The top of your flooring plank experiences a slightly different environment from the bottom of it. Your living room and crawl space will have drastically different humidity levels. Water leaks out of the air at different rates than your concrete slab. It also changes in temperature when pipes carrying hot water run. All of these factors can cause your wood floor to cup. If you have noticed this happening to your hardwood floor, you should know what you can do to fix it.
What is Cupping in Hardwood Floors
If you are looking for the best hardwood flooring care products, you should start by ensuring that your home’s HVAC is running. This will allow the wood to acclimate to the new flooring and prevent it from absorbing too much moisture. Ensure that you are keeping your HVAC systems running by enabling them to draw in the necessary moisture during humid summer months. Then, keep an eye out for leaks and warping, as they can lead to cupping in hardwood floors.
While wood absorbs moisture, it does not expand evenly. In other words, wood swells at its edges and center faster than it does in its middle. Because of this, cupping can happen to solid and engineered wood floors alike. The opposite of the conditions can cause cupping in wood floors as well. You can also read about the different causes of wood floor cupping.
Wooden floors are susceptible to cupping in hot humid summers and cool, dry winters. This happens because moisture penetrates the wood and cracks between the boards. Adding a dehumidifier to your home will control the humidity levels and fix any minor cupping or moisture damage. It’s important to turn on the air conditioning during the summer and keep the dehumidifier running as well. In colder climates, you may need to use a dehumidifier.
Cupping in hardwood floors is a common problem. It occurs when the moisture seeps into the wood. The resulting expansion causes the edge of the board to be higher than its center. This will cause your floor to appear uneven, and will leave gaps between planks. In severe cases, cupping will lead to gaps in your floorboards and will even eventually damage the subfloor. You may have to replace the floor entirely.
Why Do Hardwood Floors Start Cupping
While wood floors may be prone to cupping, if you have a humid climate in your home, it can also make them more prone to the problem. Humidity is the main culprit in hardwood cupping. To prevent cupping from occurring, it is best to keep the relative humidity in your home below 50%. To do this, you can use an air conditioner or HRV system to keep the humidity low, and turn the system off on hot days.
Wood floors can also experience cupping from sudden changes in humidity. Wood absorbs moisture and expands in hot and humid climates, which causes the edges to cup upward. The best way to prevent this is to maintain proper humidity levels and address moisture issues early. If you want to avoid cupping altogether, it is a good idea to check the wood moisture level of the subfloor with a wood moisture meter. This way, you can prevent it before it causes damage to your floors.
In humid climates, it is advisable to run HVAC systems for at least two weeks after installing new hardwood floors. Running the system will prevent the wood from absorbing moisture and will allow it to acclimatize to the new humidity levels. This prevents moisture from penetrating the flooring and causing it to peak. Cupping and peaking are common problems for solid and engineered hardwood floors. Luckily, the solution is fairly simple.
If the humidity in your home is too high, you should consider insulating your floors with waterproof sealants. This will protect your subfloor and help maintain the relative humidity. Using a dehumidifier in humid areas can also help. Although removing visible water will save the wood from damage, it is better to replace individual boards rather than the entire floor. In addition to this, hardwood floors can also be damaged if there is a water leak in the area.
How Can Cupping Hardwood Floors Be Prevented
While it is possible to prevent most flooring problems, there are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of hardwood cupping. The most important thing to remember is that humidity can cause this problem. Try to maintain the relative humidity of your home below 50% at all times. Running an air conditioner on hot days or turning off your HRV system can help reduce the humidity in your home. However, even this simple tip cannot completely prevent the cupping problem.
The best way to prevent hardwood cupping is to make sure that the moisture content of the sub-floor is similar to the level of the wood. Excessive moisture will cause the wood to expand and then constrict. As a result, your hardwood flooring will not be level. You can prevent cupping by acclimatizing your home. Also, don’t wet mop your hardwood floor. Clean up spills as soon as possible. Also, make sure that your hardwood floor gets some time to acclimate to the humidity in your home.
