is it humidity or am i ruining my floors?

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  #1  
Old 07-26-06, 01:18 PM
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is it humidity or am i ruining my floors?

They are starting to kinda curl up, like when u get water damage. they are new floors put in like 4 months ago. whats the problem? is it the humidity making them expend.

or is it the sponge mope im using? there is no ecess water left behind.

its prefinished floors so there are kind of cracks between all of em, and dirt gets in there and i have to scrub it out. so maybe water is getting in there?

all the areas along the wall that were covered with cardboard are not curled, they havent been washed or exposed.

here is a pic that u can kinda see it

http://klearz.com/house/IMG_2128.jpg
 
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  #2  
Old 07-26-06, 03:19 PM
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Not a pro but,

the photo isn't that clear but do they look like these?:

http://forum.doityourself.com/showth...isture+content

See the last photo in the thread.

If dirt gets in between the cracks, you should be able to vaccuum it up instead of scrubbing them out.

I'm thinking acclimation may have been the problem prior to the installation. Were they done by a professional? If so, you should call them back.

Check back as the pros will probably know what's really going on.
 
  #3  
Old 07-26-06, 03:43 PM
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yeah pretty much, maybe not as bad as that but half way there. i notice the picture also has one bigger buckle in one spot we have one of those too.

the wood was aclimated for 7 days for when we began and the rest got 1-2 weeks more.

when winter comes it should look so bubbly?
 
  #4  
Old 07-26-06, 03:51 PM
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Hmmm....if you read that thread I put in my first post did the entire thread make sense to you? B/C as always mentioned, you'll find that acclimatization is not a timing thing.

Is that the kitchen in the photo?

Also...is the buckling throughout the whole floor?
 
  #5  
Old 07-26-06, 04:00 PM
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yes i read it and yes i would say that is the problem for sure.
iduno it kinda seems like the edges are not as buckly.

the kitchen is kinda close, but even tho we have been living here for months there is no water even conected upstairs so there is definatly no water damage.

would installing a dehumidifier on my air exchanger help? is there such a thing? what about getting just a portable one for right now, do i put it upstairs or down stairs?

also in winter when it does unbuckle, will it flatten? or will it kinda stay curled at the ends?
 

Last edited by TinaBanana; 07-26-06 at 04:52 PM.
  #6  
Old 07-26-06, 06:02 PM
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The substrate is wetter then the wood, or the humidity is very low inside the home.

You would have to be flooding the floor for that much moisture to get under the flooring.
 
  #7  
Old 07-27-06, 06:03 AM
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what? your saying that my humidity is too low and that is why my wood is cuping????

doesnt humidity make the floor swell?
 
  #8  
Old 07-27-06, 10:39 AM
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it would probably be helpful if you could tell the pro's here what kind of flooring it is (solid, engineered, laminate, etc) - "prefinished wood" is kind of vague - what your subfloor is, what underlayment was used, and how the floor was laid (glued down, floating, nailed, etc), if it was professionally installed or diy by you, where you live, what the temps/humidity has been, running a/c or not, etc etc.
 
  #9  
Old 07-27-06, 10:53 AM
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floor is white oak, natural wood floor

half the floor was aclimated for 7 days the other half had 1-2 weeks more.

we installed it ourselves, rented the nailer from home depot.

subfloor is plywood, under is a heated basement.

underlayment is that brown paper stuff (recomended by hardware store)

we do have central air but we dont run it that much, usualy keep it around 26-27.

we live ottawa canada. its been pretty humid lately but ive noticed its been like that for a few weeks now.

we are going out to get a dehumidifer tonight, would it help to put it in the basement under the area where its the worste?

also if it helps at all, in the begining it would crack when you would walk on it for a bit, then it would stop once it was done cracking. this would specially happen in the rooms where we dont go often. i read this happened to someone else on the forum but no one answered.
 
  #10  
Old 07-27-06, 11:11 AM
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solid wood, or engineered wood?

did you use a hygrometer to test the moisture content of the wood?

did you leave an expansion gap around the room?

put in "hygrometer" in the search box for this topic & see the many posts on this same issue. here's one.
 
  #11  
Old 07-27-06, 11:29 AM
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Your basement, like all basements whether fully finished or not, is going to have higher humidity levels, because it is below grade(below the soil. The higher humidity below is making the subfloor have higher moisture content then the top of the flooring. Cupping is caused by the bottom of the board being wetter then the top. The bottom of the board has swelled and the top hasn't. Cupping!

Now very low interior humidity causes the top of the board to have lower moisture content then the bottom of the board, enhanced by a basement or unconditioned crawl space below. Cupping!

Take hygrometer readings in both the basement, and the living interior. I bet they are not balanced.

High humidity causes the flooring to buckle/tent/heave. Although the edges can get compressed and resemble cupping

A flood or a difference of way more then 4% in subfloor and wood flooring, causes both cupping and buckling

What did you use to make sure the subfloor and the wood flooring were withing 4% moisture content of each other??
 
