1

I have just bought a house that had a continuous engineered oak flooring downstairs. There was an obvious buckle in the floor in the hall, at the centre of the house that we were told by surveyor/builder was due to poor fitting as expansion gaps had not been left between rooms.

enter image description here

This made sense as the position of the buckle was the juncture of flooring that spanned the entire length and width of the house (see attached plan).

enter image description here

Yesterday, our flooring fitter removed the engineered flooring in the hall to discover that the buckle was caused by what appears to be oak parquet flooring that was water damaged. In fact, there was a puddle of water on top of the parquet flooring where the buckle was.

enter image description here

We removed all the parquet flooring, and although one plank in the region of the buckle was slightly damp, with some sort of green moss growing on it, the rest of the planks were quite dry, with signs of having been previously water damaged. The concrete underneath the parquet flooring was bone dry, and the batons it attached to showed no signs of significant rot.

enter image description here

Currently our best guess is that condensation has caused this problem, however no one can explain what caused it. Currently, we are thinking our best course of action would be to fit ply in the void left by the parquet flooring to bring up the floor level, so the engineered floor can be re-layed. If, however, we did this, wouldn't we have the same condensation problem? assuming that was the cause.

This has got all our professionals stumped, so I was looking for some guidance please.

Thanks

  • 1
    Despite the concrete appearing dry, concrete is porous. It's entirely possible water came up through the foundation, soaked the boards, and then retreated enough to make the concrete appear dry. If I were you, I'd want to rule out an issue below the foundation (i.e. leaking pipe). Might be worth consulting a foundation specialist and/or plumber. – Machavity Dec 14 '16 at 13:32
  • 1
    Not necessarily. Wood rots when it's constantly wet. If you've got a cycle of lots of wet, followed by a period of dry, the wood won't rot. And they won't buckle because they have room to expand (while your laminate does not). It does require that the concrete dry as well, but that's what you've described. I wouldn't guess concrete as a first source (this would be very odd as concrete that gets wet tends to stay wet) but there's no other obvious sources that could put down that much water and not leave any clues – Machavity Dec 14 '16 at 13:48
  • 2
    In the diagram the bulge is close to a bathroom. If the original flooring was laid tight and a leak in the bathroom caused the floor to buckle it may not have returned to the original position even after drying out. I would doubt it was the heaters because your moisture content is low and the pipes don't appear to have been worked on but with a tightly laid floor if there is a relief valve this could have also been a cause. – Ed Beal Dec 14 '16 at 15:11
  • 1
    My first reaction was the same as macavity...concrete basement floors are often wet due to ground water seeping in or condensation (being cold). However...it does appear that the water was actually "in the middle" layer...and not necessarily coming from the concrete. It could be something as odd water following a very particular course down the side of the tub during showers and managing to find it's way in between those two particular layers of flooring. (I mention this as I had a similar issue once where water would leak...but only when one particular user used the shower.) – DA01 Dec 14 '16 at 20:44
  • 2
    ...ultimately, i think you need to rule out internal water sources...namely that radiator and bathroom. I'd lay down butcher paper around the area for a few weeks and see if it takes on water at any point. You can then hopefully figure out where the moisture is coming from (bath, heater, concrete, etc...) – DA01 Dec 14 '16 at 20:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.