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peaceandquiet 02-13-2012 05:33 PM

Pergo problem - can anyone help?
Hello all,

I hope it is ok to ask this question even though it is not technically DIY as it is related to a floor I paid someone to install.

We had Pergo installed in July 2010 in our ground floor (no basement) condo. The installers ripped up the carpet and found that the concrete underneath was very uneven. They then had to "repour" the entire floor with a thin layer of new concrete to level everything out.

They tested for moisture and, after about a day/2 days, laid down a premium moisture barrier/padding combo. They then installed the Pergo.

Well, gradually since then, I've been noticing that the floor is not smooth. The seams between the planks are elevated. I suppose it is "cupping", from the research I've done. It's not as bad as some of the pic's I've seen but it is definitely there.

I clean the floor with a wet swiffer (NOT the wet-jet). I am careful to never let the floor have moisture on it for longer than it takes to clean it.

So my theory is that there is moisture from underneath the floor causing this. But how is that possible if there is a moisture barrier?

Ugh, I'm just heartsick about this. We spent THOUSANDS of dollars to have this done and now I'm so worried.

An independent inspector came out today (sent either from Pergo or Home Depot, I don't know) and took a bunch of measurements. He wasn't allowed to discuss anything with me, though, so I still have no answers.

If anyone can help or share their knowledge, I would truly appreciate it.

Thank you so much.

framer52 02-13-2012 07:08 PM

Concrete would take longer than 2 days for the moisture to leave.

I think you have an installation problem. Someone should be repairing this at no cost to you.

oh'mike 02-13-2012 07:14 PM

What you are describing is 'edge swelling' moisture is the culprit----if you are cleaning as you say---the moisture is likely coming from tthe slab---vapor barriers some times fail--or are installed incorrectly.

Have you contacted the installers yet?

oh'mike 02-13-2012 07:15 PM

Framer 52 types faster than me!

peaceandquiet 02-13-2012 08:04 PM

Wow, thank you both. That was quick.

As for the concrete drying in 1 - 2 days, maybe I should point out 2 things:
I live in Colorado (very dry).
It wasn't necessarily "concrete" that he poured - it was something like concrete that came in big bags of powder that he mixed with water, it was very thin, so that might make a difference. The thickness of it couldn't have been more than an inch at any point.

He used a moisture testing device all over the place before he decided to start the installation . . . so I assumed he knew what he was doing?

The moisture barrier we used was Roberts Harmony 3-in-1 premium underlayment, if that matters.

I just don't understand what went wrong - the contractor seemed to understand the importance of waiting until it was safely dry . . . and I bought the most expensive underlayment I could find.

And I promise, I really do use a wet swiffer, and am very careful to make sure it dries quickly. And since I'm being honest, I don't even do that all that often:001_unsure:

With this in mind, do you still think it could be moisture? I mean, that's the only thing I can think of too . . .

Is it reasonable to expect Pergo to be completely smooth at the seams? Or is some "cupping" to be expected? Honestly, what I was hoping would happen was the inspector coming out, looking at the floor, and saying "That?! Oh that's totally normal, no problem, you're just being too picky!".

Because, honestly, the way it LOOKS right NOW doesn't bother me too much. What really worries me is that if it is gradual moisture damage, it will continue to get worse.

oh'mike 02-14-2012 06:34 AM

If the edge swelling is minor it may be normal---I personally don't like the laminates--for many reasons

Pergo has more fine print in their warranty than a Gideons Bible----don't expect any help from them--

That cement product was 'self leveling compound'----poured on in a very thin layer to fill voids and low spots----I doubt if that was the cause of the trouble---

framer52 02-14-2012 07:23 AM

mike, you know it will fall back on the installers. Shame also because it sounds like it was done correctly.

On concrete installs, I have taken to using 2 layers of underlayment, hoping that at least one layer will work.

peaceandquiet 02-14-2012 07:41 AM

Thanks, you two.

I agree that it seemed to me the installer really did try to do it right.

Maybe, since we are a ground floor unit, there is more moisture coming up that is not just from the extra concrete layer. ??

I guess my ultimate question is . . . it's not too bad now, and it's been about 1.5 years since install. Is it going to get worse? If it never gets worse than it is now I just don't think I'll care.

Believe me, I would have preferred to do something other than laminate, but this is a condo in a middle class neighborhood and it's current value is about HALF of what we paid for it in 2005 . . . so there was no way we were going to put in high-end flooring (not that we could have afforded to).

oh'mike 02-15-2012 05:58 PM

You have gone through one and a half heating cycles---It should be stable now---keep an eye on it but you will get what you get---Life is like that sometimes---Mike---

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