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 Post subject: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:03 am 
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The Brazilian cherry hardwood floor in my 2 1/2 year old first floor condo in Delaware just buckled to my surprise sometime between June 7 and June 22, 2009. The buckling possibly seems to follow along the direction of the water pipes but no water is apparent. It has been a very wet spring in this area of the country though I haven't noticed any water accumulating around the foundation. Am looking for suggestions on what to do. I believe I have a 3 year builder warranty that covers workmanship. Do you have suggestions on how best to write up a workmanship quality claim for the builder to look into. How long would one need to wait to see if the problem goes away? :(


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 7:42 pm
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Location: Antioch, CA. 94509
Buckling typically means the floor has warped to the point it is completely off the substrate. Yours maybe warped. It usually needs to be flooded to buckle. You will need it to be investigated to determine why it has cupped. Can you post photos of it? Your builder's warranty may or may not cover it, depending on the cause. Problems rarely go away on their own. Either post a photo or have a local hardwood flooring expert/contractor have a look to determine the cause.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:48 am 
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Location: Richmond Hill, Ontario
There are many possible causes. One thing immediately comes to my mind, given the time of year it occured, and the vague span of time.
Were you away on vacation at the time? Did you shut down the climate controls during your absence.
Here in Toronto, we get lots of problems from what we refer to as "snowbirds" who are people with a summer residence here and winter down in Florida. Unless forcibly educated to the fact that they must maintain "live-in" coonditions in their condos year round, all manner of issues happen, and not restricted to their flooring. Pianos going out of tune, mould growing where you least expect it, etc.

This is only one possible cause of your problem, send more details of the surrounding events, pictures of the problem, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:37 am 
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Terry Harmon wrote:
buckled to my surprise sometime between June 7 and June 22, 2009. :(




Hmmmm, sounds like someone went away on vacation, and turned the HVAC system way up so it didn't run enough to pull the building humidity out of the dwelling.

It is called the greenhouse effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:28 am 
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Ya, that's what I was thinking too, floorguy.

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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:14 pm 
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Hi Dennis,

Up in your area, Toronto, have you ever seen a floor badly warped due to someone closing up the house and going away for a few weeks? I've never seen that happen but here in the SF Bay area, our humidity never gets real high anyway, except during rainy times. If a energy efficient home/condo was well insulated and built, where would the sources of higher humidity come from? I'm just trying to be educated on this effect.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:39 pm 
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Thank you to all of you who took the time to reply. We have had an extra rainy spring along the Delaware shore and you are correct that I when I was away I did turn off the air conditioning. Seems strange that something like this hadn't happened before. I was told by the builder to be sure and keep the temperature at around 70 or so the first six months to let things settle in.

I will see if I can post some photos though I am not sure how will the problem will show up. Yes, it seems the floor has pulled away from the subfloor or concrete or whatever is under it. Stay tuned. Thank you. Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood Floor Buckled after 2 1/2 years
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:08 am 
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Hi Gary, up here we have more trouble with absentee condo owners in the winter time, when they shut their controls down to a minimum while residing in warmer climes. We use a lot of glue down engineered products and the heavy wear surface tries to shrink away from the baltic birch plywood base, which is extremely stable. This creates a "cupped" appearance more like you would expect from too much moisture rather than too little.
First time I encountered it, I was baffled until an inspection done by myself and the manufacturers rep determined the problem. This was an engineered (solid sawn) Hickory that looked like it had blown apart. It was the interior designer who alerted us to the problem, the client had not even seen the floor at this time (Florida doncha know).
We put in two big portable humidifiers, and re-filled them twwice a day for a couple of weeks.
Would you believe the floor flattened right out and we ended up replacing about 6-7 pieces that had delammed due to too much stress.
When the client was advised of the issue, she had a permanent steam generator installed in the laundry room of the condo and piped throughout the suite and we havent heard from her since.
Dodged a bullet that time, lol.

In the summer time, we have serious issues with new contruction not being at live in conditions at the time of hardwood install. An impossible task for us, since we work for over 10 different builders, all building 100's of houses annually. One thing that we started to do this year, was to upgrade to V-Lok on all main floors which seems to have stopped most of the moisture penetration from basements.
We still have to service almost every house to some degree however. But now its mostly trade damage.

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