Laminate in basement w/ tenting - fixed with time?


Old 05-31-18, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Laminate in basement w/ tenting - fixed with time?

We have some laminate in the basement (looks like wood with far less maintenance, imo) that looked great in the winter when we first purchased this house.

Within the last month or so, since the temperatures have warmed up and we've had the central air running, we've noticed a couple of rather large bumps, one of which is squarely in the middle of the room. Anytime you walk across the spot, the flooring depresses to where it should be, but the bump is back as soon as you take the weight off.

(The photo below is not our basement, but it is nearly identical to what is happening to our flooring)

Full disclosure: The largest part of the bump appears to be underneath the upstairs bathroom where there HAD been a leaky pipe, but that was fixed long before the floor began to have the issues with tenting.

We obviously don't want to replace the flooring if there's no major issue, but it's starting to drive me nuts as my bedroom is in the basement and I have to walk over this spot several times a day.

Is there any chance that this will go back to normal as soon as the air condition goes back off for the year? Will it just get worse over time?

Is this an issue that we can expect to have every year? Should we have a flooring person come in to give it a look?
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Old 06-01-18, 03:07 AM
Marq1's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA MI
Posts: 3,106
there HAD been a leaky pipe

So with the AC running and the incident above you can conclude that you have a moisture/water problem.

So there are two questions you need to answer.

1) Is the laminate rated for below grade installation?

2) How was it installed?

Some laminates can not be installed below grade and even if they are a proper vapor barrier, one specifically for below grade, is needed.

Another thing you could do in the short term, check the humidity level and get a dehumidifier running .
Old 06-01-18, 06:06 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 21,098
In a basement, the most likely scenario was mentioned by Marq. But it could also be that the floor was not gapped properly at the walls. Only way to know for sure is to remove the baseboard from one of the end walls. Another possibility is that the material is going too far without an expansion joint. Yes, you should likely have a flooring guy look at it.

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