Your Place: Why wood floors chip; worries over water

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

A few weeks back, a reader asked for reasons why a wood floor was starting to extrude chips and slivers from between the boards.

Doug Sandilands, of Shamrock Flooring in Aston, Pa., says it’s his guess that the chips and slivers coming out of the floors are from an older type of waxed prefinished floors the industry called Kromar.

"These boards are 5/16 inches thick by two inches wide," Sandilands said. "However, the depth from the face of the board to the tongue and groove is only about 1/16 of an inch.

"After many years of wear and tear and maybe a refinishing, the boards tend to split at the notch for the tongue in groove, breaking off the top.

"It is my guess that this is what’s happening, and, if so, it is time to replace the floor."

Thanks, as always.

Remember, this is a forum of ideas, pairing questions with experts, so feel free to get involved any time.

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All wet. As I wrote this, the weather service was predicting lots of rain.

Washing into my e-mail inbox, coincidentally, was this from the Chubb Insurance Group, on questions you should ask yourself in order to reduce risk:

Is your sump pump working? Is it charged? When the ground is saturated with water, the water table will rise, causing sump pumps to activate.

Do you have a battery- backup sump-pump system, especially if you have a finished basement or one filled with boxes of heirlooms or important papers? A power outage during or after a major rainstorm can result in ruined valuables.

What is the slope of your house?

Where are the locations of windows and basement window wells?

Does your home have a history of water issues?

Is there an adequate number of draining pipes?

Does the driveway slope into the house?

I continue to receive e-mail from around the country from homeowners asking why basements that have never had water issues before are having them now.

Often, heavy rainstorms or freeze-thaw cycles open hairline cracks in a house’s foundation that make water intrusion easier and more damaging, so you need to be constantly vigilant.

Nothing lasts forever.