Another common cause of cupping is moisture. The subfloor is often damp, and the boards aren’t used to the humidity levels in your home. While moisture can cause wood cupping, it can also be prevented by installing the appropriate underlayment and avoiding damp areas on the floor. If the underfloor is damp, it will absorb moisture and cause the boards to rise and sink. Moisture can also come from air conditioning, so it’s important to keep the area free of moisture.
Several things can cause cupping of hardwood floors. Excess moisture can result in cracking boards, buckled flooring, and peeling finish. When these problems are solved, the flooring will return to its normal shape. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to prevent cupping and buckling. In the meantime, here are a few tips that will keep you from having to deal with this problem. It’s important to take action against this problem to preserve the look and functionality of your floor.
Can Cupping Floors Be Fixed
If you’ve noticed your floor is cupping, there are some things you should do to fix it. First, determine what caused the cupping. Some floors are simply caused by shifting humidity levels throughout the seasons, but other cupping may be caused by an underlying moisture issue. The cause of cupping will most likely be addressed in order to prevent it from coming back. Some of the causes of cupping include: wet mopping the floor, plumbing leaks, a damp subfloor, or an environment that fluctuates outside the normal range of relative humidity.
The underlying issue may be caused by excessive moisture. In some cases, this moisture problem may have caused cupping, in which case you may need to remove the floor boards to get to the core of the issue. Check for signs of cupping, such as splits and buckling. In some cases, the issue may have been caused by the installation of old wood subfloors that weren’t sealed properly. If you’re unsure of the cause of your cupping, contact a professional flooring repair company for advice.
Depending on the severity of the cupping, there are many options for repair. Often, it will involve refinishing the flooring. This process is typically done during the spring or fall seasons. You should check for loose flooring before refinishing. If the problem persists, consult a professional about replacing the floor. The damage to the floor may be too extensive to be repaired. If you decide to go for the refinishing option, be sure to hire a professional hardwood floor repair company.
In some cases, the cupping can be confined to one area. In such cases, it may be best to remove the source of water. Basements, for example, often have more moisture than the rest of the house. If the problem is isolated to a single room, a dehumidifier may be required. In humid summers, a dehumidifier will be necessary. We advise contacting your local waterproofing specialists like us here at BARRIER Waterproofing Systems to help diagnose your moisture issues and professionally install a solution that will work for your home.
Does Waterproofing Help Cupping Hardwood Floors?
Waterproofing your hardwood floor is a good way to address moisture issues. Some patented products are formulated to help prevent cupping. The difference between a wet floor and a dry one is measured in relative humidity. With the proper equipment, a wood moisture meter can help you determine what is causing cupping. Then, you can take appropriate steps to resolve the problem. If you are worried about cupping, consider using a wood moisture meter to monitor humidity levels in your home.
Waterproofing hardwood flooring will increase the resale value of your home by providing a water-resistant surface. Some of these floors are recognized by the National Wood Flooring Association as authentic hardwoods. Waterproofing can provide peace of mind for homeowners. It is recommended for bathrooms as they see high foot traffic and humidity. Steamy showers can cause damage to hardwood floors. Waterproofing prevents damage to your floors and gives you time to clean up spills before they cause permanent stains.
Humidity is one of the main causes of wood floor cupping. Humidity levels in a home can change quickly and drastically. Solid wood flooring reacts to humidity changes and is especially noticeable in hot humid summers and dry winters.
If you notice a cupped hardwood floor within a few days, you should look for the source of the problem. If you notice the problem has been affecting the floor for a few days, there could be a deeper problem. Leaks, plumbing issues, and site grading problems can cause cupping and warping. If the cupping is persistent and is not remedied, you should contact an expert.
There are a variety of waterproofing solutions that can save not just your hardwood floors but the entire foundation of your home from the potential dangers of moisture intrusion. Give BARRIER a call today at (615) 257-1060 | (931) 536-1168 to schedule a FREE evaluation of the underside of your home to identify any sources of excess moisture and discuss a solution that will last for years to come.