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Old 11-09-2015, 09:33 PM   #1
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wooden floor wrapped planks


Hi All,
I got a house from the bank and the floors might have some issues. The planks have been wrapped in a couple of places.
My first worry is how can it happen? Is there any structural integrity damage to the house? The drywall has a few cracks as well, I wonder if they are related.

The house has crawlspace.

Is the damage fixable without having to redo the whole floor?

Please see pictures.

Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:58 PM   #2
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This house has settled, either from age or major water damage.

You need to investigate, get a structure engineer to apprise you on how bad.


ED
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:57 AM   #3
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Actually that is not damage from settling. That is damage for the building sitting empty with no a/c or heat.

Do not toss any of that old wood flooring. Just because it has come up, does not mean that you have to rip it all out and put some cheaper flooring down or carpeting.

You actually will increase the value of the home if you fix it up, keep as much as you can of the old flooring, etc. Maybe get rid of the old Intercom system.

You have a lot of work ahead on that place, to turn it back into something that you would see Nicole Curtis take from a Diamond in the Rough, to the Jewel of the neighborhood.

First thing is get yourself a General Contractor to help get a punch list of everything that needs to be done. Unless you have a way to make income, by being at the house to work on it. You are going to have to hire a site manager to handle the trades and make sure that no one is slacking off.

Keep us updated on this. If you have not placed this in the projects section. You may want to and put up pictures of the outside, flooring plan, interior pictures, what you plan on doing for the scope of the work.

As long as the bones of that old house are not damaged. She will be better looking when you finally get her done.




Last edited by gregzoll; 11-10-2015 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:34 PM   #4
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As Gregzoll has pointed out, Do Not Throw ANY of the flooring Away! A good hardwood floor person may very well be able to use it for repair. More likely, they will exchange some damaged pieces with pieces from a closet and make the floor look like new. Make sure there are no leaks in roof or from plumbing and (as previously suggested) get control of the temperature in that house. You will need to get the inside climate stable before you make repairs. You can usually get a free estimate for floor repair, sanding and finishing, this would give you an idea of what is necessary, even if you are able to do some work yourself. Either you or someone you hire should go into crawl space (or basement), attic and get a good look at what shape your framing is in, what shape footings are in, what structural damage there might be etc. In other words, look beyond the superficial and make sure structural repairs, if needed, are done before you make repairs to floors, walls, ceilings etc. The pictures you provided are good but the more you can show and tell us about the place the more the folks here can help you. CW

Last edited by CoyWolf; 11-10-2015 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:52 PM   #5
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What's under that floor?
Basement, crawl space?
How wet is it down there?
Any old house I've ever worked on has under sized over spanned joist, not enough supports, improper footings under the supports, at least 50% on the time there's fungus or wood boring insect damage.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:13 PM   #6
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Makarona told us there's a crawl space, and I'll bet that's one of the issues. I can see some of the boards are cupped, indicating too much moisture from the bottom side. May need some work down there too.

Floors will buckle due to lack of expansion space among other reasons. The buckled strips can be fixed, but the entire floor will need sanding and re finishing.

How long was the house vacant and where is it?

Here's a wood floor that buckled real nice.

Jaz
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:34 PM   #7
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:52 PM   #8
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Crawl space suggestions ...


