From the Editor……

Acclimation

Let’s talk a little about this word – “acclimating”.  Inspectors are hired to come in and look at concerns or issues on flooring. Many times,the first statement the contractor makes in defense is:  “We let the product acclimate 3 days prior to installing!”   

The next question out of this inspectors mouth is:  “Great to hear, was the product acclimated??”

Acclimation is not a period of time.  If you are acclimating a product that is hygroscopic, or a product that will release or absorb moisture based on the environment it is exposed to, then we need to make sure that first, the environment is to the manufacturer’s specifications as to relative humidity and temperature and second, that the product has reached its equilibrium moisture content based on those readings.  In other words, has the flooring acclimated or does it need more time?  Temperature and relative humidity are what the products acclimating to and consequently, will either release moisture if too high or take on moisture if too low.  Product can shrink or swell during this acclimation period.  Let’s face it, we don’t want it shrinking or swelling AFTER it’s installed.  Moisture testing by the installer is needed to make these determinations.

Minimally, if you are not trusting that all these moisture readings are going to be taken, at least expose the product to the environment that it will be “living in”  and be sure that “wet work” (painting, drywall work…) is NOT being done during this acclimation period.  Also stack the product in such a way that air flow gets to the boxes rather than stacking the boxes tight in a square. Additionally, do not stack the boxes on the bare concrete! Most of all, read  and follow the installation instructions the manufacturer supplies.

If you have any doubt whether or not the product has acclimated properly – WAIT!!

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3 Responses to From the Editor……

  1. Jack R says:

    Geri, needless to say, the flooring should have been acclimated to your home. The home should be in a “lived in” environment as to temperature and humidity. It sounds like your floor is buckling (correct term). If so, buckling is caused by excessive moisture, A house left vacant, Grade conditions, pipe leaks or a wet slab. Excessive moisture is ALWAYS the main cause though.
    Not enough information for us to truly evaluate here but…… get the installer over there asap – ask about acclimation again, ask about sub-floor moisture checking and prevention, ask about moisture readings taken prior to install…..
    I don’t like pointing fingers right away. The installers are held accountable most time unfortunately and we are sensitive to that here. This one though, needs to be addressed to him first.
    A leak could be the issue but…..let him evaluate that. He is the professional and once he looks at the floor, he should be able to tell you why he thinks that.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Geri says:

    I knew there was more to acclimating than what my installer was telling me. He told me that the product acclimated in his warehouse (NO A/C I found out) and that it was ok to install the same day he delivered. Floor is now tenting up in 3 areas. Now what ? I called him, he said that there must be a leak in my slab and that I should call my homeowners insurance. Any advice??

  3. jackr5225 says:

    Please be patient with us as we redesign the site – we wish to make things easier to manipulate around.
    Thanks

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