Large gaps appeared after closing and colder weather.

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Old 12-28-17, 11:13 AM
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Large gaps appeared after closing and colder weather.

How much is it supposed to contract during the winter? I've got a few rather large gaps that weren't there before closing Dec 5th, right before the freezing temps set in here in Decatur, AL. The info I've read said dime to quarter size gaps are normal. House is on a concrete slab, floors are original to the house built in 1962.


 
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Old 12-28-17, 01:32 PM
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I don't know much about hardwood installed over a concrete slab. If the humidity stays the same most flooring is fairly stable. Was the house empty for awhile? with the HVAC either shut off or set low?
 
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Old 12-28-17, 01:49 PM
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Humidity is what causes the wood to swell/shrink vs temps although they basically go hand in hand.

Your picture does not look consistent with wood that dries out, it looks like the floor has shifted!
 
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Old 12-28-17, 01:52 PM
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I think it was vacant for about six months, not sure of temps but electricity was connected during this time.
The issue did not appear until the temps dropped recently and they do appear to be original to the house with no evidence of a recent refinish. Due to the dry air in the house affecting not only the floors, but our skin, I will add a whole house humidifier into the HVAC and see what happens.

Worst case, I'll repair and refinish.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 01:57 PM
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In less than a month of owning the house? Built in 62' and we paid for a detailed inspection.
Logic says if house shifted this would have occurred previously within 55 years, not within a month.

I'm not dealing with clay in this area. The common denominator is this occurred when the the temps dropped below 30.
We viewed the house in early November when temps still hit low 70's, I did not see this nor did my inspector note it.

Also it's an FHA loan, the bank sent their own inspector. I am sure they would catch such an issue to protect their investment.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 02:22 PM
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The local premier flooring company is coming next week to inspect and give his opinion free of charge.
He's familiar with the area and the building methods used in the era.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 02:27 PM
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Please keep us posted as ti his report.
 
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Old 12-28-17, 02:30 PM
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Even if the heat was on while the house was vacant it was probably set low. When you moved in you turned the heat up to a more comfortable temp which likely also lowered the humidity. Be interesting to hear what the onsite pro has to say!
 
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Old 12-28-17, 02:46 PM
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I may be wrong but it looks like the gaps have been there a looooong time, judging by the fact that you can see that filler or caulk has already been added to those gaps... (who knows how long ago but that's probably why you never noticed it before) and they have opened up a "fraction" more, drawing your attention to it.

A wide room can often be laid from the middle of a room outward to the sides by adding a spline onto the groove of the first board, so that you can work both directions. The change of direction in laying the floor usually lessens the amount of expansion and contraction (and where it occurs) by half. A little late for that now, but I mention it because this problem is likely installation related... especially since it's over a slab.

My guess is that there is an underlying expansion joint (or stress crack) in the concrete there.
 
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Old 12-29-17, 05:13 AM
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Thanks gents for the responses, I'll keep you posted of the outcome.
 
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