Just some suggestions regarding your crawl space. Make sure crawl space has 6 mil plastic sheeting covering 100% of the dirt floor and make sure it goes a minimum 6" up each foundation (stem) wall and is attached and sealed to the stem wall. Where sheeting overlaps, make sure it laps by at least 6" and is taped along each seam. Crawlspace also should be vented properly. As a rule of thumb vending shoud be 1 square foot of vent for each 150 square feet of crawlspace floor. If there are no existing vents in stem wall you may need to provide some, check the code. If you go to your local building department, they will be happy to let you know what local and national codes are for insuring that your crawl space stays nice and dry ... Opinions differ in closing vents during winter months, check local code about that too (I close off vents during winter using 2" insulation board but make sure the covers come off in early spring ... this shouldn't be necessary unless you live in an area that gets very cold). Everything above is relatively inexpensive to do and will save you all kinds of headaches regarding your floors and the rest of the house and your wellbeing (e.g. mold, radon gas, moisture etc). It's cheap insurance. After that's all done, get some heat in there and let the floors acclimate, it can take a few weeks to do that and boards will dry, relax and shrink a little. This is especially necessary when you get to the stage of sanding and filling cracks (after repair). @JazMan : Wow that is a lot of expansion, they must have laid that flooring right up against the sole plate ... bad move. I like to leave a minimum of 1/2" around the perimeter (depending on room size, more may be needed). That's why you see baseboard AND quarter round used in older homes with hardwood floors, to bridge that gap and allow for expansion. CW
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:56 PM   #9
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There is crawlspace under the floor.
I looked at the wood and it looked nice, clean and no mold or rotten. All the windows have been broken though so there is full time venting. The house has been vacant for a several years but I know there have been people living in there somehow with no heat for the past few months. Old mail and sales receipts ...
The roof is very nice and there was no sign of any humidity in the house even after an inspection after a heavy rainy day. The ceiling was nice and dry as well.

... Argh so many things to do ... and tons of $$$ to fix it.

I'll stop by next weekend for more pictures.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:33 PM   #10
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The venting that I referred to needs to be in crawl space, NOT the house, silly goose.

You say there was no sign of humidity even a after heavy rainy day ... the warped floor is obviously a BIG SIGN of humidity and will get worse unless you do as suggested.

Plastic sheeting on crawlspace floor is relatively inexpensive and along with getting the house sealed up (windows fixed) and heat on to stabilize the indoor climate, is critical to solving the problem of warped floor boards.

The clean and no mold on floor joists is good news but to keep the floor boards from getting worse you need to take measures to close up, warm up and dry out the house.

CW


Quote:
Originally Posted by makarona View Post
There is crawlspace under the floor.
I looked at the wood and it looked nice, clean and no mold or rotten. All the windows have been broken though so there is full time venting. The house has been vacant for a several years but I know there have been people living in there somehow with no heat for the past few months. Old mail and sales receipts ...
The roof is very nice and there was no sign of any humidity in the house even after an inspection after a heavy rainy day. The ceiling was nice and dry as well.

... Argh so many things to do ... and tons of $$$ to fix it.

I'll stop by next weekend for more pictures.

Last edited by CoyWolf; 11-13-2015 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:20 PM   #11
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I can put plastic, no biggie. Its not against the codes right?
Windows need insulation as well. Only 1st floor has floor issues. 2nd floor has no problems at all.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:22 PM   #12
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Why were the planks wrapped?

Just curious.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
Why were the planks wrapped?

Just curious.
Umm, Bank foreclosure. No conditioned air. Basically the temp changes caused the wood flooring to warp and pop when the house started to move around from the changing of the interior weather conditions.

This is the biggest example of what you need to be prepared for, before bidding on a Foreclosure. Majority of the money that you do not have, goes to redoing the home back to what it was like, before the flooring and other things started to cause problems.



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Old 11-13-2015, 07:48 PM   #14
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I believe the OP meant "warped planks".

No, the plastic (6 mil) is not against code, if fact it's not only recommended but probably required. Installation is specific and must be installed properly to do any good and meet code.
Check with your building department on requirements and recommendations, information is free.

In general and to the best of my knowledge:
1) must use 6 mil plastic and cover ground completely
2) sheets must overlap a minimum of 6" and be taped at all seams
3) plastic must go 6" up stem wall and be sealed to the stem wall (use roofing adhesive to seal plastic to cleaned surface on stem wall).

Local code requirements may differ slightly but are, at a minimum, like the above, check with building department, they will let you know any additional requirements, if any.
They may also be able to advise you of discounts or tax savings for upgrades on windows etc ... building department is there to help, use them, they are a great resource!
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