This week I made a couple visits to a house with a floor problem that is proving to be one of the more interesting and complicated situations I have looked at. The house is about 3 years old and has had three instances of the floor in one room getting wet following a heavy rain (with no obvious source of how the water is getting in).

In this latest instance, the floors got wet within four days of the last coat of finish following repairs. Nobody is happy. In fact, everyone is REALLY unhappy.

Here's what I can describe: slab, vapor barrier compound, poly sheeting, 3/4" Advantec OSB shot to slab, felt and 3/4" wide-plank flooring. Good gaps around the edges of the OSB and flooring. No wetness in the gap that I could find, but dehumidifiers had been running for a week or so after baseboards were taken up. 10-14% MC in some OSB I could get to, and over 32% MC in the flooring in some spots. There was even liquid water on the felt under a couple pieces of flooring that I was able to remove. Think the floor could have been wet mopped with that much water?

Right now we are plotting and planning what to do to get to the root cause of the issue. Because of the design of the house, it will be interesting. First I have to find the leak. Then I have to write up specs on how to fix it. And I have to decipher how the previous fixes have influenced the situation.

I saw somewhere in the plans a reference to "epay" flooring. Anyone know what that is?

It is the end of our heating season. I've had a couple calls to re-look at floors to see if they are ready for refinishing, or if additional humidity controls need to be put in place to hold things as they are. Those should keep me busy next week.

Craig DeWitt, PhD, PE, is president of RLC Engineering LLC in Clemson, S.C. Craig has a PhD in engineering and specializes in wood, moisture and indoor environments. He has provided inspection and consulting services for over 20 years.