Cupping in the hardwood floor

Old 03-10-08, 08:08 AM
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Question Cupping in the hardwood floor

Just closed on our first house last week!

The beautiful hardwood floors in the LR and BRs are cupped. The previous owners apparently ignored a massive leak resulting in a massive water bill and massive flood!

I'm not sure just sanding it down to level and redoing it is the best answer, but I sure don't want to rip it out and redo it either if I can avoid it.

Any suggestions on which is the right path to restoring this floor? No rush, we still haven't unpacked most of the stuff - even the couch is still in the garage!

Old 03-10-08, 09:21 AM
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Live with it for at least a few weeks to allow the wood to expand/cup to it's limit - then sand/refinish the floors...

Should come out good as new - if a tad spendy (around $2.75/ft. lately in my neck of the woods)
Old 03-13-08, 04:28 PM
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First get the leak fixed or you'll just be spinning wheels. Next make positive the leak is fixed. Then fans and dehumidifiers, above and below the flooring. Then you will have to eliminate any potential for moisture to get under the flooring in the crawl space. Drainage, down spout and landscaping to direct all moisture away from the home.

Leave the humidifirers and fans going constantly for at least 2-3 weeks after the leak is fixed. Then remove them and check the moisture content of the wood flooring. Compare to other wood inside the home to determine when it comes to equilibrium. Once at equilibrium, it may be flat again. If the edges are crushed giving it a cupped appearence, and there are gaps between the boards. Then you may be able to sand it without it crowning later. The pin type moisture meter will be your best friend
Old 03-14-08, 05:39 AM
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The leaks were all fixed over our first weekend. Last Sunday I was under there for 10 hours, monitoring the sump pump and reconnecting some heating ducts, and didn't see any more leaks.

I haven't got to the fans and dehumidifiers stage yet, there are still some pools that I need to get channeled to the sump pit.

Thanks very much, that's a clear course of action in your answer, we'll give it a shot!
Old 03-14-08, 07:46 AM
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As The Floor Guy says, make sure the flooring moisture content is in equilibrium with the house before sanding, otherwise you may trade cupping for crowning - you see this for example at inspections of "flipped" properties here in Chicago where the owners try for a quick turnaround and sand floors before the moisture content stabilizes.

From: Results of wet or flooded wood floors

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