From the Brownstoner forums we came across this unsightly photo of wood floor panels that have buckled up.
Hiding under our couch for has been a speed bump in the form of buckled floor boards. The warp spans about 10 slats across and about 8 feet long and at the high point is off the ground about 6 inches. There is no sign of water anywhere near the buckled boards, although the buckling extends under our HVAC unit.
Although the renters are certain there is no water damage most responses to this forum post agree that water has somehow comprised the wood and caused the wood panels to rise. Here’s the best answer.
It looks like the wood floor is glued to the concrete substrate. There is no wood sub-floor. This is a very common shortcut used in apartment conversions. A proper installation would have had a plywood sub-floor installed first. Ideally there would be 2 layers which would be screwed to the concrete. The wood floor would then be nailed to the plywood. The glue under your wood floor has separated from the concrete. The problem is that the concrete is dimensionally stable and the wood, especially if its pine is not. Any moisture, which can include ambient humidity can cause the wood to swell and buckle. If this is recent as you say, it will probably go down as the air drys out with the heat coming on. But watch out in the summer, it will likely come back. The only real fix is to tear out the floor and install a sub-floor. As a stop gap, you can get someone to cut the floor boards thinner and reglue them to the floor, but don’t be surprised if you see this happen again.