Here is the report, You make the call on his conclusion. Note, when he says there were large gaps, he means the locking mechanism was totally disengaged. Then the installer/contractor came back and tried to fill it with putty. Not working. lol
The cupping of the bamboo planks was noticeable throughout the Installation. The cupping was the
most visible against the predominant light source. The elevation of the raised edges (cupping) was
in a range of 0.020 to 0.030 inch. The side gaps and the end gaps between the bamboo planks
were visible n several areas of the instalatlon. A few areas of the floor had relatively larae side
gaps between the planks. However, most of the gaps between the planks were approXImately 0.022
inch wide. Using a Laser Square SL-24 and a straight edge, the floor was examined for levelness
and flatness. The subfloorlsubstrata (and floor), In two (2) areas of lhedining room, had lower areas
(up to 1/4 inch), which extended over 2 foot long sections. Stepping on the floor in both areas
caused some flexing (vertical movement) of the planks. The poor flatness resulted from inadequate
subfloorlsubstrata preparation. The floor span of the adjoining great room, the dining room, the
kitchen and the entrance was 40'9" long. Expansion joints (e.g. T moldings) were not constructed
between the adjoiling rooms. The expansion gaps at.the perimeter became exposed in two (2)
areas of the installation. A reduction in the size of the planks caused the condition.
Observations I Tests: The horne was located In Oro Valley, Arizona. The bamboo flooring was installed on August 7, 2011.
The homeowners were ooncerned about cupping and gaps. Consider attached photographs 1 - 12,
for a visual overview of the situation. The home was- oonstructed in 1991 and was located within a
desert area that was approximately 2,798 ft above sea level. The /loating system bamboo floor was
installed over an on grade subfloor (concrete slab), old ceramic tiles and underlaymenl The solid
carbonized bamboo flooring was installed In the entrance, the bathroom, the kitchen, the dining
room and in the great room on the main level, The primary trafflc areas were subjected to pivoting
force from two (2) residents and one (1) dog. During the inspection, the homeowners and the
instaRer stated and/or oonflrmed the following. The bamboo flooring was accllmelted for
approximately three (3) weeks before the installation. ThelnslaUer tested the moisture content of the
substratalsubfloor. A moisture banier (plastic sheeting) was not installed over the substrata. A dry
mop, a SWifter and Orange Glo Cleaner was being used for the regular maintenance of the bamboo
floor. The homeowners spend approximately three (3) weeks of each month in this home. A
humldifler was not being used in this home. The bamboo floor did not exhibit any problems aHer the
Installation. The adverse condition (cupping and gaps) occurred approximately two (2) weeks after
the installation and progressed with time. The installer had repaired some gaps between the planks.
Using a UEI Psychrometer (Model # DTH-31; 51#:9291173), the environmental conditions were
mooitored. The environmental conditions during testing and the inspection were as follows. The
ambient temperature range was 75.1 to 76.4 degrees F. The ambient relative humidity range was
15.8 to 16.3 percent. The air movement was low. Using a Delmhorst MoistureCheck Moisture meter
with pins (SJ#: 11412), the moistUre content of the installed bamboo Hooting was tested. The
moisture content of the bamboo planks was below 5.0 percent The moisture melerlDelmhorst has
digital reading and/or scale range from 5 10 60 percent-thus, all readings below 5 percent, wil be
displayed as low moistureoontent The moisture content was performed in fourteen (14) areas of the
installation. Using a Protimeter (MMS-Plus) Moisture meter (Model #BLD5800LH; SI#: 9291173), the
relative moisture content of the subfloor was tested. The relative moisture content of the subfloor, at
the time of the inspection, was consistently in a dry range.
It was not possible to obtain accurate information regarding the ambient temperature, the ambient
relatiVe humidity and the dew point before or during the installation. A humidifier was not being used
in this home.
Installation Related Issues:
There were no installation related issues present.
Conclusion: Site Related Issues:
The question addressed was what had caused the condition. which was a concern to the
homeowners. A dry climate (in Arizona) presents envlrorvnental conditions which are- hard on
installed bamboo flooring. A humidifier was not being used in this home. It was apparent that the
Installed bamboo flooring was exposed to dry environmental conditions. The ambient relative
humidity, at the time of the Inspection. was in a loIN range of 15.6 to 16.3 percent. The moisture
content of the Installed bamboo planks was below 5.0 percent. Dryness and/or dehumidified air
space caused considerable loss of moisture in the installed bamboo flooring.
Maintaining a controlled environment Is paramount to the performance of the installed bamboo
flooring. Bamboo floorilg Will exhibit negative changes In locations where low ambient relative
humidity exists. According to the Manufacturer's Instructions. a normal indoor relative humidity level
should be maintained in a range between 35 and 55 percent throughout the year. A humidifier (s) is
recommended. The installed bamboo flooring must not be exposed to extreme dryness.
The Indoor relative humidity was not maintained at the recommended level. Prolonged exposure to
unbalanced/dry environmental conditions caused the light cupping and gaps. This was a locally
caused and environmental/homeowner related condition.
Manufacturing Related Issues:
There were no manufacturing related issues present.
this report is based on information available to the inspaclor at the time of the inspection as well as
Its review and finalization as prepared by the Inspect So__tions' review team. The observations and
conclusion are made to a reasonable degree of certainty. Inspect Sol__ions reserves the right to add
to and/or to modify these findings should additional information become available.
Top Floor Installation Co.
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az