However, this installer was a thirty year veteran of installation and never had any meaningful issue ever present its ugly head. So he had heard of our method of forensics and called us. He had mentioned how careful he was preparing the crawl space, even clipping the bushes at the vents for cross ventilation. He continued, of how he doubled the aqua bar paper to protect the floor from moisture (from the crawl space). He went on as to how he tightened up his nailing pattern. After about a half hour of defense, he declared that no one gave him an explanation as to why one floor crowned and the other cupped. Well, that kind of information perked me up.
I was just about to tell him that three inspectors can’t be wrong, but with that last bit of data, he had me convinced to come with him and check it out: I was curious. The first woman was very stiff-lipped about my being there. The other was not sure she wanted me to come to her house (she said it was a waste of her time). However, the first lady, allowed me to conduct a thorough inspection and I just could not find an error on the installer’s part. I came out of the crawl space and sat on a wooden chair provide for me by this client. I sat there uncertain as to how to present the lack of evidence for a bad installation (I was afraid to appear biased toward the one who hired me) by a 30 year installation veteran, to someone who has already judged and decided to hang the man. As I looked up to gather thought, I noticed the door casing joints were separating too (just like the floor). I then became aware that the chair that I was sitting on, was wobbling a bit. As soon as I looked at the pot belly stove (raging with fire), It hit me that the whole house was dehydrated of moisture. It was an “Oh my God !” moment for my client and his client as well. After a brief explanation of how that stove was a major contributor to the issue, her stiff lip started to pout. We then showed her how to turn it all around and maintain it. In time (two months), it resolved itself with a little effort from the client.
To start with, she had to start using a kettle or steam pot on top of her stove to maintain a moist atmosphere. She then started mopping the flooring with a wet mop (not dripping but wet) in order to rehydrate wood cells and plump the floor. Once the floor retained its original shape and dimensions, the mopping could stop. She also would have to add a few plants, whose transpiration would add moisture to the ambient air. She would need to close her curtains at appropriate time of the day in order to diffuse direct sunlight. Before we left, she hugged and kissed her installer and apologized to him right in front of the other stiff-lipped lady who proclaimed to all present “My floor is not cupped it’s crowned”. She defiantly adds “He had to do something wrong at my house. So keeping in stride (in replicating her neighbor’s every move), she allowed us to go over to her house and do the exact same inspection and dared me to come up with an answer. Next week we’ll tell you what we found at her home.