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Moisture Damage on Hardwood Floors

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As you may already know, hardwood floors and most engineered wood floors do not mix very well with moisture. Excess moisture on or underneath your hardwood floors will cause a variety of issues which can become quite expensive to solve. Learn the early warning signs of moisture interacting with your hardwood floors so you can limit the damage.

Separating Boards

Wood floors are susceptible to expanding and contracting as the seasons change. During warmer, more humid months, boards will swell and during colder, drier months, boards will shrink. To help combat the separation of hardwood floorboards in the colder months, keep your home at a relatively even temperature year-round and use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in the winter.


Cupping is what we call the look floorboards get when the edges of the boards rise above the center seam of the board, creating a “cupping” effect. This can be caused by humidity in the air, a water spill, or improper installation.

Typically, cupping is because the surface of the wood on the bottom is more wet than the top, causing the bottom of the board to expand faster than the top of the board. To fix this issue, try and reduce moisture in the room. If the issue was caused by a spill and your floor isn’t returning to its original shape, contact a local Maryland flooring store and see about having your flooring replaced.


This is basically the opposite of cupping where the center of the board swells up higher than the edges. Where cupping is excess moisture on the bottom of the board, crowning is excess moisture on the top of the floorboard. This can be caused by high levels of moisture in the room or water left on the floor for too long.

Another, less common cause, is that the floor was sanded while it was cupping—and before the floor boards were returned to normal. When this happens, it essentially shaves off the sides of the floorboards at an angle and causes the floor to look like it is cupping.

To fix this issue, reduce humidity in the room. If this doesn’t solve the crowning in your floor then you will need to replace the hardwood floorboards that are causing the issue. Contact a hardwood flooring store in Maryland and see if they can help you match the affected boards to the rest of the floor.


When wood flooring lifts completely off the sub-floor it is called buckling. This is caused when a hardwood floor is basically flooded and left to soak for an extended period of time. To fix this issue, start with removing all the water from the area and begin to dry out the floor boards with a dehumidifier and some fans.

At a bare minimum, buckling floors will require the replacement of some of the floor boards. Most of the time, you’ll need to replace the whole floor. If this ends up being the case, contact a local Maryland hardwood flooring store and see what flooring options they have available.

For more assistance with addressing any of these moisture issues in your hardwood floor or for help with replacing floorboards or completely re-doing your hardwood, contact a Maryland flooring expert today. They will be able to help you not only fix your issue, but possibly find matching hardwood boards so you can repair your floor.

Genesis Flooring America is a flooring expert and flooring showroom located in Sykesville, MD. Genesis has thousands of samples of flooring options in the showroom and experts who can help you make the best choice of flooring for your home. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 410-552-6410 or fill out the contact form on our website today!


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