enter image description hereenter image description hereWe hired a contractor to convert our attic into living space. Long story, short...he was a nightmare and left with out doing any of the finish. Now, the floor joists on the first floor are raising causing the hardwood floors to be like a roller coaster. The first floor is over an unfinished basement. The house is 41 years old, and until this was a beautiful example of quality craftsmanship. Thank you for any help! Ps...as of 2 days later, the crown molding on the first floor is pulling away from the ceiling, showing a 1/2” gap.

  • 2
    That doesn't really make sense. What did the attic conversion have to do with the lower structure?
    – isherwood
    Jan 12 '19 at 0:05
  • are the basement walls directly below the first floor walls? .... if they are not, you may be seeing the result of cantilever action because of the attic being too heavy for the structure
    – jsotola
    Jan 12 '19 at 1:40
  • The exterior walls line up of course, but the interior walls do not always...there are fewer basement walls with several structural round pillars (round, about 6”) through the center.
    – Roberta
    Jan 12 '19 at 2:01
  • 2
    And the gap in the crown, if it is actually 1/2", is quite alarming. I'd seek consultation from a local expert immediately.
    – isherwood
    Jan 15 '19 at 15:01
  • 1
    Is humidity high in your part of the world now? Your hardwood appears to be buckling, which isn't connected to the attic project unless that's the source of moisture.
    – isherwood
    Jan 17 '19 at 19:12

Humidity swells boards.

When this happened to us it was because of humidity. It was mostly around the air conditioner ducts, where the cold air caused condensation. The boards heaved right up because they swelled with water. There was mold too.

Our problems were 1: opening windows at night in the summer. 2: drying clothes on a line indoors. 3: running the fan all the time.

Tying your issues to the attic conversion - if you were losing humidity thru the attic and your attic renovator installed something new that prevented the loss of humidity you had before, then your house might be more humid. The humidity is swelling and buckling the wood. Or humidity might be unrelated to attic project.

Once we fixed the humidity most of the wood went back down. I set heavy stuff on some to press it into place but we needed a guy to come remove and shorten some boards that were now too long to go back in place.

  • 1
    Thank you!....we have lived here 2 years, and the previous owner ran the dehumidifier in the basement constantly, and we don’t use it at all. Part of the house is over crawl space and it has been encapsulated, but it is still open to the basement.
    – Roberta
    Jan 18 '19 at 4:34
  • I am curious where you are that is so humid in Jan. Northern California?
    – Willk
    Jan 19 '19 at 20:36
  • Actually, I wish we in NorCal, but no, it’s indianapolis.
    – Roberta
    Jan 20 '19 at 2:41

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