying indoor air with our Pure Genius hardwood floors, click here. All floor is throughout the unit is buckled. – Relative humidity levels of 30-80% – Expert engineered Lauzon hardwood floors Having gaps between your wood planks is normal, and a homeowner should be prepared for it to occur. I have had 3 Heart Surgeries, 2 Brain Surgeries in the past 6 months. First, thank you for your military service and for sharing your story with us. – Buckling: Relative humidity settings that are too low may cause respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and asthma. Now scheduled for third round of flooring. Once the solution dries it still looks the same?! Hi, This “wood movement” occurs naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient RH levels change in the home. During the summer, all wood floors tend to expand because wood reacts to moisture. High Humidity. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists indoor air quality among its top environmental health threats. Hi Priscilla! https://lauzonflooring.com/blog/6-ways-humidity-affect-hardwood-floor/, FAQ – Living with your Hardwood Floor: Poor installation is the most common reason that wood flooring peaks. Karla. Photo 2: Beachwood, White Oak, Hamptons Series, Hello and welcome to Art From Nature. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Poor installation of the hardwood floor may be the reason for the wood buckling. Preventing moisture problems: Run a kitchen stove vent fan (vented to the outside) when cooking. The boards are moved up several centimeters or inches on one or several places. Danny, as you know I am an insulation contractor (& trained as a HERS Energy Rater), in your hometown of Mobile, Al one of the wettest humid cities in the country! We hired a Company called Buiding Science to do load calls etc…. It’s like walking on a trampoline. Because high relative humidity (RH) conditions can cause condensation on surfaces, the RH conditions of the room should be checked with a thermo-hygrometer. Our home is 64 years old , concrete block , off Grade. – Splits & Checks The City Inspector told us to tear out the insulation under the house…. In some instances, the use of fans and/or dehumidifiers might be necessary to bring everything back to normal. If problems with high humidity in the crawlspace or basement under your house persist, consider closing up all vents and installing a dehumidifier under the house or conditioning the space under the house. I am a young and curious woman passionate about home décor, healthy living, nature and all things wood – hardwood floors most definitely included! I have a Brain Aneurysm, I had One knee replaced & can’t get my other knee replaced till my Heart Heals ( 1 year ) the floor is a trip Hazard & I can’t afford to Trip ! Article on our blog that explains how can humidity affect your floor: In either case, you should monitor the humidity level inside and under your home using a humidity gauge (hygrometer) to make sure both areas are under 60% relative humidity. – Cracking: Whether your hardwood floor is made of solid or engineered wood, it is bound to react to moisture so ensure you take the precautionary measures to prevent cupping. – Gapping please visit. There is no evidence of water coming in from outside, no plumbing leaks. We’re sure Danny can offer individual advice for this matter. The humidity in my home is 40 to 42 percent. Thanks. he did that to his house … with or without insulation , Same Problem? My mother tells me Danny’s on. We have floating wood floor over concrete install about 7 years ago and we getting some bouncing spots never washed with water. I have completely encapsulated my crawl space this last fall and have a dehumidifier in my crawl space. Thank you. I am Priscilla, Lauzon Flooring Brand Manager. More than temperature only, keeping humidity in your home at the recommended level is essential for keeping your hardwood floor looking great. Considering this during the installation process is … What do y’all think?!? Buckling. Danny. Thank you for your comment! By way of explanation, the floor has gained moisture either by the ambient conditions within the home's structure or it has flooded with water. Do you recommend keeping the AC off until we see the floor regain its moisture and then once gaps close ensure the humidity is properly controlled? Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a70cc7ac42210ab004cdd98b4fc1a29f" );document.getElementById("eb5f45d876").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); https://lauzonflooring.com/locate-retailers/, https://lauzonflooring.com/blog/6-ways-humidity-affect-hardwood-floor/, https://lauzonflooring.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/lauzon-FAQ-SECTION-2-living-with-your-lauzon-hardwwod-floor-032019.pdf, https://www.reallycheapfloors.com/blog/solid-vs-engineered-hardwood/. – During summer: It can move up to 50-55%. I have used sticky carpet tape to tape down stairs carpet on my vinyl/wood stairs. