Home Repair

Buckling floors - please help

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I installed new 5' inch wide Hickory floors about 3 years ago. Last March, I noticed the entire floor was pitched. Their was 4 inch difference between the outside wall and the center wall.

It was probably like this for a long time, but we never noticed. We tried to correct the problem by raising the supporting header beam in the basement. We did it slowly, and the house seemed to take the adjustment. We raised it about 2 inches.

This morning I woke up after the first cold night of fall, and I have noticed the boards are bowed. Each plank is bowed like a U.

I suspect that the boards have been under great stress, and now that the fall is here, and the boards are starting to contract, the stress is relieved and the boards are bowing.

Help! Please tell me the U will flatten over time. My floor is a series of UUUUU going across the floor. What was Once smooth, is now wavey.
Well a board will cup like that because there is moisture on one side. The under side for some reason right now has more moisture than the top side and has expanded. The top side is sealed and has absorbed less moisture. The boards should flatten out as the drier winter months come upon us.

I don't think that raising the floor had much to do with the cupping unless spaces were created in the subfloor which would let in moisture. I don't know where you live, but here in New England we have had our share of moisture this fall! My shed doors have expanded so much they overlap 1/4"!
You are correct.

I recently had a minor leak in my kitchen sink drain. I fixed it a few days ago after noticing a rather large puddle. I cleaned it up and fixed the leak without thinking how long the leak was there, and if the water had made it's way underneath the floorboards.

It obviously was leaking for some time, and working it's way underneath the floor boards without my knowlege becuase the entire floor, 12 X 12 area, is cupping.

It is also pushing up all the wall trim.

I pulled out the dishwasher and instected the pipes to make sure I have no more leaks.

I have two fans blowing over the floor and raised the heat to 80 degrees.

I am hoping they will flatten out. What are my chances of having my floor back to it's normal condition? Is there anything else I can do to remedy the situation?

thanks so much for your help.
A de-humidifier would work OK. But the drying of the floor needs to be from the bottom so the heat and fan on the top will take a while. Time will even out the wood and will let it settle back down somewhat.
If the flooring is a full solid 3/4" board, in the worst case it could be sanded and refinished. This is not too expensive. Like $1-$2 per square foot. Sanded and 2 coats in one day usually.

See if your homeowner insurance policy will pay for the damage. I have done a few jobs where they have paid for the repairs from leaks... so call them!!


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