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Protect Hardwood Floors from Moisture Damage with HMBox & FIDBox

If you’re a home improvement contractor installing hardwood flooring, how are you protecting wood floors from moisture damage?

The last thing you want to be dealing with is redoing a flooring job because water or moisture damaged the floor. Or having a homeowner blame you for the water damage. Thankfully there’s an easy way to ensure long-term protection and the look and feel of hardwood floors before and after the installation!

We’d like to introduce you to the HMBox and FIDBox.

What are HMBox and FIDBox devices?

They are instruments that flooring estimators and contractors set in place to monitor a floor prior to and after installation. They are important tools used by flooring professionals and rarely used by homeowners themselves. With the rise and fall of humidity, the wood moisture content of the wood also rises and falls. That’s why HMBox and FIDBox are highly-recommended solutions for reporting and alerting to the presence of moisture before and after installation of hardwood flooring.

Without proper protection, hardwood flooring could have detrimental moisture damage, otherwise known as “cupping.” Hardwood flooring with cupping is very expensive to fix, which is why it’s essential to prevent moisture damage before it happens!


Example of hardwood flooring moisture damage, otherwise known as “cupping”.

How Does Moisture Affect Hardwood Flooring?

Too much or too little moisture can cause wood flooring to expand or contract. Some movement of the natural wood is expected and normal, but excesses in either direction can negatively impact the flooring. Cracking, cupping, or bowing of flooring doesn’t just look bad, but it also impacts the integrity and sustainability of the flooring. The last thing you want to be doing is replacing wood floors in a customer’s home because of moisture damage. Too much moisture can have disastrous consequences for a homeowner if left unprotected.

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Address Hardwood Flooring Moisture Issues Before Installation with the HMBox

How do you truly know if a project location is optimized for the installation of a new hardwood floor? The HMBox, can provide you with a wealth of moisture and humidity information to aid in the planning and installation of flooring in the best environment possible.

With the HMBox, you will know moisture levels in the room prior to flooring being installed. The HMBox is a small instrument that accurately measures the moisture of different building materials, such as the floor substrate, and the ambient environment. The wood moisture sensor is simply placed on the flooring substrate and data is sent via a cellular connection to a central server. Multiple data points can be securely reviewed by those that need to review the data to pinpoint any flooring moisture problems before the material is installed.

Extend the Life of Hardwood Flooring with FIDBox

What if flooring could “talk” to you when a water or moisture problem was about to happen? Well now it can with FIDBox! Take the worry away from you as the flooring contractor and a homeowner by staying up to date with the moisture levels of a floor after an installation. FIDBox is a terrific product that will give you and homeowners peace of mind.

What is the FIDBox?

The FIDBox is a very small sensor device, meant for long-term information gathering of moisture levels with hardwood flooring. The device is installed by routing out the back of a piece of the hardwood floor and installing the box within a section of the flooring. Each FIDBox has the ability to read moisture levels for an approximate area of 2000 square feet.

If or when moisture levels rise, the FIDBox alerts and sends the information to the homeowner. The information then must be acknowledged by the homeowner. The notification can’t just be deleted like a text message. If a homeowner ignores the information and then calls a flooring contractor to make a complaint about water or moisture damage, the information is retrievable by the contractor with the date and time that the sensor alerted the homeowner. It’s a great way to protect homeowners and flooring contractors.


Examples of the HMBox & FIDBox (HMBox on top and FIDBox on bottom).

An Example of the the HMBox and FIDBox Testing & Monitoring for Moisture

One contractor we work with conducted a flooring estimate in a ground floor unit of a townhouse complex. We ultimately discovered during our visit that the landscape watering system was backing up into the unit through the concrete slab. The concrete slab of the floor had been very moist and wet for a long time! So rather than install a floor that would be damaged right away by moisture, we decided to test and monitor the moisture levels to see if it would make sense to install hardwood flooring.

We decided to test and monitor the moisture levels of the home using the HMBox and FIDBox. We installed the HMBox by placing silicone on the device and securing it on the perimeter of the home. The device can also send electronic reports, which are also accessible by computer for archive or retrieval if needed.

The HMBox allows for an ideal situation for a homeowner and a contractor because the contractor doesn’t have to drive to the jobsite every day and disturb the homeowner. A contractor is able to remotely check and determine when a slab or wood subfloor has dried sufficiently to allow for hardwood installation. In most cases, when the floor being monitored dries to an acceptable level, the box can be retrieved and the flooring can be installed.

We ultimately found that after one month the slab had not dried out, and if we would have installed hardwood flooring right from the start it would have resulted in major damage to the new floor. Thanks to the HMBox, we worked with the homeowner to ultimately install a waterproof luxury vinyl plank (LVP) floor. It worked out very well for the homeowner. The owner is very happy to know that future moisture will not damage the flooring, and they will not have to go through this particular type of issue again.

Tackle Hardwood Flooring Moisture Before they Become a Major Issue

Connect with Slaughterbeck floors today to learn more about using the HMBox and FIDBox products in your next flooring installation. Slaughterbeck Floors is the San Jose area’s trusted name in quality flooring products and expert installation services. Combined with our decades of flooring expertise, you can trust Slaughterbeck to professionally help you install only the best flooring and address key concerns before a product is installed. We look forward to connecting with you!

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