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Hardwood floor separates every winter?

I have an area in my hardwood floors that separates every winter and closes up as spring and summer approaches. Sometimes as much as 3/8 inch. This part of the floor is over a main beam in the basement and there is hot water pipes running near the beam. I insulated the pipes last year thinking the heat from the pipes was the culprit but no luck. Any input appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Re: Hardwood floor separates every winter?

It sounds to me like the usual expansion and contraction that occurs every season with the use of the house heater. Most home heaters have the effect of drying out the home; furniture joints become loose, door and crown molding separates, doors become easier to operate, flooring joints grow. When the humidity of summer returns, everything goes back to where it was and the doors become sticky.

Get a barometer to check the humidity level in your home to see if a humidifier added to the HVAC system will help. Or just live with it, which is what most people do.

Re: Hardwood floor separates every winter?

I could live with it if it weren't in the middle of the floor. It does get dry in here in the winter, like most places and I do notice a few small places in the crown molding and so forth. It seems odd to me that this location happens to be directly over one of the main beams in the basement so I thought maybe there could be some kind of connection. The search continues.

Re: Hardwood floor separates every winter?

Yes, there is a "connection", but you can't do anything about it unfortunately! That area is where your floor is "levering"/balancing somewhat over that beam-point.

Is it a steel I-beam across a basement room?
Is there a screw-post under it?
How is the flooring fastened down.
What type and thickness?

If there's no screw-post, then you're sunk.


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