Are your hardwood floors buckling, sagging, or cupping?
I think we can all agree that each home has its own personality like French architectural homes in the historic district of New Orleans. Crawlspaces or raised homes are a staple in the structural foundation of homes across Louisiana. This is a common solution to living in flood zones and the reality of living below sea level in cities all across New Orleans. An elevated home can be as low to the ground as 8 inches or as high as 16 feet. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not consider the exterior characteristics of the home when furnishing the interior, and how this has a huge impact on your hardwood floors buckling, cupping, or sagging.
What crawlspace isn’t hot, damp, and humid in Louisiana. NOT MANY!
The hot, humid weather conditions of Louisiana during the summer can be detrimental to your crawlspace. Your wooden structure expands in the summer due to high temperatures and elevation in humidity in the air. In the winter when the weather drops as well as the humidity your home releases moisture. This expansion and release of moisture over time causes internal damage to the wood framing causing deterioration, breakage, rot, mold, and causes the dimensions of your wood to shrink. This is the natural balance of all wood and is referred to as the equilibrium in wood.
Once the wooden members in your structure such as beams, posts, joists, and other framing have high moisture content from low ventilation, high humidity, or other factors, the only solution to your major problem is moisture remediation. Even cold weather or placing high powered commercial fans will not bring down a high moisture content once the wood is already saturated. It will keep expanding and releasing causing further damage like warping, twisting, splitting and cracking. Many different wood species can not keep up with the constant change in humidity and reach a stable balance in moisture content throughout the entire wood member.
Many homeowners can understand how their crawlspace can become damaged with weather conditions and no ventilation in a dark, damp spot. But, what many homeowners do not consider is the damage inside their home. Buckling, cupping, twisting, and sagging floors are the result of a high moisture content in the crawlspace, or an unequal equilibrium of moisture content over time. The moisture rises through the plywood subfloor penetrating into your home causing your hardwood floor to take the full hit.
Far too often homeowners throughout their stay in a home have to change their interior floors three or four times blaming it on a bad contractor, inefficient supplies and materials, or just bad luck. When you do not fix the source of a problem in a home the damages will just keep occurring costing much more money in the long run.
Mr. John’s Worries Concerning His Persistent Moisture Problem
Sunlight Contractors recently did a beautiful job for a homeowner in New Orleans. Mr. John’s floors were buckling for the second time and he was frustrated and weary of the results before work even began. Mr. John did not want to spend his money for the third time and receive regrettable results. Sunlight Contractors believes in full customer satisfaction and tried to ease Mr. John’s worries from the beginning because we knew we had the solution to his problem. Sunlight Contractors continued to inspect the home, taking pictures of what Mr. John was dealing with underneath his home. Sunlight Contractors advised Mr. John of every license and certification we have and assured Mr. John that the professionals were here, and we could guarantee our work for the lifetime of the home. Our priority was removing the mold that had built up over time due to the conditions of the crawlspace. We remove mold in a way that will not affect any other part of your home. Mold spores in the air can contaminate everything in its vicinity rapidly. Sunlight Contractors spares no exception for cleanliness, or contamination. Once removing the mold and moisture remediation was completed we continued to seal and encapsulate Mr. John’s entire subfloor in a quality coating of closed cell spray foam insulation.
Mr. John’s crawlspace is guaranteed by Sunlight Contractors that he will never have reoccurring moisture, or mold issues on the underside of his crawlspace for the lifetime of the home. Mr. John will never have to change his floor again due to moisture or mold. A frustrated and weary man now had a working encapsulated crawl space system and beautiful interior hardwood floor that he will never have to replace for the same problems he had tangled with for so many years.
The Solution To Fixing Buckling, Twisted, And Sagging Hardwood Floors
Encapsulating your crawlspace with closed cell spray foam at an average thickness between 2”-3” once the moisture in your crawlspace is between 10%-14% to assure proper adherence will be the best solution to your exterior crawlspace and interior hardwood floor issue. Closed cell spray foam is an air barrier, thermal barrier, and vapor barrier. It will keep your wooden member from rotting, attracting mold, deteriorating, or incurring any breakage. Most importantly, closed cell spray foam will keep your hardwood floors from buckling, cupping, or sagging.
If you are experiencing difficulties with hardwood floors or crawlspace maintenance in your home or office we are here to help. Contact your local Sunlight Contractors location for a free estimate today. Our team of professionals will inspect your home or office and provide you with an actionable plan to remediate mold and moisture and seal the area permanently with the correct application of spray foam insulation.
Written By: Jessica Costa