Countdown to Halloween! The Enemy to All Wood Floors
October 10, 2017
If you were to walk into a luxurious house, what would you expect to see? Extravagant lighting fixtures? Meticulously-arranged decor? You'd count on the homeowner's taste in every detail to be impeccable, wouldn't you?
We've already established in previous blog entries that the addition of a hardwood floor is a fantastic way to show off your style and add extra opulence to your house. Let us clarify that this is true so long as the floor is taken care of and properly installed. To our great chagrin, this is not always taken into account. There is one particular nightmarish problem we encounter all too often in our line of work. The offending phenomenon is known in the flooring world as cupping.
You know a floor is cupped when you see the outer edges of individual floorboards curling upward. The wood becomes concave and uneven; anything but luxurious. Not only is the effect unsightly, but it can be permanently damaging to your floor if it is not taken care of. The question is then how do you take care of the issue? The answer to that begins with knowing what has caused your floor to cup.
Well, cupping is a result of excess moisture making its way into your floorboards. Kind of like how a small piece of paper will curl at the edges if placed on an amount of water. That's not to say that you have to spill water onto your floor and just let it air-dry in order to get a cupped floor, though that would definitely do the trick. No, the moisture in the very air we breathe is enough to curl your floors. Kind of scary to think about, right? An enemy left unseen? Makes our skin crawl. But not to worry! There are a few ways you can fix the issue should it occur.
If your floor starts to show signs of cupping, the first thing you need to do is dry it. Not by rubbing a towel over your floor, not by keeping your fan on for a week; no, this calls for something a bit more drastic if you want to get anything accomplished in a timely fashion. You'll need to combine consistent air movement with heat and regulated humidity to fix your floor. We'd suggest hiring a professional who has the proper heavy-duty equipment to dry your floor. Drying services can provide you with extra large dehumidifiers or special drying mats. Even with the proper equipment, repair will take some time, but your floor will be better for your efforts.
Once your floor is dry, you may find that you still need to sand it down to even everything out again. That's fine, just be careful not to pull out the sander too early or you might take toomuch moisture out of your floor. This will cause something called crowning, but that's another issue for another day. The moisture levels in your floor need to be normalized before sanding.
If you do all of these things and find that your floor is still significantly cupped, you may have to start considering a new floor. This is a last resort, but consider the option if it's available to you. We'd love to help!