Hardwood floors warping?

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fposte
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Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Hardwood floors warping?

Post by fposte » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:52 pm

So my very nice cleaners were inexplicably clueless and scrubbed down my hardwood floors with water. (It was a lot of work for something so wrong.) That was Tuesday, and I'm finding definite signs of warping in spots today. Resanding isn't anywhere near in the budget--does anybody know if they might yet settle back down? Would heat or cold help? Humidity is only 50+% in the house right now and outside temps are autumnal temperate (low sixties at night, seventies or eighties during the day) so the environment seems pretty good.

Ruger
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by Ruger » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:18 pm

Many years ago I had a 55 gallon aquarium drain itself out onto the wood floors in a guest bedroom. The floor was warped very badly, but after a week or so flattened back when they dried. Maybe try running a large fan and a dehumidifier?

fposte
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by fposte » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:31 pm

Oh, this is very reassuring--thanks. I will try that and cross my fingers!

stl717
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by stl717 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:18 am

When we bought our house, the previous owners refrigerator had leaked water and warped the hardwood in front of it. I was pretty skeptical, but it did indeed go back to normal after a few weeks. Good luck!

daveydoo
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by daveydoo » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:12 am

They will typically "cup" first then "crown" after they dry -- generally not back to normal. Sorry but cleaners were idiots. Helps to have an abatement crew come in with fans (we used Servicemaster for a big leak). If the joints where the boards are butted end to end turn dark, that's a bad sign. We have hardwood pretty much throughout and have had leaks from two toilets and a dishwasher. The first one was kinda heartbreaking but we never refinished the floor (you can feel it if you're walking in socks, and you can see it easily with tangential light). The next couple leaks were "glad we didn't re-finish!"
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

silverlitegs
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by silverlitegs » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:47 am

had a dishwasher leak on hardwood floors. after awhile they settled back. Possibly putting a dehumidifier in the room will help

mrc
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by mrc » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:02 am

We had a hot water line break at the turnoff valve (upstream side of the valve of course). Two floors soaked with hot steamy water: 2-1/4" Brazilian rosewood and 3" birch (similar to maple). The rosewood never moved. The birch cupped such that the edges of the boards were high. I ran a dehumidifier (on high) and fans for about a week. I had to dry the plywood sub floors and soaked ceiling joists as well. The birch returned to normal. Both floors were pre-finished with an aluminum oxide coat.

Dry everything out ASAP. Longer than you think you need to. And keep your fingers crossed. I replaced the fallen ceiling, cleaned the dining room oriental rug, and consider us lucky.
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

carolinaman
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by carolinaman » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:41 am

My guess is the floors will be fine once they dry out since this was a short term exposure. Floors tend to get ruined when there is longer term exposure to water without remediation. Best wishes.

neilpilot
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Location: Memphis area

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:44 am

carolinaman wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:41 am
My guess is the floors will be fine once they dry out since this was a short term exposure. Floors tend to get ruined when there is longer term exposure to water without remediation. Best wishes.
When hardwood warps due to excessive moisture, the nails/cleats can loosen. This is especially true with wider planks, i.e. >=4"..

Ndop
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by Ndop » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:41 am

fposte wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:52 pm
So my very nice cleaners were inexplicably clueless and scrubbed down my hardwood floors with water. (It was a lot of work for something so wrong.) That was Tuesday, and I'm finding definite signs of warping in spots today. Resanding isn't anywhere near in the budget--does anybody know if they might yet settle back down? Would heat or cold help? Humidity is only 50+% in the house right now and outside temps are autumnal temperate (low sixties at night, seventies or eighties during the day) so the environment seems pretty good.
I can't imagine that your cleaner used a large amount of water. Leave your windows open for a while and run some fans. Running dehumidifiers for a prolonged time can get pricey. I would only recommend that if you think your subfloor got soaked.

fposte
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by fposte » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:37 pm

poordad wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:41 am
I can't imagine that your cleaner used a large amount of water. Leave your windows open for a while and run some fans. Running dehumidifiers for a prolonged time can get pricey. I would only recommend that if you think your subfloor got soaked.
I don't think the subfloor got soaked--it was more the amount of water you'd leave on a vinyl floor to air dry, but that was more water than my wooden floor was happy with and I'm still, well, floored that experienced cleaning people didn't know better. I actually run a dehumidifier most of the summer anyway, so the electricity cost isn't really a factor; I've just moved it up from the basement (dropping it en route, which cured its bad rattle--I don't recommend that as a usual solution, though). I'll also pick up a fan or two today, since the affected area isn't neatly contained but horseshoes around the stairway.

