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Thread: Curious anomoly

  1. #1
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    Default Curious anomoly

    I'm note sure what area this belongs in, but I'm going here.
    The warped floor is in a 6 year old house. Center of the living room, center of the pre-fab fireplace. About 6 feet from the rear exterior wall.
    The floor warp is enough to dictate a bulk water intrusion issue. But there is no evidence of an over-head leak from the fireplace chimney pipe. No plumbing in that area. Adjacent AC ductwork is decent.
    To me the wild card could be the rear raised patio (covered). It is filled with sand so no going under it. The outer band against the porch is deteriorated in about a 4' area.
    Has the builder backfilled against an unflashed band? Is that sufficient to wick that much water into the building component? It's a crawl space 3' above finished grade. Moisture content in the floor was 50% just in the dead center.

    JLMathis

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    You have a little more going on, but once saw a wood floor, 3/4" Oak T&G, with an isolated area about 4 feet from a window where a small area of wood floor warped. Found out that was the spot of a Christmas tree and they had a towel under the stand in case of spills. They overfilled the tree one day and saturated the towel (little more than a spill), but figured it would just dry out. Then, one Christmas day, they took the tree down and surprise, a warped area of floor.

    Not sure how big of an area you have, but it sounded like an isolated area in the middle of the room...


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    This wicking ( not from a Christmas Tree ) and deterioration of the band board is a consistent water source. From a Leak or improper drainage. Maybe ice maker or similar source.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    There is definitely a problem at the band joist that needs repair. Moisture from that bad edge could be running along a seam in the OSB to the patch in the middle of the room. Seems unlikely tho, unless there is a definite slope into the center?
    If the water is under the underlay, it may only be getting to the flooring at a seam in the underlay, another thought.

    Mike's thought about the Xmas tree is also a real possibility. Serious floor washing, shampooing of the carpet? Any pee stains in that carpet?

    I think the baseboard trim and the first plank along the wall should be pried off and then they will see how much moisture there is. Yes the builder has apparently screwed up the flashing or lack thereof, and there is likely a connection between the two wet spots.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Thanks so far, but:

    No Christmas tree. No water lines anywhere. The fireplace was removed prior to my involvement and the owner says there was no visible issue. (trying to rule out the chimney). The baseboard was removed left side of the fireplace with nothing to see.
    I know the band joist needs replacing, but it's not posing an imminent structural problem now and I'd like to get a handle on the why first.

    JLMathis


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    I'm note sure what area this belongs in, but I'm going here.
    The warped floor is in a 6 year old house. Center of the living room, center of the pre-fab fireplace. About 6 feet from the rear exterior wall.
    The floor warp is enough to dictate a bulk water intrusion issue. But there is no evidence of an over-head leak from the fireplace chimney pipe. No plumbing in that area. Adjacent AC ductwork is decent.
    To me the wild card could be the rear raised patio (covered). It is filled with sand so no going under it. The outer band against the porch is deteriorated in about a 4' area.
    Has the builder backfilled against an unflashed band? Is that sufficient to wick that much water into the building component? It's a crawl space 3' above finished grade. Moisture content in the floor was 50% just in the dead center.

    JLMathis
    It is kind of hard to decipher your wording of the problem, but I think we all agree that this is a moisture problem.

    I would say that the water/moisture is not from under the home, but more than likely it is water that is caught between the vapor barrier under the wood floor and between the subfloor. When wood flooring crowns as shown in your picture this is caused by water from the top or the wood expanding along the edges and then forcing the wood to crown like it is in the picture.

    If the band joist is wet then this has bee transmitted to the subfloor (stains on subfloor) which has most likely swelled causing he wood flooring to become damp and swell and then expand and move as it has done.

    What is the cladding on the outside of the home over the band joist?

    Are you saying that a concrete patio is poured up against the side of the home at the level of the band joist?

    Any exterior photos?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Scott,

    Did you mean to say the floor is cupping? The picture shows the edges of the hardwood raised and your correct to say the moisture is coming from below. Here is a document from NOFMA http://www.crescenthardwood.com/nofma/cc.pdf
    that discusses the differences.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Scott,

    Did you mean to say the floor is cupping? The picture shows the edges of the hardwood raised and your correct to say the moisture is coming from below. Here is a document from NOFMA http://www.crescenthardwood.com/nofma/cc.pdf
    that discusses the differences.