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for getting hardwood floors installed in a way that won’t get damaged. These gaps will most likely close when the humidity rises and the wood expands again. What do I use to remove the old tape without damaging my stairs, Hi , We have a Problem that at least 6 people cannot Solve ! Yes, manufacturers have developed different types of hardwood floor constructions to “improve and control” the wood natural reaction to changes in humidity. No drainage issues with landscaping or lot. – Relative humidity levels of 35-55% – Lauzon solid hardwood floors. – Maintain proper humidity levels with an air conditioner, dehumidifier or by turning on your heating system periodically during the summer months. We are raising our 8 year old Grandchild, our Son is a Single Dad & bought for her to inherit ! Priscilla. We have severe cupping and we are on a co ncrete slab. More severe cases, however, indicate a serious moisture problem. 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. Let’s face it, even though hardwood floors have a long shelf life, it doesn’t save them from problems that occur due to climatic conditions, humidity, and excessive wear and tear. Is there a size plank 3-1/4 or 5-3/6, that would handle humidity challenges better? Can keeping the temperature-in the moist Louisiana summer with 95deg, 99% humidity- in your house we so cold (67deg) that the outside of the doors sweat outside, double insulated windows sweat outside, and could it make the un-insulated 70 years old wood floors sweat so bad some boards cup or warp and discolor? Wood floors contract and expand depending on the humidity in your home, the temperature, and the weather. Buckling occurs when wood flooring boards pulls up from the subfloor. But keeping humidity at the recommended level is still essential for keeping your hardwood floor looking great, as well as for a healthy home environment. I am really happy to say it’s an interesting post to read . What kind of wood floor solution do you recommend? This is why hardwood is not recommended for small, windowless bathrooms or kitchens. If the air is dry, wood fibers will release some of its moisture back into the air and it can shrink back … We have had a lot of rain & very high temperatures. I still have a cracking noise this winter. If the flooring cups down (the center of the width of each floor board on top is higher than the edges), the humidity inside your house is substantially higher than the humidity in the crawlspace or basement under it. Wood, including the planks that make up the wood flooring in a gymnasium, absorbs and expels moisture depending on the humidity levels and temperature of the surrounding air. Slab passed moisture reading required for gluing flooring. During warm and humid summers, your hardwood floor will absorb moisture from the air, swelling and expanding as a result. If wood floors are placed directly on concrete with no vapor barrier installed underneath, humidity will pass through the porous concrete. Recommendations on humidity level will vary depending on the Lauzon floor you have. Different type of engineered hard wood, same moisture resistant adhesive. Acacia wood flooring is usually hardy and not easily damaged by various environments. To put it into perspective, the humidity levels in Florida frequently hover in the high 90% range while the humidity in Las Vegas can go as low as 18%. When the wood is faced with extreme conditions, it can be stressed beyond its limitations. Humidity and wood floors. Due to its nature, wood will always react in accordance to its surrounding environment. nice and concise information about wooden flooring! Once humidity levels rise again, the hardwood floor will expand and most gaps will close up again. Hi, Floor replaced with same type flooring using special moisture resistant adhesive. Although buckling hardwood floorboards form a peak, don’t confuse them with actual peaking, which is another problem entirely. I am a Disabled Senior Veteran & was Just able to purchase ( what I thougt ) was our Dream Home ! Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly: https://todayshomeowner.com/radio/ask-questions/ (You can just copy and paste what you have included here; no need to type it all out again.) Still, it’s often the first place to look for the culprit, since both wood and laminate are sensitive to the relative humidity (RH) in your home. – Maintain a proper humidity level in your home by using a humidifier during the winter months. For buckling to occur the floor has to gain moisture, expand and meet a location(s) that prevents it from expanding; this may be a wall, column, doorway or any other vertical object that prevents the floor from expanding. If the flooring cups up (in a “U” shape on top), the humidity in the crawlspace or basement is much higher than that inside your house. Beyond improper humidity levels in the crawlspace and basement, there are more potential … Very fast services & This is very nice and very informative article. went from 6 inch to 8 inch & Better insulated . Your hardwood floor during the dry season. Will Lauzon hardwood floor re-expand (gaps close) if moisture is regained? Especially in small and windowless parts of your house, like the bathroom and kitchen. We are Devastated, this was Supposed to be our Last home & our Grandchild’s Forever Home …. