Wood flooring is a wonderful way to upgrade your home. It adds a classic, beautiful aesthetic, is easy to clean, and is a real improvement over carpet for people with allergies. However, in Hawaii, especially on the windward side of Oahu, improperly installed flooring can be highly susceptible to water damage.
In areas like Kailua or upper Manoa in Honolulu, frequent rainfall can pool under the house and vapor rises through the ground and unsealed concrete. This can cause warping or bowing of the wood, it also can rot through the wood like the image below shows:
When we install wood flooring, we recommend the use of an epoxy water barrier. Liquidam is an epoxy resin product that seals concrete and prevents a significant amount moisture from getting through the concrete and reaching the wood.
We’ve found adding a sealant to be an extremely effective way of protecting wood flooring from water damage. For more details about how moisture, concrete, a sealant, and flooring interact, check out this video from TEC, the maker of Liquidam:
While adding a sealant is more expensive than not, and it is not a universal approach from all general contractors, we pride ourselves on thinking about building homes made to last and hold up well for the long term. In that regard, it’s an important consideration.