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Old 06-22-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
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Oak Floor buckling


I know I'm going to hear bad news, but hopefully there will be a fix. First off I live in zone 8 (gardening to help you figure out my weather) in Texas.
I gutted and remodeled a 1954 ranch that belonged to my parents. The subfloor is tongue and groove pine and over that is 5/8 plywood except where I had tile installed. The hardwood floor is 3/4 inch oak flooring that was finished in a gunstock stain. The place I bought it from said it had 8 layers UV Cured Polyurethane w/Alumimum Oxide.

Where we live there is pretty high humidity. My home is on beams and blocks and I have plastic lattice surrounding it to keep out animals and to let the air keep things dried out when it rains (which it hasn't in a while)
My floor buckles when it's moist outside. I noticed a place in my bedroom that I had to stomp on to get it to go back down. It wasn't really high, but I could feel it with my foot. I read another thread here that asked about the gap. It was really cold last winter and I could feel air seeping into that gap so I stuffed pink insulation behind the baseboard and in that gap. The floor buckled before I did that last year, but it may be the reason for the high buckle. There was no moisture barrier laid.

I'm sure you are going to tell me to take out the pink insulation, but what do I put in it's place? Should I get tin to surround the house instead of the lattice to cut down on moisture and wind? If so how should I space the vents? What about the fact that there was no moisture barrier laid?

Thanks.

Kathy

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Old 06-22-2010, 06:30 PM   #2
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Oak Floor buckling


The insulation won't keep the floor from expanding and contracting.

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Old 06-22-2010, 07:03 PM   #3
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Oak Floor buckling


Oh good, thanks. What about putting that tin siding around the bottom with vents instead of the lattice? Would that solve part of the problem?
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:12 PM   #4
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Oak Floor buckling


Almost certainly the buckling is caused by changes in humidity inside your house, probably because it is not fully air conditioned. As the oak floor changes humidity, it expands and contracts. If there is insufficient gap around the edges, the oak will buckle. You can only control expansion/contraction by controlling the relative humidity in your house, read air conditioning. If you have no gap around the outside, you can create one by removing the molding, cutting the wood to create a relief gap, then reinstalling the molding.

If it is any consolation, I have oak flooring in the Boston area, and I have an adequate gap, and the floor still buckles a bit near the center every summer. I simply live with it, every winter the buckle goes away. Been this way for the 20 years I have lived there, probably started out that way 50 years ago when they built the place.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:11 PM   #5
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Oak Floor buckling


Oh! Daniel, thank you so much. whew, you don't know what a relief your words were. I forgot to mention I installed central a/c, so the house stays cool, especially at night when my husband is home. He keeps it pretty cold.
I packed that insulation in pretty tight, but still, it's fluffy stuff so I didn't think it would cause a problem.

I'm still concerned about the skirting around the bottom. I know I need to put the tin with vents up. After this past cold winter winds it's a must. We looked like bubba's house for a while. We temporarily put up anything we could find which was some old tin my husband had torn down from the barn. Looked bad, but it really made a difference in the temp.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:13 PM   #6
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Oak Floor buckling


I think the problem is that there is no moisture barrier preventing the outside humidity from seeping up into the floor, no matter what your inside AC does it can not keep up with southern Texas humidity, IMO. I bet if that same floor (without moisture barrier) was on a 2nd floor over one of your climate-controlled first floor rooms, the floor would not buckle.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:05 PM   #7
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Oak Floor buckling


Quote:
Originally Posted by conradA View Post
I think the problem is that there is no moisture barrier preventing the outside humidity from seeping up into the floor, no matter what your inside AC does it can not keep up with southern Texas humidity, IMO. I bet if that same floor (without moisture barrier) was on a 2nd floor over one of your climate-controlled first floor rooms, the floor would not buckle.
Well there isn't anything I can do about it now except put the tin flashing around the bottom of the house to keep some of the humid air out.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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Oak Floor buckling


Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyJB View Post
I know I'm going to hear bad news, but hopefully there will be a fix. First off I live in zone 8 (gardening to help you figure out my weather) in Texas.
I gutted and remodeled a 1954 ranch that belonged to my parents. The subflooring is tongue and groove pine and over that is 5/8 plywood except where I had tile installed. The hardwood floor is 3/4 inch oak flooring that was finished in a gunstock stain. The place I bought it from said it had 8 layers UV Cured Polyurethane w/Alumimum Oxide.

Where we live there is pretty high humidity. My home is on beams and blocks and I have plastic lattice surrounding it to keep out animals and to let the air keep things dried out when it rains (which it hasn't in a while)
My floor buckles when it's moist outside. I noticed a place in my bedroom that I had to stomp on to get it to go back down. It wasn't really high, but I could feel it with my foot. I read another thread here that asked about the gap. It was really cold last winter and I could feel air seeping into that gap so I stuffed pink insulation behind the baseboard and in that gap. The floor buckled before I did that last year, but it may be the reason for the high buckle. There was no moisture barrier laid.

I'm sure you are going to tell me to take out the pink insulation, but what do I put in it's place? Should I get tin to surround the house instead of the lattice to cut down on moisture and wind? If so how should I space the vents? What about the fact that there was no moisture barrier laid?

Thanks.

Kathy
I don't think there's a lot you can do here without doing major renovations. The little changes that have been mentioned should help a little bit at least.

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