When we look at problems associated with wood flooring and moisture, we naturally expect to see expansion; this can manifest itself in the flooring buckling or we could see warpage, either cupping or crowning depending on were the moisture is coming from.
Moisture can cause problems related to mold growth without the visible evidence that we normally associate when we suspect there is a moisture problem, such as with the above-mentioned warpage or buckling.
Wood is naturally porous but when we put a cap on that porous natural product with a urethane wear layer we trap moisture at that wood/urethane interface and moisture accumulates providing the moisture source to activate microbial growth.
The cost of this simple problem with approximately 400 square feet of flooring was $20,000; that’s $50 a square foot, pretty expensive laminate wood.
This case was settled in mediation without the flooring company being involved. Had the buyer and seller not been agreeable to settle this you can bet the flooring company would have been writing the check for this problem because they didn’t see the need to conduct a few $10 calcium chloride tests before proceeding with the installation.