    //Rick
    My bad, as my son would say! Yes, cupping. I had crowning on my mind from a report I had just completed for a litigation gig. Thanks for pointing it out..

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    I'm note sure what area this belongs in, but I'm going here.
    The warped floor is in a 6 year old house. Center of the living room, center of the pre-fab fireplace. About 6 feet from the rear exterior wall.
    The floor warp is enough to dictate a bulk water intrusion issue. But there is no evidence of an over-head leak from the fireplace chimney pipe. No plumbing in that area. Adjacent AC ductwork is decent.
    To me the wild card could be the rear raised patio (covered). It is filled with sand so no going under it. The outer band against the porch is deteriorated in about a 4' area.
    Has the builder backfilled against an unflashed band? Is that sufficient to wick that much water into the building component? It's a crawl space 3' above finished grade. Moisture content in the floor was 50% just in the dead center.

    JLMathis

    Is the heat source for this room perhaps hydronic radiant?
    You mentioned a covered raised patio. Is it concrete? If so, is it sloped away? Is there a hose bib over the patio?
    Is the 50% moisture content in the wood flooring only, or also in the subflooring underneath? Is the crawl floor sealed/covered?
    Unless the patio goes inside corner to inside corner, you ought to be able to answer whether the exterior finish detail was correct to allow backfill at all.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Might be a long shot, but I frequently see moisture problems when the roof/wall flashing at the chimney chase does not have a kick-out.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Thanks so far.

    I'm leaning toward a failure in the connection between the covered porch floor and the house. I did see sand around the exit door to the porch. That implies some ant activity. Rain could blow in and get under the door or j-channel (exterior wall is vinyl). The damaged sill is 5 feet from the door. Would an IR camera be of value? I don't have one, but could borrow one.
    JLMathis


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Saw this very thing last week at an inspection but the cupping was about 4-6 feet from the front door. Right at the front door were signs of water damage and rot from a leaking door. but then 4-6 feet further in to the foyer was this cupping and buckling of the wood. Could not see the under side in the basement due to finished ceiling. I surmised that is has to be water leaking under the door frame, seeping back into the foyer and causing the buckling. In your case, it most likely is water related, wood swelling, expanding and cupping and buckling. I would consider the chimney as the culpert lacking any further information from you.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    The picture makes it look like the cup is in one piece of flooring. Is that the case or is it over an area? What is the size of the cupping area? All the way across the floor or mostly concentrated in one isolated area? You could draw a sketch of the room and affected area, take a close up picture and post that.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    ..........is it an engineered wood product or laminate? Almost looks like an incorrect installation of a floating floor with no perimeter expansion space - and this is the "up-thrust" result of material movement.......Greg.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    The flooring is 3/4X4" T&G oak over Advantek. Sanded and finished on the job. There are about 4 boards affected. +/- a foot wide. Extending from under the pre-fab gas log fireplace to about 10 into the room. Literally lifted the cultured marble hearth up. I discounted a chimney leak due to the location of the chimney and a lack of any moisture under the fireplace (exits the unit at the side rather than in the center). But it could be hitting a felt underlayment and running across.
    JLM


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey L. Mathis View Post
    The flooring is 3/4X4" T&G oak over Advantek. Sanded and finished on the job. There are about 4 boards affected. +/- a foot wide. Extending from under the pre-fab gas log fireplace to about 10 into the room. Literally lifted the cultured marble hearth up. I discounted a chimney leak due to the location of the chimney and a lack of any moisture under the fireplace (exits the unit at the side rather than in the center). But it could be hitting a felt underlayment and running across.
    JLM
    The wood floor should be installed up to the hearth and not under it, the flooring is not what lifted the hearth. If the hearth was lifted up then you are talking about a wet subfloor and most likely framing that has also warped.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Has the owner or tenant used water to put their fire out?

    Last edited by Franz Bailey; 01-09-2013 at 04:16 AM.
    The full loathe honey, but to the hungry, even what is bitter tastes sweet.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Thank you all for your input.

    JLMathis


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Curious anomoly

    Lol, so embarrassed. I missed the "gas log" portion of this thread, lol. I am actually much better at this profession than my recent reply suggests. I promise, lol.

    Last edited by Franz Bailey; 01-09-2013 at 05:10 AM.
    The full loathe honey, but to the hungry, even what is bitter tastes sweet.

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