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What it is: The wood flooring becomes separated from the subfloor. It usually is accompanied by cupping and swelling.

Cause:

Moisture caused by:
  • Excessive job-site moisture
  • A house left vacant with no ventilation
  • Grade conditions
  • Pipe leaks
  • A wet slab
Excessive moisture always is the main cause of buckling. Factors that may aggravate the problem include these improper installation techniques:
  • For nail-down products, inadequate nailing, incorrect fasteners, incorrect subfloor construction.
  • For glue-down products, incorrect adhesive, insufficient adhesive, the wrong trowel, inadequate adhesive transfer (due to over-flashing or not rolling the floor), subfloor separation or subfloor contamination.
  • In adequate expansion space left by the installer.
Cure:

Fix the excessive-moisture condition and allow the floor to dry to normal levels. Spot repair/replacement, reinstallation, renailing and refinishing are some options. In most cases where the floor has loosened from the subfloor throughout the installation, reinstallation or replacement is necessary.