Wood floor buckling:help


Old 11-21-14, 11:52 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Wood floor buckling:help

In about May of 2014 we finally got wood floors installed. The wood is Premium Engineered hardwood: 3 1/2" Parkview hardwood. It rained in June and the floor buckled in a section about 8 feet long by 2 boards wide(aprox. 9”).

My husband called the installers and they came back and drilled small holes and tried re-gluing those pieces down. They buckled again within 2 weeks. The installers checked the clearance around the perimeter and it was ok, about 3/4 inch on the side checked.

My husband was convinced that it was a combination of a leather love seat we own and the floor guys not allowing that section of concrete to dry underneath. He thinks this because the edge of the long strip ran exactly along the strip that bucked. He suspected the love seat being so low and having a feltish material underneath prevented the wood from drying properly. He convinced the floor guy of that.

The flooring guys came back and ripped out the boards and ran moisture tests and found it to be at a 12. They will not come back and add new boards till we can figure out the issue and I agree with that.

I unlike my husband however suspect water from the outside as the issue. After the 2nd time it happened and they ripped the boards out I went outside and noticed a wet spot (not standing water) right where the step to the outside meets the foundation and the concrete slab porch. I also noticed that the area between the house foundation and the patio slab is chipped after 10 years with cracks going downward.

I saw that there as a change in the buckling whereas previously it buckled starting 2 feet from the wall in a long strip it now after the 3rd rain was buckling against the wall. I stood with all my weight and bounced up and down. There was no movement of the boards. I waited 2 weeks after one more rain and did the same bounce, it had buckled more and now I was able to make the wood go up and down with my weight. Another change the quarter trim at the edge was now ripped upwards because of the buckle had gotten higher.
I am pretty sure I see a pattern because it seemed to me each time it buckles is after moderate rains.
So we get our insurance company to check it and they send a plumber. Plumber says he will only check so much (those things covered by homeowners insurance). He does an inspection and says there are no significant leaks in that area that could cause that. He adds in the notes he suspects groundwater.

Next I get a drainage/foundation expert out there and they look around and say they don’t think it is groundwater. Independently I had also taken a 4 foot level and laid it on the back slab porch and saw that the angle is good the angles makes rainwater flow away from the house.

I was not at home when the foundation guy came and my husband handed the phone to me and I told him my theory. He sounded doubtful and said well it is supposed to rain soon so you will see. My husband said he did not try and make the guy sway towards his theory. Since he came that was when the little section right against the wall to the outside got worse.

Here is my plan. I am going to buy a moisture tester for 40 dollars (the non-prong kind) and run tests on a wet week and dry week. If it shows moisture on a wet week I will also run a test where I run a hose outside and then test. If it seems there is a definite connection I will wait for a dry week mix up some concrete and fill in those cracks. Wait till it dries run a test with a hose or wait till it rains and try metering again.

Do you think this is a good plan?
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Old 11-21-14, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,836
Welcome to the forums.

This is the ground level of a house on a concrete slab?

If so, tape a piece of plastic down to the concrete for a day and see if you have moisture under the plastic. If you do, you may need to re-evaluate your flooring choices.
Old 11-21-14, 12:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Yes it is the ground level of a house on a concrete slab.

Worth a try with the plastic-ok.

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