Plumbing leaks and buckling floors

Q: We just moved in our house 8 weeks ago and have already had 2 plumbing leaks which have resulted in buckling our brand new solid hardwood floors. I have talked to my installer of the floors and he said it would take 3 to 4 months to completely dry out and with time they would go down.

They aren’t coming completely up yet but are very wavy. Do you think that it is truly possible that they may go down? I am hoping that the worse case scenario would be that they can just be sanded and refinished. What are your thoughts?

A: Unless the floor has totally heaved, I would give it the time the installer suggested. At this stage, the floors have cupped. It might be a good idea for him to check the moisture content from time to time with a moisture meter. It can take several months for everything to dry out, especially since the sub floor is also wet. The moisture has to evaporate through the hardwood until all is equalized. It is possible that the floor could flatten out on it’s own, but I would not guarantee it. Give it at least 3 months. A dehumidifier placed in the area would help. Have the floors checked then with a meter to determine that they are within normal range, 7-9%. When they are, if they have not flattened out, you can proceed with sanding. Sanding before this time would cause the boards to turn the other way, called crowning.