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. – Cupping: Since I started working at Lauzon Flooring, I had the chance to meet so many great people; to work with an amazing team and to come across so many nice finds that I decided to share them with you through this blog. I’m guessing raise the thermostat to human levels–impossible –or insulate the floors very good. Changes in humidity levels are observed throughout the day, and it has an impact on hardwood floors. My wife is also Disabled ! We recently had a complete kitchen remodel and installed oak cross-cut hardwood floors. Air with a high moisture content (MC) or high relative humidity (RH) causes wood to gain moisture. However, it’s susceptible to buckling when exposed to certain conditions or if produced the wrong way. It is also important to note that there are also other causes possible for buckling or cupping, some of them can be installation related. If you have some time, you can also visit us in Wood Floor Planet . – If you go away on a long summer vacation, leave the A/C on. Once all is dry, insulation can be done with one … I have experienced a cracking noise in the winter on my wood floors. Below are the most common reasons for wood floor buckling: Humidity. The boards themselves may split, check or crack in the centre or at the ends, or both, along the grain, damaging the finish. When extensive moisture or humidity causes the wood to expand significantly, adjoining boards start pressing against each other. The appartment is six years old. Hi, There is no easy answer we could write here to this question. You have entered an incorrect email address! I love it very much as well. It will then take some time for the wood flooring to get back to its normal internal humidity balance and shape. With the hot, humid weather that South Carolina and particularly Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand experiences every summer, the problems are compounded. Do you have any idea what else I can do to stop this phenomenon? If water droplets continually form on the surface of a wood floor without an apparent source, it could be an indication of excess moisture in the board. Best of luck finding your dream engineered hardwood flooring! Buckling is one of the most extreme reactions to moisture that can occur with hardwood flooring. Concrete slab, moister barrier, 2×12 flooring joist, 3/4″ subfloor, underlayment and 3/4″ hardwood floor. Very valuable info. Seal the walls and floor of your basement with a waterproof sealer, or cover the ground in the crawlspace with thick (6-mil or more) plastic sheeting. You give lot of great information and points of views. The buckling of wooden floors is also usual in high humid environments. The paper will curl up away from the water. “Buckling is when the hardwood floor lifts or separates from the sub floor. Our hardwood floor in the kitchen has recently cupped. So if it is installed at 10 percent and then absorbs moisture so that it increases up to 13 percent, the wood will swell and the planks will widen. I would suggest you visit one of our retailer to get this type of expertise, they will be more than happy to help you with this. I can feel the difference in the level of the floor at these points. It didn’t Work …. Pulling off one of the crawl space vents and peering under the dining room, I can see that the OSB has pulled away from the joists about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to get a hardwood floor installed in the coming weeks. If you are looking for maximum performance during humidity changes, take a look at our Expert ¾ construction, which was developed to meet contractors’ needs. You can find one near you here: https://lauzonflooring.com/locate-retailers/ Thank you. If it is installed at 10 percent, the width of the wood planks will be narrower than they will be at 13 percent. . Humidity is another issue that impacts on hardwood floor. There are three key components to healthy air: it must be fresh, clean, and have the proper humidity level. It’s possible that a nonpermeable housewrap was used behind your new siding, which is increasing the humidity level in your home; or that the siding covered up existing foundation vents under your home. This is the basic reason why wood floors cup and buckle. All rights reserved. It is not hard to see the effect in wood flooring, either. When humidity drops too low, the wood shrinks. Once the humidity drops, the floor may shrink back, but it is possible that you may see spaces between the wood boards. © 2020 Today’s Homeowner Media. It is so pretty. This expansion can create pressure between the boards, which can cause the boards to warp, cup or crack. Have new construction house on slab with engineered hard wood clued down. Once the humidity levels off and temperatures cool, moisture in the wood is absorbed into the atmosphere. Love your show! Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. And wood is a natural material that reacts to changes in its environment even after it has been transformed into flooring. While humidity level rises in summer, it is very low in the winter. By May I was having a problem with the floor, wavy in some areas and actually buckling in one room. https://lauzonflooring.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/lauzon-FAQ-SECTION-2-living-with-your-lauzon-hardwwod-floor-032019.pdf. Once the humidity drops, the floor may shrink back, but it is possible that you may see spaces between the wood boards. During the winter, when homes are heated and the air is dry, wood flooring loses some of its moisture and contracts or shrinks as a result. The moisture of the concrete is around 7.1. Some cupping is normal especially with wider boards and not considered a wood flooring problem. Any advice is appreciated. There were a number of innovative new bathroom fixtures on display at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) including streamlined faucets from Kohler and hand blown glass faucets from Danze. Consider installing a dehumidifier if the above suggestions are not enough to lower the humidity level under 60%. Being always shaded and usually below grade, a crawlspace is naturally cooler than the outside air. If the humidity level is much higher or lower inside your house compared to under it, it can lead to the boards cupping. Chance of success? No less than 30% in winter, not more than 55% in summer. It only happens in the summer. 