Q: We have cupping from a recent leak. We had our red oak floors refinished a few months ago. Unfortunately, we recently had a water heater leak on to our floors and several boards now have cupping. The floors had water on them for an hour or two and we dried them with towels and fans. Below the floor is a conditioned crawl (temp is about 64 degrees and humidity around 55%). It has only been about a week since this happened. Will hardwood floor cupping go away on it’s own? Is there anything we can do to help the process along?
A: It is possible the cupping will go away on it’s own. You just need to give it time and wait to see how it reacts. I have seen floors flatten out totally.
I’m facing a similar situation. Water was dripping into the basement from the tub which is next to a bedroom with oak strip I have just completed staining and finishing. Now I will have to wait and see it anything happens to my own floor. Fans, dehumidifiers are about the best way to reduce the moisture.
Related Q: I just installed 3/4 x 5 oak. I acclimated it for 2 weeks. It is cupping slightly. Will this lay back down on it’s own in time?
A: It might lie down but you have to find out why it is cupping. Clearly there is a moisture source and because it is cupping, not crowning that source is likely from beneath. I don’t mean to say you don’t have a leak in your roof, but the moisture, if that is the case is running down the walls and under the floor. Is your floor over a crawl space?
Similar Q: Our small capacity hw heater broke and spilled water, which found it’s way down under a plywood laminate floor in our small hall. It had just been glued to old concrete. Can I remove the wood base around hall to dry it at that point and cut openings in the floor to be later infilled?
A: Given that the floor is glued down, hopefully a water proof polyurethane adhesive was used. Given that it is glued, there really isn’t any room under the floor to allow for much water to sit. I would have a dehumidifier running and wait and see if any movement starts happening in the floor. No sense getting radical if you don’t have to. You could remove the base but I wouldn’t start boring holes in the new floor just yet.
Isn’t this some version of Murphy’s law at work? You just install the floor and this happens?
Follow-up: Thank you very much. I believe you are right. Floor remains very level. I just removed a wood baseboard at the point where the water entered and wood was already dry to touch at that spot. I’ll wait and see..