Thanks, all.

ralph124cf
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by ralph124cf » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:47 am

Is this pre-finished hardwood, or stick-built?

Ralph

MarkBarb
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by MarkBarb » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:37 am

I hope they are OK. I spent two days this week tearing out the hardwood floors in a house that had been flooded. It was an unbelievably difficult job.

macheta
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by macheta » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:46 am

We had a leak in the roof caused our engineering wood flooring to warp. The oak was peeling off the underwood. I peeled the warping wet oak wood off and straightened the wood while it dried. I straightened it by clamping the wood between two flat pieces of wood. After it dried I reapplied the straightened wood using some type of adhesive and applied some type of clearcoat back on the wood. That was about ten years ago and it still looks really good.

Coinsinthefountain
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by Coinsinthefountain » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:51 am

A pipe leak sprayed a fine mist of water onto the underside of the oak floors of our 1939-built house. We were unaware of the leak until the floors started buckling (and we got our water bill). After a few months the floor settled back down and you can’t even tell it. Give it time to dry out before you do anything.

JBTX
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by JBTX » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:04 pm

Related but not entirely on topic. We just had engineered wood installed. How do you best clean them? Seems like recommendations are all over the map on the web. Maid has been here once and given it was dirty and dusty used a mop and diluted pinesol. I think she squeezed out most of the water before applying it to the floor.

Reading this thread has me worried they don't know what they are doing.

mrc
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Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by mrc » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:29 pm

JBTX wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:04 pm
Related but not entirely on topic. We just had engineered wood installed. How do you best clean them? Seems like recommendations are all over the map on the web. Maid has been here once and given it was dirty and dusty used a mop and diluted pinesol. I think she squeezed out most of the water before applying it to the floor.

Reading this thread has me worried they don't know what they are doing.
Sweep. Vacuum. Damp mop.

Sounds like the maid did the right thing: Damp mopping with a wrung out mop is different from pulling a saturated mop from the bucket and swabbing the deck. Cleaners like PineSol, Murphy's, orange, are fine. They should be rinsed with clear water (two bucket method).

Damp mopping won't hurt a finished floor. Standing water is not good for wood products. It will swell solid wood and particle board. Particle board will not return to shape. Some engineered flooring is made with particle board substrates. Some engineered wood is all wood, more like plywood, which is more resistant to water damage.
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

JBTX
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by JBTX » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:34 pm

mrc wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:29 pm
JBTX wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:04 pm
Related but not entirely on topic. We just had engineered wood installed. How do you best clean them? Seems like recommendations are all over the map on the web. Maid has been here once and given it was dirty and dusty used a mop and diluted pinesol. I think she squeezed out most of the water before applying it to the floor.

Reading this thread has me worried they don't know what they are doing.
Sweep. Vacuum. Damp mop.

Sounds like the maid did the right thing: Damp mopping with a wrung out mop is different from pulling a saturated mop from the bucket and swabbing the deck. Cleaners like PineSol, Murphy's, orange, are fine. They should be rinsed with clear water (two bucket method).

Damp mopping won't hurt a finished floor. Standing water is not good for wood products. It will swell solid wood and particle board. Particle board will not return to shape. Some engineered flooring is made with particle board substrates. Some engineered wood is all wood, more like plywood, which is more resistant to water damage.
The top layer is hickory. It supposedly is more moisture resistant than uniform wood planks.

http://www.bellacerafloors.com/buy-Bell ... oring.aspx

mrc
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by mrc » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:47 pm

JBTX wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:34 pm
The top layer is hickory. It supposedly is more moisture resistant than uniform wood planks.

http://www.bellacerafloors.com/buy-Bell ... oring.aspx
The same website's care page says damp moping OK with non oil-base cleaners, don't spray cleaner directly on the floor, and don't wet mop. I think you're good.
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

JBTX
Posts: 4281
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Post by JBTX » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:07 pm

mrc wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:47 pm
JBTX wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:34 pm
The top layer is hickory. It supposedly is more moisture resistant than uniform wood planks.

http://www.bellacerafloors.com/buy-Bell ... oring.aspx
The same website's care page says damp moping OK with non oil-base cleaners, don't spray cleaner directly on the floor, and don't wet mop. I think you're good.
Thanks!!

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