3 summers in a row since we’re in and Zero winters. It doesn’t go up and down it is like that all the time, winter or summer. This is why at Lauzon, we have developed three different types of hardwood flooring constructions allowing you to enjoy the beauty of hardwood floors no matter where you live. Q: I recently moved into a newly built log home in Northeast Ohio. Now I want to replace the sticky tape. We have been selling our NextStep engineered floors in your sunny state of Florida for decades and we can confirm that both the 3 ¼ and 5 3/16 width products will behave beautifully. In 99.9% of the cases the problems of cupping and buckling of hardwood flooring are caused by excessive humidity. Fluctuation in humidity levels can affect hardwood floors. But if the wood shrinks too much, it won’t be able to fully expand again, causing permanent damage. Thank you for sharing this blog. We wrote a blog to offer you our best tips for your hardwood floor cleaning routine. Thanks, what an informative post! Usually problems with buckling or cupping in a wood floor are caused by excessive humidity inside or under your house. It has been two full winters since the floors were installed. Therefore the wood weakens, making your hardwood floor more brittle and increasing the likelihood of damage or splintering. Both problems are usually because of water damage. – Crowning: The wood contracts as it … My apartment unit is built on top of concrete slab with garage under. 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. Watch this video to find out more. We hope you keep posting quality articles. This can occur when the surface of the floor encounters moisture. It’s Still happening ! We hired 2 different HVAC companies the First One was “ supposed “ Replace the duct work in The attic. Why Wood Floors Buckle: Buckling occurs when the flooring separates or lifts from the sub-floor. Relative humidity that is too high may have health effects due to mold growth, dust mite infestations, as well as certain bacteria and viruses. This is a unique situation that requires careful consideration to properly answer. I live in Florida and am considering your Reserva Pure Genius Nextstep Engineered White Oak. The middle of the board is higher than the board’s edges. Can the hardwood floor buckle and cup because the ac is set at a cooler temp, around 69-72? where we previously had a tile floor. This has happened to a rental unit that I have. Hardwood floors can also buckle in excessively humid environments. – Choose a good quality engineered hardwood floor that will fit with your needs. Run a properly sized air conditioner during hot, humid weather. Extreme moisture can cause cupping (when the edges raise higher than the middle of the wood planks) or even buckling. One of the reasons for this is that the bottom layers are made of cross-sided layers that move on opposite sides. Always keep in mind that keeping the humidity and temperature level at the recommended level is not only essential for keeping your hardwood floor looking great, but also to provide you with a healthy home environment! Hardwood floors should have indoor humidity levels of between 35% to 45%. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the crawlspace under your house (1 square-foot of vent space per 150 square feet of crawlspace). Did you ever think about how these living conditions and changing humidity levels inside your home can affect your beautiful new hardwood floor? The idea RH level is zero, so when the moisture content causes it … Your hardwood floor during the Humid Season. Be sure the ground slopes away from your house, and rainwater is diverted away from the foundation. This winter we noticed gaps. First round of flooring cupped. learnt many new things today. the second company came in to replace Ductwork…. Here's a situation I often hear from many that run into probelms with warped or buckled floors. In cases where the floor is not adequately dried during manufacture, it will do so at your home, usually with disastrous results. Proper humidity level for your hardwood floor. It most often occurs when a floor has been sanded too soon after cupping. BUCKLING: Buckling is one of the most extreme reactions to moisture that can occur with a ... an exotic hardwood floor. These changes can also present a less-than-desirable change in the appearance of your wood flooring. It is important to be aware that none of the damage caused by humidity variations is covered by any hardwood floor warranty. In extreme cases, this increased pressure can cause the affected boards to lose their structural integrity and crack. Floors buckle because they have run out of room to expand across the face of each board. If so, what can be done to prevent that? This sometimes happens when there’s been a flood that has seeped into the floor. Four years ago, we removed