Wood floors buckling because of moisture damage

Wood floors buckling because of moisture

Bonnie and Joe Meteye bought their Metairie home less than a year after Hurricane Katrina, but held off on replacing the original wood floors until five years later when they were adding on to their home. They found a contractor who was more than happy to install their new flooring, but he never bothered to mention that they might want to protect it against moisture damage.

Within two years, the new flooring had deteriorated so much due to moisture (and mold) that it was in no better condition than the original flooring that they had replaced. They were back to square one, only now with less money in their pockets.

Corey Serigny, too, fell victim to an “amateur” contractor. When he decided to replace the wood flooring in his family’s home, he was advised to put in treated wood and skip the moisture barrier between flooring and subflooring. Any moisture would dissipate into the air, his contractor told Serigny, and with the treated wood too, he’d be protected from any future buckling.


In just three months of wet Louisiana weather, the floors were not only buckling, they were actually beginning to rot. This outcome was especially upsetting for Serigny because he was replacing the floors for the second time in just seven years. Each time, he had refinanced his home to pay for the floor renovations.

How two Louisiana families rebounded from bad moisture barrier advice

The Meteyes, convinced by Sunlight’s many positive reviews called owner Corey Yates. Yates personally explored the Meteyes’ crawl space, performed a blower door test, and inspected for moisture-related issues. Finding mold, as well as rotten wood, He sent samples to a certified mold lab, which identified the species of the high levels of mold in both flooring and walls.

Sunlight’s experts then began remediation, which included removing 1400 square feet of moisture-trapping, mold-promoting batt fiberglass insulation from the attic ceiling. After cold-fogging the home’s open sheet rock area and subflooring with EPA-certified MoldStat to kill existing mold and to prohibit future mold growth, the Sunlight team cleansed the attic roof deck, rafters and beams.

They subsequently equipped the home with an Aprilaire whole house dehumidification system to pull moisture from the air even when the HVAC isn’t running, and they installed open cell spray foam in the attic to help regulate temperatures and discourage condensation and the mold growth that dampness encourages. Finally, Sunlight installed closed cell to the subflooring.

Serigny, frustrated beyond belief by his previous experiences, also desperately reached out to Sunlight Contractors, hoping that they could solve his home’s moisture problems once and for all. Moisture control expert and Sunlight owner Corey Yates developed a plan to do just that.

The Sunlight team cleaned and aired out the sub-flooring, then applied (at reduced cost to Serigny) a high-quality water-blocking primer. Afterward, they installed 1700+ square feet of  closed cell spray foam to insulate and fill voids in and around the crawl space and exterior walls. As a result, Serigny’s floors are now dry, his energy costs are low, and his home is more comfortable.

Start with the right contractors and the right moisture control advice

While the Meteyes and Serigny ultimately received the best moisture control available, they’d have been much better off if they’d been given proper advice at the beginning of their restoration projects. While many Louisiana contractors claim to be experts in moisture control, few take the time to really examine the situation and offer the best advice for the individual homeowners.

This leads to damaged floors, mold, and even termite infestations in the long run. Trust your home to a highly trained, certified, experienced contractor with the knowledge, expertise and determination to get it right the first time. Take it from satisfied customers like Hurley and trust your home to Sunlight Contractors.

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