How To Avoid Your Wooden Floor from Cupping
In a household with small children, pets or heavy footfall, it is not always possible to prevent accidents. If you spill a large amount of water on a solid wood floor, even the strongest of materials can develop cupping. The term ‘cupping’ – sometimes called dishing – refers to when the floorboards rise at the edges.
This causes the hardwood to become uneven and bumpy. The good news though is that cupping is easy to avoid and it can be repaired, if necessary. The best way to prevent it is, of course, is to put measures in place to stop excess moisture damaging the wood. If you have a solid wood floor, then a little care and attention will help to keep it looking fantastic for a long time.
Common Causes of Cupping
There are a number of reasons why a solid wood floor might start to curl at the edges and they all involve excess moisture, in one way or another. In some cases, the flooring was originally laid on an overly moist sub-floor. This can be a costly problem, because the boards usually need to be lifted up and away from the lower surface, so that it can be dried. If the ground is too wet, the wood simply won’t be laid over the top until it is completely ready. A moisture reading may be taken to gauge the severity of the problem and the nature of the solution.
Prevention is simple for this one. If you hire the help of an expert supplier and installer such as Maxymus Floor Care Ltd who can diagnose and advise you on the issue and how to treat it, then you will be in good hands.
In other cases, a leak or flooding could have caused damage to the wood and forced the boards to curl. For homeowners, this can be a really frustrating problem to have to deal with, but it doesn’t always mean that a floor is ruined. If you invest in high quality solid wood flooring, in the first place, you should find that it’s pretty tough and hard wearing.
Normally, if a cup of water or other non toxic liquid is spilled on your wooden flooring, then wipe up as much as you can and the floor should dry naturally.
Responding to Cupping in Floors
The key to determining whether or not your floor can be saved is finding out how much of the fixing has been affected. If more than 40% of the floor has come loose from the sub-floor, it will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to repair it. This is common after very severe flooding and water damage.
If you’re confident that only a small proportion of the fixing is vulnerable, then the first step is to bring the humidity in the room back to a healthy level. We can advise you on this.
If the humidity is too high, as is usually the case after water damage or flooding, use a standard dehumidifier to restore it to the right level. This is absolutely crucial, because if you make any changes to the wood itself, before the humidity is restored, you risk having the edges of the floor sink lower than the middle. Once the room is stable, you can sand and refinish the floor if you feel it is necessary.
Knowing When to Ask for Help
If you have a solid wood floor and it develops problems, as a result of an unexpected accident or mishap, you are advised to seek the help of a specialist. The first place to start is a company such as Maxymus Floor Care Ltd, who specialise in repairing wood floors, as well as sanding and polishing them.
It is important to realise that high quality wood floors are actually very tough and durable. They are highly resistant to scratches and marks, but they can be weak when it comes to water. With the right care, however, even water damaged floors can be brought back to life. So, don’t despair if you spot cupping in your wood; go out and get an expert opinion.