  #12  
Old 07-27-06, 11:52 AM
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its solid wood.

yes we left expension around the room, would the fact that the wood is spaning long distance make it cup more?
here are more pictures that shows the whole floor
http://klearz.com/house.htm

no i had not heard of using hydrometer until i started having problems and visited this forum. this is another one of those things that is just not known, i spoke to alot of ppl before installing and they all pointed out to make sure you leave it aclimate for a few days before installing. i thought the manufacturer was a bit nut when they said 7 days. but no one mentioned the real reason behind it, moisture content.

i followed the manufacturer's instructions by leaving it aclimate for 7 days. i just wish there was something on there that said, 7 days or until moisture levels are ok. how do they not get sued?

i think at this point getting the hydrometer is pointless, its already evident that the floor was installed and wasnt dry enough. ive read a few other posts and there doesnt seem to be many solutions for the problem, but rather just pointing out waht the problem is.

im buying a dehumidifer tonight and sticking it in the basement, ill post back results in a few weeks i guess.

if anyone else has any other suggestions on how to solve the problem, i would appreciate it.
 
  #13  
Old 07-27-06, 06:10 PM
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When you mention the underlayment as the brown paper stuff, can you be more specific?

Example. brown construction paper or brown wax paper.

What store did you get it from?

If it is what I think it is this may be your problem.

Keith
 
  #14  
Old 07-27-06, 06:17 PM
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wow if the paper is my problem im gonna be mad.
we asked home depot and they said this is the stuff.
he described it as being the same stuff as u put on the roof but without the tar.

its not waxy, it it like rough construction paper

we got the dehumidifier, put it in the basement, first reading was 85%, after a few hours its down to 68%.

what should i set it at, i have no idea?
 
  #15  
Old 07-27-06, 06:42 PM
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The moisture content of a house with a wood floor should be between 40% and 60% with a better reading between 45% and 55%. The less you can keep it fluctuating the better.

That paper that was from home depot is nothing like the stuff that is used on roofs.(felt paper). Felt paper is a moisture retardent and you can actual place it on a roof a it should reasonable protect your house from water penetration for a while, the brown paper would never do that.

If you like, although it may not work as well now that the humidity is coming down is, take a small (about 8 feet long) piece of the brown paper and place it in your basement and leave it for a few days.

Feel it before you place it there and then after a few days. You should see that it actually retains moisture.

I hope this is not your problem but it may be the dirrection to look.

Keith
 
  #16  
Old 07-27-06, 06:53 PM
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i just think the guy from home depot ment that its the same company who makes the 2 paper. the brown is just plain, and then the black they put tar on it to make it vapor barier.

so is the brown paper not supose to retain?
what kind of paper are you supose to use ?

im gonna do the paper test and see what happens.
 
  #17  
Old 07-27-06, 07:11 PM
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No the brown paper, in my opinion will retain moisture, it was not made as a moisture retardent.

The reason for an underlayment is to prevent moisture from rising from the floor below your wood floor, getting into the bottom of the wood and potentially causing cupping.

There are many items to use including #15 felt paper (recomended by most manufacturers), 2 sided waxed paper, as well as others.

You mentioned that the floors did not cup where you had some cardboard laid on top of the floor, maybe you should put some back down for a while (if possible) and see if that helps to even out the moisture in the wood and get rid of the cupping. No idea if that might work mind you.

Keith
 
  #18  
Old 07-28-06, 06:49 AM
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i do find it very strange that the floor is so perfect under where we had the cardboard, what would that mean? the cardboard absorbed some of the moisture, didnt let moisture get thru, etc?

intersting idea to try to put some cardboard back down hmmmmmmm

i thought the reason you put the paper underneath was to avoid squeeky floors, not as a moisture barier.

we did get the dehumidifier going last night, and as mentioned it did drop alot already, 9 cups of water in 3 hours, kinda blew my mind. its alot less cold in the basement now too! overnight the machine turned off because the tank was full. that was alot of water!

now its down to about 61% but we opened the window last night as we do everynight, should we not do that anymore? its just hard to justify using ac to cool the house all night long when you can get it free by opening the windows!!
 
  #19  
Old 07-28-06, 07:07 AM
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forgive me, but i have to ask...........from your pictures, it looks like that's a REALLY nice home you're building there. exactly how much were you going to be "saving" by installing this floor yourself, as opposed to hiring a professional who would've known all this stuff?

did you really & truly think laying a hardwood floor was as easy as laying down some brown paper & stapling a bunch of planks together?

i just feel so bad for you & everyone else who attempts diy projects with little or no information & research done prior, only to have the project go awry, and THEN they become research scientists, asking all sorts of questions, consulting the pro's & reading everything they can get their hands on to "fix" the mess.

i do hope there's a "fix" for your floor, but i have a sinking feeling it's ruined. PERRY: can a floor that's already cupped EVER be flattened out again???
 
