Jeff Pope Wood Flooring Inspections & Consultations™
The basic inspection:
- Moisture, Temperature and relative humidity tests are performed at each wood flooring inspection. These test help determine if environmental conditions inside your home are working for or against your wood floors. If moisture is too high the floors may experience restrained swelling (cupping or buckling). If moisture is too low the floors may experience unrestrained shrinkage (gapping and splits). Neither condition is good for wood floors.
- Equilibrium Moisture Content. In addition to moisture meter readings, thermometer and hygrometer readings are used to determine whether moisture content in wood flooring is within the acceptable range indicated by the Equilibrium Moisture Content Chart taken from the WOOD HANDBOOK, (Agriculture Handbook 72), Forest Products Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Crawl spaces are usually too wet for wood flooring. An inspection of the building envelope, grade slope, and positive drainage away from the building are focal points that help determine favorable or unfavorable condition under the house. Not all crawl spaces need to be entered and inspected, but when moisture conditions inside a home dictates the need, we enter crawl spaces, provided access is available and safe, and test for moisture content in the framing and subfloor. If floor cavity insulation is present, it is tested for moisture content as well as other environmental conditions that could affect the behavior of wood flooring. Damp or water-saturated floor cavity insulation is a "kiss of death" to wood floors. Dirt samples are taken on an "as-need" basis and tested for plasticity. The remainder of the crawl space is inspected for the presence or evidence of efflorescence, deliquescence, fungus and water penetrations through foundation walls. The moisture barrier, if any, is inspected for damage, correct placement over the ground, water marks and evidence of standing or moving water.
- Basements, cellars and crawl spaces in most cases hold the key to structural failures that affect wood floors. When flooring issues indicate structural reasons for failed floors, a visit to these areas is made if they are readily accessible and safe. We then perform a structural inspection of the framing giving attention to poor house construction and failed floor joists, girders, piers, foundation walls and footings.
- Wood flooring samples are taken when necessary. There are times when it is necessary to remove shoe molding or baseboards to examine components hidden from view. Samples are needed in some instances for further evaluation of subfloor, product testing, court cases and other reasons. Removal is on an as-needed basis but only with the client's written permission.