It can be really upsetting to find your beautiful hardwood floor beginning to buckle after a few days. There are a number of reasons why this occurs. The most common being moisture- due to a change in temperature and humidity. This causes the wood flooring to expand or contract. As the wood is closely attached to adjoining the surfaces, all the pressure is exerted in the centre where it begins to form a sort of ‘tent’ or buckle up. Hence that portion of the hardwood tile is no longer in contact with the subfloor. Other moisture-related problems for hardwood floorings include Cupping and Crowning.
Buckling happens when the floor is flooded. Other reasons for buckling could also be incorrect nailing of the floors or in case of glued floors it could be because proper instructions were not followed during hardwood installation.
It would be most preferable if you have a few extra pieces of the hardwood flooring. Or else you could take a sample to a supplier and find a match. In case none of this works you can use unfinished wood of the same variety and stain it to look the same.
If you have aces to the hardwood from below, place any heavy weight above the buckle. From below, drive a short screw, not longer than 1 ¼ inches through the subfloor and into the buckled hardwood. The screw should not go all the way through the hardwood tile. Once the screw is engaged into the tile, it will pull the flooring down and repair the buckle.
If you don’t have access to the floor from below, make pencil marks on the floor to be replaced where new joints need to be cut. Set a circular saw to the exact thickness of the flooring. Make two parallel cuts the length of the board, ½ inch from the long edges and cross cut the center on an angle. With a sharp chisel, break the kerfs at the ends and chisel through the cross cut. Remove the centre piece and vacuum clean it. Make sure all the moisture and nails are removed. Select a matching replacement board. Cut the piece to exact length with a saw. Apply glue or adhesive neatly and place a heavy weight above it for at least 45 minutes. If you are repairing a larger area, blind nail most of the replacements pieces into place and glue the last board.
Use a floor scraper to smoothen the repair. Apply colour-matched stain and de-gloss the area. Apply a second coat if necessary. For a more uniform finish, stain and de-gloss the entire floor. Although time-consuming, it is a more effective way.
Many buckled floors are irreparable. If the wood is too severely warped or damaged, replacing the flooring is your only choice. Apart from that, proper maintenance of your hardwood flooring is the best option. A few tips to look after your hardwood floors include not mopping them too often or with excessive water. Wood absorbs moisture and then tends to expand and contract. Certain kinds of shoes- such as heels also damage wood floors. Installing a protective felt pad is the best way to prevent damage.
Hence to prevent buckling and save yourself from the heavy costs, follow the easy maintenance tips and watch your hardwood floors last!