  #20  
Old 07-28-06, 07:20 AM
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well lets start by saying thanks for the comments on our new house, we actually did alot of work ourselves!

Did all the tiling, trim, and all the finishing. On the hardwood we probably saved 2-3k but when you think of all the work we did on everything we probably saved 10k, money we dont have to pay someone do it (with a 50% of it being done correctly)

Before starting a project i always do some research. On the hardwood i asked atleast 3 ppl. Everyone said to let it acclimate for whatever days (never mentioning the moisture content) and mentioned leaving the gap aroudn the room and the paper.

I googled for some tips on isntalling, read about 3 sites that all said the same, not one ever mentioned the darn moisture content!

I bet you if we would have paid someone to put this floor down, no way he would have had that hydrometer. no way. not in my area anwyay. but atleast we could go back after him and have a slim change of having him fix it.

for the paper well i guess that one is on me. instead of looking it up to see what i needed i left it to the 'pro' at home depot to tell me what to get. most sites do mention the 15 felt paper.

here is a bit of a rant feel free to skip over it.

my problem is paying all these 'professional' so much money for doing a job right and then its not done right. first example is my parents, they put a marble tile floor in their kitchen, paid a pro to do it right, he didnt patch the seems in the cement board so now all their tiles have a nice white line at every seem!

another example is my facia guy, he did a very poor job on the facia, and it all buckled, it wasnt facened properly. had to pay someone to redo it. then around the garage door, he did it too small, again had to pay to redo.

where does it end, paying someone 1-2k for one day of labor that might or might not be professional.

im sure if we would have paid someone to lay tile in our bathroom, the tile in the shower would have went right over the green board.

ive had it with contractors
 
  #21  
Old 07-28-06, 07:23 AM
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i do hope there's a "fix" for your floor, but i have a sinking feeling it's ruined. PERRY: can a floor that's already cupped EVER be flattened out again???

yes pls can i have an answer to this?
 
  #22  
Old 07-28-06, 07:46 AM
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Cupped floor

Discontinue the sponge mopping. Find a way to clean without using water. Water is getting in the gap between the boards. You said the floor is fine where covered with cardboard. This area has not been mopped;correct? Give it time. Keep the humidity low.

Not a pro. Just taking the common sense approach.
 
  #23  
Old 07-28-06, 03:52 PM
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Hope things work out for you tina.

I do believe the main colprate was the humidity in the basement and the brown paper.


I suggestted the cardboard because it didnt cup there and thought it might be because it kept the moisture more evenly spread across the boards.

Keith
 
  #24  
Old 07-28-06, 08:01 PM
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Acclimation of hardwood flooring is very important. It should be placed in the rooms where it is to be installed and left to acclimate for several days. A moisture test is recommended to determine the moisture content of the flooring and the subfloor. There should be no greater than 4% difference if installing 3/4" x 2 1/4" solid hardwood and no more than 2% difference if installing plank. Continue to acclimate until moisture content is within proper content. This is done with doors and windows closed and HVAC installed and running prior to moving wood into home for acclimation in an environment where temperature and humidity are within occupancy levels.

If installed over a crawl space, the crawl space should be dry and well-ventilated. An 8# minimum polypropylene vapor retarder is installed over the soil (overlapped, taped, and run up foundation and taped) to keep moisture from rising into subfloor. If installed over a basement, there should be no moisture or humidity issues.

Before installation of hardwood, a 15# roofing felt vapor retarder is installed (overlapped and stapled). Once wood is installed, temperature and humidity must be maintained year round with temperature around 70 degrees and humidity between 35-55%. Although cooler temperatures are outdoors, humidity level may be high. Thus, open windows can increase interior humidity. Check humidity in rooms with hygrometer (sold where they sell thermometers). Humidity will tend to vary among rooms. Dehumidify if too humid. Humidify if not humid enough.

When cupping and crowning occur, the issue is moisture. Placing dehumidifier in rooms may help flatten floor depending upon severity and length of time the problem has existed. Moisture and humidity issues must also be addressed. If floor does not flatten, sometimes flatness can be achieved by sanding and refinishing.

Damp mop with mop squeezed nearly dry. Preferably cleaner is sprayed on mop to prevent oversaturating and overwetting of floor. Clean a section at a time, throw down and old towel and dry with foot motion, and move on to the next section.
 
  #25  
Old 08-12-06, 05:57 PM
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Any updates on how the floor is doing Tina?
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 08-12-06 at 06:12 PM. Reason: spelling
  #26  
Old 08-13-06, 06:46 AM
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since we have been keeping the basement humidity at 50 the floor has definatly improved. it has flatten alot but is still a bit cupped, but i would say you have to know about it to notice it.

the only area where its really noticable is in the living room there are 2 planks that really butt agaisnt each other and have raised a bit. we'll see what winter brings, an area rug will go over that area anyway.
 
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