Hardwood and Humidity in Greensboro, NC
If you are thinking about installing wood flooring, you should also take into consideration whether or not your home is the right environment to support it. Installing hardwood flooring is not a carefree venture. When you have wood flooring, you will need to make sure you have the right balance of moisture in the air if you want to preserve your investment.
Wood Flooring Issues
Hardwood flooring is a product that will respond to the moisture levels in your home by expanding and contracting depending on how high or low the humidity is. Your flooring will do this even if the wood has been dried, cut and processed specifically for hardwood floors. That means you might need to adjust the humidity levels in your home differently depending on whether it's the summer or winter.
Winter Effects on Hardwood Floors
In the winter, our homes are heated which makes the air inside extremely dry. And that means your heater is pulling the moisture out of your flooring as well. If there's not enough moisture in the air, you might begin to notice that your floors are beginning to show gaps between the boards or you that you are beginning to see some surface cracking. Both of these issues can cause significant damage to your investment.
Summer Effects on Hardwood Floors
In the summer, most homes will have the opposite problem, especially if you live in a warm, humid climate. In some places, the humidity levels commonly rise to 90 percent or more during the summer time. This can cause your wood flooring to absorb all that moisture causing them to expand and cup. Cupping is when the edges of your floor begin to curl. Once cupping has occurred, it can take a long time before your floors return to normal. And they're left in highly humid conditions, it could ultimately ruin your floors. Additionally, excessive moisture will cause your floors to expand enough to affect the adjoining boards by pressing against each other. This could cause them to lose their structural integrity and crack.
The Proper Year Round Balance for Your Hardwood Flooring
Your wood flooring can last a lifetime if you care for it properly. And the best way to do that is through humidity control. You should attempt to keep the humidity in your home around 50-70 percent at all times. You should also clean your floors with a soft cloth that's only slightly damp and only use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning products. Never clean your hardwood floors with water or even a damp mop as that will cause it to deteriorate more quickly. And, if anything ever spills on your floors, it should be cleaned up immediately if you don't want it to cause irreversible damage.