Denny Hickman of Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring in Emlenton, Pa., says one of his memorable inspections was right down the road. Quaker State Oil was founded there, and one of the grand homes from that era had Allegheny's 4-inch quartersawn white oak installed in the formal dining room after a flood ruined the original floor. Later that summer, he got a call that the floor was cupping. When he arrived, he found that there was slight cupping, but only in about one third of the room. Knowing it had to be a substantial amount of moisture to make the quartersawn flooring cup, he asked to see the basement. "There was a family-room-type of room, and one wall was all bookshelves. I said, 'What's behind this wall, because that's where the cupping is.' They kind of looked at each other, and then he grabbed the bookcase and there was a secret passageway." It opened to a bomb shelter installed in the mid-20th century to protect the residents from nuclear attack. Completely enclosed by cement, its moisture was migrating up to cup the flooring, even though all the subflooring had been replaced.
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