Buckling after ~18 mos


Old 09-20-02, 08:51 PM
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Unhappy Buckling after ~18 mos

I have a buckle in my floor that seems to be growing.

I installed Pergo Classic in Feb 2001, gluing the tongue and groove. The surface covers three areas: kitchen, hall, and laundary room. All are over a crawl space. The grain was aligned with the hall which made it 45 degrees off in the kitchen.

All was fine, until about 2 weeks ago. I noticed around the corner of a counter that stuck out, the floor had developed a creek to it. It was a very isolated spot, but a definite small movement.

Confession ... when I installed it I was worried that in the kitchen water may spill and get under the floor via the edge. I convinced myself that being in a conditioned room, the floor would not expand/contract that much. I then proceeded to put down GE silicone caulk along the 1/4 buffer. Around the entire area. Please forgive me, I am killing myself over it now.

I thought that the creek, which came from a small buckle, was caused by not having the space for expansion. So I then pulled up the shoe moulding near that area abutting the counter and removed the caulk. When I did the floor did not move at all that I could tell. The buckle area did not disappear. I then removed the caulk opposite the counter. Since then the buckle has grown to about 3x the original size.

I am thinking of pulling all of the caulk up but am nervous that the other 80% of the floor which is still fine will succumb to this phenomena.

Please, any help is welcome. Something I was proud of before is just causing stress now. Thanks.
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Old 09-20-02, 09:14 PM
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Did you cover the ground under the crawl space with polyethylene? Was the flooring acclimated in the room of the install prior to installation? I don't really believe that the silicone is your problem!! The 1/4" may not be enough expansion space but that will be determined when the size of the floor is known and the length of the longest "run" is known.
Old 09-20-02, 09:34 PM
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The house is 10 years old. It does have polyehylene on a sand covered ground. I was just under the house about 3 weeks ago and did not see any abnormalities.

I attached a layout of the kitchen. The blue is the perimeter, the red the direction of the planks and the green the problem area.

The longest run is perpendicular to the grain from the 10 O'clock to the 4 O'clock position. That is about 25 feet.

With the grain in the problem area stretches about 12'

As far as aclimation, I layed the floor in Feb. I live in Virgina. I also let the planks lay in pkg in the house for ~3 days. That was > 18 months ago.

Thanks for the help.
Old 09-21-02, 06:46 AM
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I can't find your drawing with the color code. I would suggest filing a claim with your supplier and allowing an inspecter to examine the installation. The parimeter gap has to be on all sides and the "push" that would cause a bubble could come from across the room, not necessarily from close to the problem. The whole floor assembly expands and contracts at uniform rate and can be subject to seasonal movement. I still don't think it's the silicone if it's 100% pure silicone caulk.
Old 09-21-02, 08:16 PM
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I am new and not sure how to put on the attachments. I have read the FAQ and thought I did it right the first time. Here I go again. It is only a 5k .gif from MS paint.

The FAQ says to use the link at the bottom of the post window. But mine says " Attach File: maximum size" 2 bytes.

If this is not the right way to do it, sorry and could you please help me out on the proper method. Thanks.
Old 09-24-02, 11:13 AM
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I think they blocked attachments due to some porn problems.

For solid wood, the required expansion gap is about 1/16" per foot across the grain. Obviously Pergo is much less. Do they tell you the expansion gap required per foot or do they just specify a minimum expansion gap regardless of length?

Don't beat yourself up over the silicone I would have done exactly the same thing.
Old 09-25-02, 08:28 AM
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There are several sites out there that allow picture posting, where all the pros hangout, and discuss problems amongst themselves, that are just like this.
Here is a link to the inspectors forum, at FlooringInstaller.com


Copy and paste that to your browser, they no longer let HTML, because of a security glitch. So hyperlinking is no longer available. Bummer!
Old 09-25-02, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for the comfort on the silicone.

The recommended gap on all edges is 1/4 inch. Since the buckle is on the longest run, I am going to the molding on the far side, about 20-25' away, perpendicular to the grain. I already pulled the silicone on the close side ~5 '. The buckle seems to have stop growing.

Still not sure why it is happening. ie there are no signs of water damage and no known spills.

Thanks for the web address. Will be hitting there next. I appreciate everyone's time, and will continue to monitor this and update it if the situation changes.

Old 09-25-02, 08:22 PM
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You stated there is a moisture barrier covering the ground. Are there any voids or holes in it AT ALL?

Did you also put down a moisture barrier on top of the subfloor, before the underlayment? Or use the 2 in 1 underlayment?
Old 09-25-02, 09:12 PM
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Prior to the Pergo, there was linoleum. When I went to level the floor with the other surfaces from the other areas, I found that the kitchen actually had
a. Linoleum
b. Luann (sp?)
c. Linoleum
d. Luann

The builder's contractor had put the first layer in wrong where the staples wore through the linoleum. Instead of pulling it up, they just started the second one right on top of that one.

Again it is over a crawl space, but there were not any holes in the floor.
Old 09-30-02, 12:19 PM
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I really hate to say this.....but we can all give you tons of advice but the bottom line is twofold.

One, Call the manufacturer to have an inspector look at the floor.

Two, get a pro out there to look at the floor.

I am usually not this blunt but two things are happening here. We can not see your floor first hand. The other is time. The floor seems to get worse day by day. Do not delay trying to have us solve the problem when an expert can give first hand information and possibly stop the problem before it continues to grow.

One last thing. I have removed six of seven Pergo floors for clients for buckling. The were installed within the same time frame and i was called to fix other installers problems. Six of Seven needed full replacement.

Again, I apologize for being so blunt. I just want to see you get the problem fixed ASAP before it needs full replacement.

Best of luck.

PS. If you are on the west coast i can recommend some friends who will looksy for free. E-mail me direct if need be.
Old 10-01-02, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for the advice. Since I am in the military and heading out for a few months ... I really would like to get this done before I go. I will look into contacting Pergo. Thanks again for all of the help.

Old 10-02-02, 03:36 PM
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Go to www.pergo.com.
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