Q: I am looking at a gymnasium floor which is less than one year old. This is a very nice floor, but it has been flooded from below because someone failed to install a pressure cap on a drain pipe underneath the new hardwood floor. This happened three months ago, and all I see is the large area (50x 55) which has obvious cupping.
The installer says we should wait through at least one heat season because the relative humidity in the gym will drop, and the cupping could subside on its own, but I’m not thinking this is likely. The cupping is bad in places and it creates a “cheese grinder” effect on the floor surface.
I’m worried about the safety and potential injury to the kids utilizing the floor.
What is the likelihood that the floor will fix itself? Is it true that the cupping could disappear somehow and the glass-like surface can be restored?
The moisture meters said the wood had a 22% moisture content at first, but that has reportedly dropped. The cupping remains. Are moisture meters accurate? If the moisture is back down to 11% and the cupping is still bad, is it likely that waiting through an entire winter will make a difference?
A: I have been in this situation once before. My best advice is to remove the floor (maple?) and the sub floor and start over. given that the area below the floor was “flooded” from beneath, it could take months to dry the sub structure, and you haven’t even thought about mold issues yet. It would be wise to replace the entire thing.