hardwood floor started cupping/bowing out of nowhere - why?

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
5,718
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the past few days my wife and i have noticed that there are about 3-4 boards right next to eachother, between our refrigerator and stove area, that are no longer smooth on our feet. it's extremely noticeable because it's literally right in front of the fridge, and going in there at night with barefeet it's noticeable.

but this happened out of nowhere. and we have no clue what could have caused this to happen.

does anyone have any ideas what can cause this to happen somewhat out of nowhere? we've been in this house for 3 years now and it's been fine until we just noticed this recently.
 

gururu2

Senior member
Oct 14, 2007
686
1
81
is it engineered, laminate or authentic wood. and it most certainly is related to moisture/water coming from the fridge. move it out of the way and see under if anything is leaking, maybe from a plugged drain line or a water filter feeder line.
 

Homerboy

Lifer
Mar 1, 2000
30,856
4,974
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is there enough "relief" against the wall so that the wood has space to expand? Even though you've been there for years now, conditions might be just right enough right now to exceed the expansion space that was provided.

Or the fridge is too heavy and not letting the boards slide/expand?

Or water as gururu2 said.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
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it's the original authentic hardwood floor. i was thinking maybe there was a leak in the fridge water line or something so i might check that out today when i get home, although i'm not really sure how the hell to get the fridge out of the corner without completely raping the floor lol.
 

jaha2000

Senior member
Jul 28, 2008
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0
Ice maker line to the fridge.
Put down a couple layers of cardboard for the fridge to roll on
 

Squeetard

Senior member
Nov 13, 2004
815
7
76
Check the fridge. There is an actual drain tray in the bottom of the fridge. Pulled my fridge out to clean last weekend and the tray was full and splashed everywhere. Supposed to drain this every year, part of the defrost mechanism.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
5,718
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Ice maker line to the fridge.
Put down a couple layers of cardboard for the fridge to roll on

would there be any symptoms of this with the ice maker? both the ice maker and water have been working fine coming from the fridge.

Check the fridge. There is an actual drain tray in the bottom of the fridge. Pulled my fridge out to clean last weekend and the tray was full and splashed everywhere. Supposed to drain this every year, part of the defrost mechanism.

i'll check that too. i definitely have not cleaned anything like that in the 3 years we've been here.
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
642
126
Not all refrigerators have a drain tray. I can't tell you why that is, but I've never had one that did.

Be sure to vacuum the coils while you've got it out. They may be on the back or on the bottom.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
43,290
5,721
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Stated above....water. Whether it's from the supply line or the fridge. Our defrost drain line would freeze and then the defrost water would collect in the bottom of the freezer until it ran out on the hardwood floor when we weren't home or were asleep. ( found a solution for the line freeze, see below.) Our floors have returned, mostly, to normal once they dried out.

Never heard of emptying a drain tray. It should evaporate in the tray.

We bought a new LG fridge recently and were told that the compressor runs 24/7. Not full speed but it still ran. Meaning that we should clean the coils every 3-4 months to keep the compressor from burning up, voiding the warranty.

Freezing drain line: After several hundred $$ , the repair guy pulled his head out of his ass long enough to tell me he didn't know what to do. Google....http://www.davesrepair.com/DIYhelp/DIYrefrigdrainfix.htm
 

edro

Lifer
Apr 5, 2002
24,328
68
91
All of the fridges I have owned in the last 10 years are on wheels.
They simply roll out.
 

Humpy

Diamond Member
Mar 3, 2011
4,463
596
126
Good news is that, after you get the leaky fridge fixed, the floor will very likely return to it's original shape without having to do a thing.
 

Greenman

Lifer
Oct 15, 1999
20,352
5,108
136
Good news is that, after you get the leaky fridge fixed, the floor will very likely return to it's original shape without having to do a thing.

