Water Damage Repair / cupping – buckling – Hardwood Floors Houston – South Texas Flooring 713-660-9189 – Hardwood floors can withstand years of foot traffic, dogs, kids, workmen, furniture, and more, but in only a few minutes, even a relatively small amount of water can afflict the floor with serious damage.
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After flooding or water damage has occured, the hard part for the homeowner is knowing whether the hardwood floor can be salvaged, or whether it needs to be replaced, in whole or in part. South Texas Flooring has repaired or replaced thousands of square feet of hardwood flooring in our 20 years in Houston, including anything from removing a few floor boards to facilitate drying, to sanding & finishing floors, to replacement of hardwoods in entire houses (anyone remember Allison, June 2001?).
If the source of the moisture is known, stop the leak, then call us. But if the leak is small and its origin unknown, or if you’re not even sure whether the changing look (cupping, crowning, dark areas, soft areas) of your wood floors is being caused by moisture, call us, and we will come out to give you a free assessment, suggest solutions, and give you an estimate of the cost to repair the damage.
Specifically regarding cupping floors – Cupping is usually the first visible sign that a wood floor is being affected by moisture. When moisture is present for as little time as just a few days, the floor boards will begin to absorb that moisture. As moisture is absorbed, the boards will swell, causing them to push against one another. Since the floor has very little room to expand around the edges, and it can’t push down into the subfloor, it expands in the direction of least resistance – upward. Because the boards are pushing against one another, it is usually the edges of the boards that rise, causing the floor to have a “wave” appearance, usually referred to as cupping. If you’re lucky, you’ve caught it in time. Get an assessment as soon as possible to find out. Sanding of a wood floor will easily remove the cupping, but the floor will cup again unless the source of the moisture is identified and repaired.
A few final notes about cupping: 1) if the moisture is temporary, non-penetrating, and relatively light, and the cupping is not excessive, the cupping may diminish over time, and may possibly virtually disappear on its own. But a responsible homeowner will still want to be aware of the moisture source. 2) Wood floors in a house built above the open ground (on a pier and beam structure) may occasionally lightly cup, often in only certain areas of the house. The cause could possibly be relative humidity – that is, a difference in the humidity inside the home relative to that outside, or below the floor. For instance, air conditioning in the house can keep the house dry, but “attract” moisture from below the structure into the underside of the floor boards. Cupping caused by this process may diminish as weather cools, outside air dries, and heat is used to warm the interior of the structure. 3) Lastly, any cupping whatsoever is always the result of one thing only – moisture. The floor board cupping may or may not diminish as moisture is reduced, but a homeowner should be conscious and aware of any moisture that may be affecting his home in any way.