LGM and Associates deals with large commercial flooring issues, failures, troubleshooting and consulting on everything from concrete to carpet, having seasoned and experienced experts in each area. This round we are talking about something not often discussed: wood issues. Wood isn't used extensively in commercial applications, but it is used and certainly is no stranger to the commercial market.

We were called to a new project located in a school where there was a failure of VCT on a stage due to moisture. We worked with the general contractor and the flooring contractor to remediate this issue successfully with some proprietary moisture mitigating technology. There was also a small amount of hardwood that was cut from the moisture that had been installed with a sleeper system at the front of the stage area.

Initially, only the small section of hardwood was going to be removed to remediate the concrete substrate. Upon removal of the hardwood flooring, we found that the bottom of the plywood on which the hardwood was installed had mold on it. As it turned out, the entire stage floor had to be removed, the substrate on which the sleeper system was installed had to be moisture mitigated, and a new floor had to be installed.

This was a hardwood flooring installation that had tar paper installed below the sleeper system and space from that surface to the back of the plywood the hardwood was installed on. One would think that with that much supposed protection between the substrate and the hardwood that nothing would happen. No one anticipated there would be a moisture issue either, as is usually the case. Interestingly enough, the wood used on the stage, which was directly adjacent to the cupped hardwood, was not affected at all.

The substrate below the stage was treated, and a new sleeper system installed, including new plywood and hardwood. In this case, no one was complaining about the wood flooring, just the VCT. We saw the cupped wood on the first jobsite visit, and there was no question it was being affected by moisture.

What always fascinates me is that each and every job is different, and you never know what you're going to find when you get there and when you start taking things up. As I've said, there is always a cause for a flooring failure and always a cure. There is also always a method to prevent most flooring failures. Sometimes, they'll just creep up on you though when you least expect it. We deal with that type of thing everyday. When you have a problem and need a definitive answer as to the cause and cure, call us. LGM is made-up of the top experts in their field, from concrete to carpet. We'll tell you what went wrong, why, and how to fix it, always.

Each month we send out The Commercial Flooring Report newsletter aimed at the commercial floor covering industry. This free newsletter focuses on varied information and topics relative to commercial floor coverings. Additionally, we ask you, the reader, to submit suggestions for future topics.

To read the full newsletter that includes this wood moisture mitigation case study, click here.