A floor that buckles makes me think of indoor frost heaves. Although frost heaves are a winter phenomenon, floors can buckle in any season.
Like frost heaves, buckling floors often stem from exposure to moisture (including flooding).
Another cause for buckling floors is poor installation. Poor installation might involve a subfloor that isn’t properly leveled; improper and inadequate nailing of wood floors; inadequate pressure on tiles to ensure that they adhere to the bonding agent; or not allowing sufficient time for the boards or tiles to acclimate to the temperature and humidity within the building.
Insufficient protection from the crawl space under a ground floor may result in buckling. Without an adequate vapor barrier, the subfloor is exposed to moisture which then affects the flooring itself.
Over time, wet mopping a wood floor encourages buckling. Cleaning a wood floor should never involve enough water to puddle or seep into the wood.
In addition, if a tile floor was laid with old or dusty tiles, it is likely that the bonding agent was compromised by the brittleness or the dust. If the bonding agent loses its grip, the tiles will buckle. Different subfloors require different bonding agents; the wrong or low quality bonding agent on a subfloor will lead to buckling. If a weak bonding agent shrinks, it creates hollow areas between the subfloor and the tiles, which eventually buckle.
Preventive measures include a moisture reading on the floor before installation, more room in the expansion gaps, proper insulation and bonding materials and precision installation overall.
If your wood or tile floor has buckled, WORKS by Jesse DeBenedictis has the expertise to correct the underlying problem and restore your floor to its original beauty, as the photo shows. Please contact us.