How To Repair Buckled Wood Floors
Repair buckled wood floors. Repairing buckled, cupped, or crowned hardwood is far from an easy task. Its time consuming and labor intensive as there are several steps needed in order to repair the hardwood floors the proper way.
Step One – Address the issue.
Firstly, fix the issue that caused the wood floors to buckle in the first place.
Ninety percent of the time, water is the culprit. If you had a leak, make sure the leak is fixed before you even begin to repair the floors. If you are unsure why your hardwood floors are buckling, give us a call. We will come out to address the issue. In addition, we will also run diagnostics and test for moisture and humidity within your home.
Step Two – Remove the damaged hardwood.
Remove the buckled wood with a pry bar and hammer. Some of the damaged planks may have to be cut down the center with a circular saw so you obtain the leverage to pry them up without damaging the surrounding wood planks and subfloor. Once the damaged buckled wood has been removed, check for excess staples or nails stuck in the plywood subfloor. Remove the nails with the tail of a hammer, a pry bar, or a channel lock. Remove the staples with a channel lock or a set of pliers. Aside from removing the buckled wood and excess nails/staples, it’s also important to remove a row of the un-damaged wood flooring planks that surround the buckled wood so that any residual moisture trapped between the subfloor and the undamaged wood is exposed.
Step Three – Remove water and moisture from subfloor.
The next step is to examine the wet subfloor and dry the subfloor. Above all, the best method to dry the subfloor is by setting up a fan and having the air flow over the exposed subfloor for a period of at least 24 hours. Subsequently, this will help the residual moisture in the subfloor dry and dissipate. Any fan will do but we recommend using the Rigid 1625 CFM Air Mover
After 24 hours, you may turn off the fan. At this point, re-examine the subfloors to make sure they are completely dry and make sure the subfloor is not damaged. If the subfloor is damaged you will be able to tell by the movement or flexibility of the subfloor. For instance, if the subfloor looks deteriorated and it seems as if you can push through the subfloor with a screwdriver, it is too damaged to reuse. It will require replacing those sections of subfloor with new subfloor.
Step Four – Replacing the buckled areas with new hardwood.
Purchase new un-finished hardwood of the same species, the same width, and the same grade. Subsequently, let the hardwood acclimate in the room of the repair for at least 5 days prior to installing. You can purchase the wood from your local wood floor supplier or you may purchase directly from us, Hudson Floor Group Inc, as we stock and offer wholesale pricing on all species and grades of hardwood. After that, install the new hardwood by glue and nail. We recommend using Loctite PL 400 Subfloor Adhesive which can be purchased at any neighborhood hardwood store, Homedepot, or Lowes.
Next, you will require a nail gun compressor to fasten the planks by nails or staples. The nails or staples should be fastened into the side edge or “tongue” of the hardwood floor planks. Moreover, it will ensure nails are hidden as you install the next rows of wood. For the last row of wood planks, use a skill saw to trim off the tongue(the edge of the wood that slides/pops into the groove) in order for the last row of wood to pop in seamlessly. After that, fasten the last row of planks by shooting a few finishing nails directly from the top of the plank, down into the subfloor. In addition, cover finishing nails with wood filler and allow to dry.
Step Five – Refinish the hardwood floors.
After the new wood has been installed, the final step is to refinish the floors and have them match back to the existing color of your hardwood floors. It is very difficult to refinish only the areas that you have replaced. Therefore its best to refinish the entire room where the floors buckled. Most importantly, this will ensure color consistency. In conclusion, refinishing consists of sanding the floors down, staining the floors to match existing color of your hardwood and finishing the floors by means of varnish or polyurethane. I know, it may sound easier than it actually is. However, if you have any trouble, feel free to give us a call for some free advice. Or you may give us a call to schedule for your flooring to be repaired, installed and refinished. Good luck and we are here if you need any assistance.