I've never seen that happen. Not saying it can't, just that I've never seen it over the last 30 or so years.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
43,290
5,721
136
I've never seen that happen. Not saying it can't, just that I've never seen it over the last 30 or so years.
Mine aren't "like new" but most people wouldn't notice. I do though. My guess is that it was surface moisture as opposed to moisture coming up through the floor.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
5,718
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All of the fridges I have owned in the last 10 years are on wheels.
They simply roll out.

i slid mine out last night (was on wheels) and it was not wet at all underneath the fridge. no puddles or nothing was wet/damp to the touch at all :(

however, i did notice that under the fridge, the same line of wood (the wood is laid perpendicular to the front of the fridge) was also in the same condition underneath the fridge...
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
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i wonder if there was something that leaked under the fridge a week or so ago that just sat there and is now dried up. like a condensation issue or something odd of that nature.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
5,718
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Freezer on the bottom?

yep, it's one of those samsung ones with the french doors on top and freezer on the bottom.

also, it's the boards that run perpendicular to the fridge, on the right side of the fridge. it's like 3 boards next to eachother, and the ones in that "line" of boards going under the fridge.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
5,718
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Did you check for ice build under the pull out bin in the freezer?

no i did not, i can check that tonight. you mean when it's pulled out, just reach up under or try to look under there and see if there is ice under there?
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
43,290
5,721
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Yep. When I pull the drawer out as far as it will go, I can see the bottom of the freezer. The drain line would freeze and the water would back up and puddle in the bottom until it was full and then it would run out on the floor. So every week or 2, I would have to take a hammer to the ice until I got fed up and bought another fridge. If that's your problem, a solution could be in post #9.
 

Humpy

Diamond Member
Mar 3, 2011
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596
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I've never seen that happen. Not saying it can't, just that I've never seen it over the last 30 or so years.

It mostly depends on if the if the floorboards were overly constrained and compressed when they expanded. Here in the desert SW our swamp coolers will dump moisture into the building in the summer, causing all sorts of cupping and movement in wood floors, then everything settles back down when the cooler is shut off at the end of the season.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
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so uh oh, i think it might be worse than i was thinking...

i can't tell if it's getting worse or not but today i moved the fridge again and nothing.

i then went in my basement and i think i see some wet spot in the ceiling where i am positive a pipe runs along :(

since i've never had to do anything like this before and get it fixed, what would be the best action to take at this point? would it be to call a plumber first? will they knock the wall out to check the pipe?

the thing that I'm not sure about is that the place with what i think is the leaky pipe, is one of those parts of the ceiling that come lower and is like a foot wide. so i'm not sure exactly how to rip it out and replace it if that is the case.

i can get some pics of the basement ceiling if this isn't making sense. i am looking for my tape measure to measure my kitchen and basement ceiling to verify that the distance matches before i proceed with this, but i'm pretty sure there is a leaky pipe in the ceiling :(

yeah it is definitely a water spot in the ceiling.

http://i.imgur.com/z5g3ef3.jpg
 
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Humpy

Diamond Member
Mar 3, 2011
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If you don't think you'll be able to fix the leak when found then you'll have to call someone.

Don't let them start bashing holes though without thinking and using a process of elimination. It really shouldn't be that hard to find. Some plumbers have some tools to help find leaks.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
52,845
5,718
126
If you don't think you'll be able to fix the leak when found then you'll have to call someone.

Don't let them start bashing holes though without thinking and using a process of elimination. It really shouldn't be that hard to find. Some plumbers have some tools to help find leaks.

so where that wet spot is in the basement, is like 2 feet away from where the most bowed floor is upstairs. but then i noticed what looked like some other water spot that isnt' as wet as that one and looks older, and it's also where the ceiling is lowered a bit where a beam goes across.

i'm tempted to cut holes in the ceiling, but if i do, i'm not really sure what i will have to do if i find a leak. i am not sure how to repair a leaky pipe or anything. i also am not sure if they will have to rip up the hardwood in the kitchen or if they can just fix it from the bottom. i'd prefer the bottom, but if the hardwood is already ruined, then i don't know if ripping it up from above is easier.