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flooring is buckling - help, please!


jackorange's Avatar
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10-19-08, 08:50 AM   #1  
flooring is buckling - help, please!

The TIG oak plank flooring in my entry hall from the garage has been alternately shrinking and swelling since we bought this 10 yo tract home 2 years ago..I work out of town for 3 weeks at a time, and when i got home yesterday, I noticed the planks were buckled pretty badly. This morning, they buckled up completely and popped out, pulling adjacent shoe molding with it.

The subflooring - or whatever the layer immediately beneath the oak planks is - is a gray, fairly soft material, only slightly harder than sheetrock. Nothing between the flooring and this material, which feels slightly damp. This spot is adjacent to 1/2 bathrooms, on each side. But neither has an evident leak.

I should point out that there have apparently been some moisture problems prior to our ownership. The previous owners replaced the back door jamb and we need to do the same with the front door. One large picture window has a leak, as well. Cheap construction, no doubt. There also have been some apparent moisture problems with the crawl space, since there is visqueen covering the natural clayey surface underneath and electric fans and electric louvered vents along the crawl space. There is no vent under the buckled flooring as it opens to the garage.

And of course, I only recently returned from layoff and am not certain another one is not coming, so I need to do all work I can, myself.

What do you think?

 
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chandler's Avatar
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10-19-08, 11:02 AM   #2  
Since the floor is buckling and coming loose, I would suggest carefully removing it all and doing some exploratory surgery on the subflooring to see exactly what it is. You may have particle board and it has absorbed moisture either from beneath the house or from a direct leak. It may be that if you replace the subflooring in that area you can replace the flooring and not have the problem recur.

 
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10-19-08, 12:12 PM   #3  
follow-up

Obviously, I've made the presumption that water has created the problem. But my wife keeps the house like a meat locker - about 65 degrees in hot weather; warmer in cold weather. Is it possible that temperature differential is the problem, or is it most likely (as I've presumed) that it's a water problem?

 
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10-19-08, 05:59 PM   #4  
Keeping the room extremely cool can cause the wood to shrink, but I really think the problem is heavy moisture. Why does she keep it warmer in cold wx and so cold in the summer? We keep our house at about 65 in the winter and it is really comfortable. Get a blanket.

 
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