the carpeting in our family room and had it replaced with oak cross-cut hardwood flooring. Solid wood flooring moves constantly as the humidity level changes – expanding when the humidity is high and contracting when the humidity is low. Your email address will not be published. It’s possible that a nonpermeable housewrap was used behind your new siding, which is increasing the humidity level in your home; or that the siding covered up existing foundation vents under your home. There is small amount of buckling in a few places where the noise is most noticeable. I am looking for options & estimates to address the cold floor caused by a crawl space. Every Summer when we use the AC the wood floor humps up to the point , it is a Trip hazard ! Fiberglass batts used as insulation on a floor over a vented crawlspace traps moisture that is drawn in by this temperature difference! Make sure the clothes dryer vent is unobstructed and vents outside your house. Thank You , Hobart L. Williams. Follow along with me as this blog evolves into what I hope will be an interesting and inspiring journey. In the summer the noise goes away. Humidity in Florida is a fact of life, though I plan on doing everything recommended including getting a hygrometer. So if the air is humid, the wood will absorb more moisture from the air and it will swell. Even if the right term to use is gaps, these small gaps between the wood planks can sometimes be called cracks or spaces between wood planks by consumers. Back to Wood Floor Fitting Moisture And Humidity - Important Factors Before Floor Fitting . 2. This is a reaction due to a humidity level disproportion in the wood plank. Your hardwood floor is made of… wood! That’s why if you live in an area that has humid weather, a wood floor is usually not recommended. The ideal relative humidity for your health and comfort is about 40-50%. Crowning is the opposite of cupping. The excess moisture at the back of the board works its way to the surface and as it moves through the board the floor develops higher edges giving it a cupped appearance. Reasons for hardwood buckling during summer . While humidity may be low in winters, they level rises up n summer month that may end up accumulating to a level then makes the wood floor to swell up, creating pressure between the planks and finally raising up or buckling. We have Spent every dime & had several opinions… NO ONE can Give us an ANSWER ? In case the floor was not … Our floor is about 2 winters old and the first winter we were on vacation (lowered house temperature-we live in Canada) and returned in early July and we saw no gaps. There can be numerous causes to cupping, including an excessive level of relative humidity, relative humidity migrating from a basement or crawl space, water infiltration, etc. We consult on many houses that have moisture problems that result in buckled floors! Controlling the humidity through fans and ventilation may alleviate the problem, but if the buckling causes the boards to … Second floor also failing with cupping over 65% of floor. Both cupping and crowning are natural reactions to moisture and should not be of concern if they occur only to a minor extent. We’re sorry to hear about this situation, and how devastated it makes you and your wife feel. The humidity there has remained at 50 percent. The preferred moisture content is 12 percent moisture or less, measured with a quality wood moisture meter. We have always had carpet and maybe we never saw it before now that we don’t have carpet. Since the Duct Work was replaced with 8 inch , the problem became a little worse ?? Top os insulation between joists is wet also. It’s in front of the AC closet ( was ) . This damage is permanent, because your hardwood floor finish is cracked—your wood is no longer protected. – Make sure you leave free expansion space around the perimeter of your floor when installed. The flooring should read about 7-9% moisture. We are Heartbroken. Materials like wood will balance (equilibrate) its MC with its surroundings, similar to the principle of osmosis. Your wooden floor can absorb moisture from the air, and this will cause the wood to expand and to buckle. Can you tell me some of the ways that the floors may cup due to the installers/installation? In our den and our master bedroom there is one spot in both rooms where the hardwood floor has raised a little bit like a bump. Relative Humidity (RH) levels inside your home should be kept between 35% and 65%, overdry (below 35% RH) conditions should be avoided and using a “moisture barrier” adhesive is recommended should you be installing on a concrete subfloor. 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Because they have run out of room to expand significantly, adjoining boards start pressing against each other bouncing never... We have a dehumidifier if the humidity rises and the wood expands and contracts wood weakens making..., that would handle humidity challenges Better, this increased pressure can cause wood! Naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient RH levels change in the past 6.! Old Grandchild, our Son is a natural material that reacts to changes in humidity off. Have completely encapsulated my crawl space at these points is easy to demonstrate by putting a small strip paper! Your wife feel not more than 55 % in summer, it appears at First glance it.
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