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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pier and beam house, hardwood floors... Nailed over substrate.. owner decided to cover 6 in hardwood boards with moisture barrier and engineered wood floor.

Few months later floor buckled in one spot bad.. like a speed bump.. or a curb,. I fixed it, it did it again in another spot... Or about 50 spots really. The entire floor is buckled underneath the engineered wood and some parts on the engineered wood
They added ventilation to the crawl space.. I think, if knocking out some bricks is venting the crawl space.
.but for roofing we have a formula for intake and exhaust, so air gets sucked in and forced out.. I would guess it would be similar concept for crawl spaces no?

I took some pics but it's really hard to tell what's going on in the pics but I thought someone might have dealt with this..

What is causing the buckling? Moisture barrier? Venting? Something else?
 

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Maybe swollen hardwood that can’t dry cause of the moisture barrier? But I’m sure you’ve already thought of that. Are you able to poke your head into the crawlspace and see how damp it is?
 

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Also, did they bust out the bricks as part of the original flooring work? Or was that something they did after the problems began?
 

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Yep, you're trapping moisture in the original hardwood causing it to swell & buckle, thus affecting the new wood. Nothing short of removing the new wood is going to solve this.

Keep this in mind, crawl spaces & basements are always higher moisture than conditioned space. Bottom of hardwood always has a higher moisture level that surface if there's not an adequate moisture barrier or conditioned space below the wood, you're going to have cupping. When the moisture barrier was added on top of the hardwood, the moisture from below is now raising the moisture in the original hardwood, causing it to swell, thus affecting the engineered flooring.

Had the original hardwood been flat before the new floor was put over top, then adding kraft paper under the new floor would have stopped the wood to wood squeeks, but allowed the hardwood to remain in moisture balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok playful nipple twists to everyone. That's pretty much what we thought...and what we have been telling the owner but he so mad about wasting money on that stupid floor he doesn't want to remove it. We never even wanted the new floor.

My friend and I met this guy a few years ago when he was working on this house next door to my friends. She saw him outside and went over to say hi and he was mad as hell about some guy he hired do do some drywall and the guy didn't know what the heck he was doin. My friend said, oh my best friend knows how to drywall... And we ended up renoing the whole house.

This place was a ****hole... Like TOtAL ****hole... The guy was old and in over his head and my friend and I needed a project so we just took over and he let us. He was glad to have us and paid us double what we asked for everything. It was fun plus we got paid. This is the nicest man on the planet. The original wood floor was pretty rough but it was also kind of cool looking. We made it work. Then he hired Lowes to put the finishing touches on the floor. It's just gone downhill from there.

Maybe swollen hardwood that can’t dry cause of the moisture barrier? But I’m sure you’ve already thought of that. Are you able to poke your head into the crawlspace and see how damp it is?
We can but we haven't lately. We don't like spiders. There's no vapor barrier on the floor of the crawlspace at all and the brick demo was an after thought to make it ventilate. But it wasn't done with any precision it was just here and there. Hell most roofers don't even understand how to ventilate attics, it doesn't surprise me this guy didn't know how to do the crawlspace.

So demo it is.. will that make the wood go back down? Or is it prob ruined now?
 

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Nothing will make it go back to original, nails have partially pulled out and wood twisted also. I have never had it go back without lots of work, way more that it’s worth. Tear both floors out and start over
 

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Some of the wood will be permanenty cupped/bowed/whatever. Fibers get crushed, so they don't go back in place correctly.

If you can get them down flat, expect gapping..
 

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Nothing will make it go back to original, nails have partially pulled out and wood twisted also. I have never had it go back without lots of work, way more that it’s worth. Tear both floors out and start over
This is generally the correct answer. If you want to save some of the original wood, getting underneath and cutting along the tops of the joists can free it up. Saving old flooring is very expensive due to the time involved.
 

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This is generally the correct answer. If you want to save some of the original wood, getting underneath and cutting along the tops of the joists can free it up. Saving old flooring is very expensive due to the time involved.
Heck, I charge plenty when it isn't being saved. If you cut it out like hdavis mentioned, figure on plenty of saw blades to get through all those nails.

I hope he pays you double again, sounds like this job is going to suck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nothing will make it go back to original, nails have partially pulled out and wood twisted also. I have never had it go back without lots of work, way more that it’s worth. Tear both floors out and start over
yeah.. that was a dumb question.
Some of the wood will be permanenty cupped/bowed/whatever. Fibers get crushed, so they don't go back in place correctly.

If you can get them down flat, expect gapping..
I was trying to remember how we fixed it last time and I believe we just pulled up the boards on the bottom and I ran them down the table saw on each side about the width of the saw blade so they would lay flat again as opposed to their new teepee form. But yeah they were warped I don't even know why I asked that. I took a pic of one of the bumps today after we sliced the moisture barrier and this is what we saw


This doesnt look like engineered wood flooring … aka plywood … it looks like laminate wear surface on thin mdf backing. Junk to start with.

View attachment 514024
They aren't bendy. But engineered might be a stretch
 

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I don't really have much to contribute here. Just one rhetorical question and a statement. Is there an expansion gap between both floors and the framing/baseboard?

Punching some holes in a foundation doesn't help with controlling humidity. Sometimes that will actually raise the relative humidity in a craspace/basement. As hot and humid air enters the crawl space it quickly cools and the moisture in the air condenses and makes the basement damper.
 
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