Author Topic: Sale of condo, humidity issues with bamboo floors ... what would you do?  (Read 1030 times)

meghan88

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Looking for input on how much to disclose prior to sale about an issue with flooring.  Posting this here and not in DIY, because it's not a question about repair, but about disclosure upon sale, and avoiding claims after sale.

Sooo ... a friend is selling a condo.  The condo has carbonized bamboo flooring in all main rooms.  During the summer, the floors look fine - no issues at all.  During winters, thanks to central gas-hot-air overhead-vent heating (very very drying), the boards shrink, and a 1/2" gap opens up in the kitchen and into the living area.  The gap runs about 15' long in total, and zig-zags from one joint to the next one over, once.  Like this (imagine all three lines below connecting, with only the horizontal lines representing the gap:

                                            __________________________
________________________|


Our friend bought two (small-ish) cool mist humidifiers to try to address it.  They start them in October and run them until February, when they leave for warmer climes for 6-8 weeks.  The gaps will start, but not be too too bad (but still visible, say 1/8" to maybe 1/4") from October til February.  But after the humidifiers are shut off - and they have to do so, or pay someone to come in and fill them twice each day - the gap widens to 1/2" and then takes until June/July to close up 100%.  This only happens along that one area in the main room, which is very large.

The friend is too cheap frugal to spring for a set of large and more powerful humidifiers.  So while it is very likely that larger humidifiers - of unknown power and size - would solve the issue, it is not 100% sure because it was never tested.  And, also keeping them running the whole winter, rather than shutting them off for two months.

Does the friend disclose this:
- in the listing?
- to the agent?
- immediately prior to sale?

Thanks in advance for your input and your moral and legal compasses.  Especially to Ontarians/Canadians familiar with the law in this regard.

snogirl

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I'm not in Canada, but just sold house in Vermont and had to fill out a huge disclosure document. Our state requires it. I answered all questions truthfully. In turn, the house I bought, the sellers didn't tell me the fridge leaked in their disclosure. I was pissed but decided to fix it myself by buying a new one since it was an older fridge. They actually left glasses way in the back under defrost drip pipe. Nothing was said. Obviously they knew since the glasses filled up and need to be dumped every other day. Anyway, if you know disclose. It sucks to find out and dishonest if it's a glaring issue. Would your friend want to buy a place and have it happen the other way around? Hmmmm

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elliha

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I am not sure if this is something that would need to be told as this is how organic materials normally act in winter. I think that I personally would tell a buyer about it and say that I am not personally too bothered about it and that a humidifier will help. I would not actively point this out during a showing or anything like that, only when you have someone who is interested.

MayDay

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I think it's a grey area. I would probably disclose. In the scheme of things I don't think most buyers will care about.

meghan88

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Thanks for the answers.  I agree that it should be disclosed once there's an interested buyer.  Still looking for more input as to timing, and form, of disclosure.

nwhiker

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I would disclose but I don't think your friend has a humidity issue. All organic materials are going to expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes that come with the different seasons. You described the area where this is happening as a very large area. Most manufacturers of hardwoods and laminates will advise that an area over x amount of square feet or x amount of linear feet that transition strip should be used to break up the floor. Most people don't want to do this for aesthetic reasons though.

So I guess it could be noted as potentially substandard construction.

meghan88

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I would disclose but I don't think your friend has a humidity issue. All organic materials are going to expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes that come with the different seasons. You described the area where this is happening as a very large area. Most manufacturers of hardwoods and laminates will advise that an area over x amount of square feet or x amount of linear feet that transition strip should be used to break up the floor. Most people don't want to do this for aesthetic reasons though.

So I guess it could be noted as potentially substandard construction.

The length of the space is about 35' (kitchen first, then living room) and the width of the room is about 16' or 17'  which is large but not stupid-large.  The separation runs from the kitchen island area into the living room.  The boards run parallel with the length of the space - not the width.  So a transition strip running through the middle of the length of the space would look kinda dumb.

If a good humidifier was run during winter, that would likely address the problem, but it's not 100% sure that it would, because it was never done.

snogirl, elliha and MayDay - thanks for the input.  Really appreciate it.  And snogirl, I think you should have tried to get some compensation for that fridge ...

Cassie

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We sold a house that every 5 years got s Little water in the basement and we disclosed. It is the ethical thing to do.

meghan88

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We sold a house that every 5 years got s Little water in the basement and we disclosed. It is the ethical thing to do.

Absolutely agree.  The question is how, what, when and to whom.

radram

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I would describe the issue, in writing, on the condition report. Something very short, factual, and precise.

Example:
*gap in floor between kitchen and living room as seasons change.

Never say anything else unless asked.

Cassie

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Re: Sale of condo, humidity issues with bamboo floors ... what would you do?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2018, 09:05:42 AM »
It was 26 years ago but back then there was a space to list known defects on the listing contract.