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Warped Solid Wood Planks After a Leak

By way of background, in May of this year, there was a water leak from the flat above me. It caused warping/bumpiness in an area of wood flooring about 1.5 m by 1.5 m. I had some flooring specialists come to see the damage and they said they could fix it by sanding it flat. Insurance approved the quote and the whole wood flooring (not just the bit damaged by the water leak) was sanded and oiled around 6 weeks after the leak was fixed.

A week or so after the floorers had gone, I had the flat decorated. I was out on holiday for two weeks and I think I only noticed a few weeks after the flooring people had finished their job that the warping had only been reduced, not flattened. The floor is also creaky. I have spoken to the floorers and they claim the warping must have appeared after they did the job. They blame the decorators for covering the wood flooring with a non-porous cover, thereby preventing any water in the wood from evaporating. Sounds bizarre to me.

In any case, I would like a quote to sand the wood flat. I only want the area damaged to be sanded so it is flat (provided that it is at the same level as the other parts of the wood flooring!) and oiled in the same manner as the other wood. Of course, if you think that in your expert opinion some other work is required to fix it, I would want to know.

I believe the wood is cherry, although I do not have any further details. I have attached photos of the damaged floorboards, although it's tricky to see the waviness on a photo. Photo 2 is probably a better photo as the light shows that the boards are not flat.

Hi Mr Warren,

It seems the leak was just about the right amount, not to cause replacement of the flooring. The warping of the planks in the way it appears talks about "slow drying" of the trapped amount of moisture. Trapped below the flooring, moisture can take months to dry out completely. I would expect the look of the floors to change by January, taking into account the coming season and that heating will be switched on at some point.

The floor restoration should have not been used as a solution so soon after the leak and my advise is to leave the floors as they are for another 2 months and then proceed with the wood floor sanding if you feel so. There is a chance the planks will go down flat, to the same stage as after the restoration.

Another piece of advice - keep good air circulation in the property during the colder periods when heating is on - do not allow drying of the air too much or having the heating on at all times.

Our Flooring Topics:

 Wood Floor Sanding
 Wood Floor Finishing & Staining
 Stairs Stripping & Restoration
 Installation of Engineered Flooring
 Installation of Reclaimed Flooring
 Moisture and Water Leaks Damaged Floors
 Installation of Solid Wood Flooring

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