Hardwood and Humidity
What to keep in mind when installing hardwood floors
What is The Best Humidity Level for Hardwood Floors?
Hardwood floors are beautiful and much more durable than carpet, not to mention much easier to keep clean. However, if you have decided to install wood flooring in your home, there are a few things you need to be aware of if you want to prevent damage.
Common Issues Associated With Humidity and Hardwood Floors
Excessive humidity levels in your home can cause a multitude of problems for your hardwood floors. However, knowing what to look for and exactly what you can do to prevent that humidity from damaging your wood flooring is the first step in preventing it from occurring in the first place.
Here are the most common damages caused to hardwood floors due to excessive, uncontrolled humidity levels in your home.
Cracks Between the Boards
All wood expands and contracts depending on the humidity levels that exist in that environment. So when your home becomes very dry, such as in the winter when your heater is constantly running and pulling all the moisture out of the air, this could begin to cause your wood flooring to shrink causing cracks between the boards. You can easily prevent this from happening by adding a humidifier to the furnace in your home.
Why is my Hardwood Floor Cupping?
Cupping and crowning are problems caused by excessive humidity.
Cupping is when the edges of your wood flooring begin to curl.
Crowning is the opposite of cupping and is when the middle of your wood floors begin to rise to the point where the middle is higher than the edges.
Cupping and crowning can usually be reversed if you don't have an extreme, uncontrolled humidity problem in your home. The wood will eventually dry out and your floors should return to normal. However, you might have to sand and refinish the floor to return it to its former glory. But as we mentioned above, continual humidity control can help prevent these issues altogether. In this instance, you can control this issue by buying a dehumidifier for your home.
Why is my Hardwood Floor Buckling?
Buckling is one of the most severe reactions seen when wood floors are continually exposed to moisture. When buckling occurs, your hardwood floors will literally pull away from the subfloor up to as high as several inches. However, this is a rather uncommon issue because buckling generally only happens to hardwood flooring that has been flooded. Surprisingly, though, once a floor has buckled, it can sometimes be repaired versus having to be replaced, but not always.