Have you ever noticed the boards on a hardwood floor looking washboard like and wavy? Did the long edges of the boards looked higher compared to the center of the boards, which appeared concave? If so, then that is referred to as hardwood cupping. The primary culprit when it comes to hardwood cupping is too much moisture. This occurs when there is high humidity level, whenever the boards soak up too much moisture from the subfloor, from spills, water leaks, or even by incorrectly cleaning the hardwood floor. Hardwood cupping can result in more complicated problems like cracked boards as well as peeling finish and could eventually lead to floor buckling. Let us discuss at some of the primary causes and how to address them.
High Relative Humidity
Even the North Myrtle Beach hardwood floors that have been carefully installed can be at risk of cupping especially in humid summer season. When the cupping is evident all throughout your house, then the most likely culprit is humidity. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep the relative humidity of your home well below 50%. You can do this by running the air conditioner during hot days and by switching off the home’s heat recovery ventilation system. In case the HRV is switched on during the summer, it will constantly bring the damp air from the outdoors and into your house.
A subfloor that contains higher moisture compared to the wood itself is another common cause of cupping in hardwood floors. This issue is prevalent in hardwood floors that have been installed in a new home without air conditioning or heat during the hardwood floor installation. The prevent hardwood cupping, the wood must have the same or nearly the same moisture content of the sub floor. You can do this by acclimatizing the house to in-use conditions before as well as during the installation of the floor, and by ensuring that moisture barriers are set in place.
Basement floors usually have excess moisture, so selecting the right flooring for that situation can greatly help in preventing cupping. In case you are planning on installing hardwood floors in your basement, be sure to choose the most durable ones. Don’t forget to run a quality dehumidifier that is big enough to handle the area if you wish to prevent cupping. A unit that automatically drains is the best choice.
Spills, Leaks, and Cleaning Methods
If you notice hardwood cupping in certain areas only like near the sinks, it may be due to leaks or spills. You should clean water spills right away. If you notice water leaks, have it repaired immediately. Proper cleaning methods will go a long way when it comes to preventing hardwood cupping. Don’t use an overly wet mop or too much water when cleaning your hardwood floor. Using a steam cleaner is not recommended as well. It is better to use a dust mop. In case you need to wash the floor, go with a hardwood floor cleaner. Just be sure to use it with care.
These simple steps can help prevent hardwood cupping. In case you need professional help, you can always count on NMB Flooring Pros.
Call NMB Flooring Pros for all your flooring needs.
NMB Flooring Pros
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582