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bugton83
Buckling hardwood floor
bugton83

Over the past year I've noticed a few hardwood floorboards buckling up, and it's getting worse.

Some of the buckled spots feel hard and solid, like it's solid wood underneath, some feel hard yet hollow, and others are completely soft and spongy. The warped boards are scattered all over my house, though they do tend to occur in runs. You can see what I mean in the image I linked to below.

Here is some info about my house:
* House and floor are both about 55 years old
* House is located about an hour from the gulf coast, so it gets pretty humid around here
* House has a crawlspace

I can't figure out what's causing it. It seems to me that the only thing that could cause all the symptoms is water, but I've looked under the house, and I can't see anything obvious. And the house and floor are both so old that if it were a simple moisture problem from under the house then surely it would have shown up before now, right? Why all of a sudden? I can't find any signs of a roof leakage either.

Here's a very crude drawing of my house, to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The red stuff is the buckling.
http://i.imgur.com/6kelk80.png (I can't get it to directly show the pic)

If it might be another clue, the first buckling I noticed when all this started was in the living room, on the left side of that run in the picture (close to the hallway). Everything else developed later.

dj1
Re: Buckling hardwood floor
dj1

You probably have a moisture problem. There may not be a swamp under the house, but maybe high humidity.

First, find out your relative humidity in the crawl space. Use a gauge for that.

Second, Check the crawl space - do you have a moisture barrier? signs of water on footings? the condition of the footings and posts (if you have them).

Then, check the outside of your house, the grading, the gutters and spouts. Any water around the house that goes under, may potentially reappear under the house as excess humidity.

If you can't do that, get a contractor to do it for you. After solving the humidity issue, replace the rotten, moldy, wet boards and sub floor.

bugton83
Re: Buckling hardwood floor
bugton83

UPDATE!

I found out what was causing the floors to buckle. Formosan termites. It seems they found the oak hardwood floors delicious, but left the pine joists and subflooring alone. They've been treated, so now I just have to replace the damaged boards, but that's another thread.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Buckling hardwood floor
HoustonRemodeler

Thanks for the update, its appreciated.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Buckling hardwood floor
Mastercarpentry

Simply replacing the damaged wood and treating with insecticide is just a start and a temporary fix. Those persistent voracious buggers will be back and you need a better systemic approach to keep them at bay which goes farther than this. Right now these critters are localized but it's predicted that they will be all over the US within 100-200 years and they are a whole different game than the termites the rest of us are used to dealing with now.

Phil

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