How Moisture Affects Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood flooring is among the best flooring that many people go for. This kind of floor is naturally beautiful and they last longer than other floor types.
Because this is a natural product, it tends to react to weather changes in different ways. Moisture is one of the factors that will affect the hardwood flooring.
Wood is a hygroscopic material which absorbs and loses moisture. When the content of the moisture in the wood changes it may lead to shrinking, cupping or crowning may occur.
For example, during winter, the wood will contract and during summer, it will expand. These changes lead to some problems arising in the floor. You may start noticing some gaps appearing between the wood.
It is important to know about these changes in weather and the effects they will have on your floor in order to know the best way to maintain it.
Cold weather and moisture
When the temperatures outside drop below freezing, there is typically an increase in the heating in the house. This causes the moisture that is naturally present in the house to disappear.
This happens because the heating system sucks the moisture from the hardwood which will lead to the shrinking of the wood. This shrinking may lead to the wood cracking.
To avoid this situation on your floor in cold season, it is important to install a humidifier separately or within the heating system.
Hot weather and moisture
Swelling and expansion is what mostly occurs during the hot season. This is caused by the amount of moisture in the air which increases when the weather is hot.
Other aspects that increase the moisture in the home during the hot season are leaks, ventilations that are not properly designed and air conditioners among others. The increased moisture is absorbed by the wood causing it to expand and cover the gaps that had been created during the cold season. This leads to cupping.
The problem can be avoided by making sure that there are measures put in place by the experts during the installation of the hardwood floor.
Other aspects that lead to moisture that will affect hardwood flooring is poor cleaning of the floor. A wood floor should never be dump mopped. This will definitely lead to the wood absorbing the water and it will bring all the effects that come with too much moisture in the wood.
It is good to know the right method for cleaning your wood floor. This includes the products you use on the wood, making sure to wear the right gloves to protect your hands from getting a rash from the harsh chemicals in the cleaner.
Always check on what the product is composed of to make sure that it will not harm the floor through taking moisture from it or increasing the moisture.
Remember hardwood is a natural product and it will tend to react differently to different products, so test on small areas to get to know what is best for your floor.
There are different manufacturers of hardwood flooring materials. Most of these manufacturers have got a recommended humidity range for their hardwood flooring. When purchasing this product, it is important for you to have this conversation with your supplier.
If you have hired an installer like Easifit Flooring and they are the ones to install the floor for you, make sure you discuss the recommended humidity range for the hardwood floor that is being installed in your house.
Doing this will help you to know the best way to maintain the floor in all seasons.
There are different things that will determine the expansion or the shrinking of the wood as listed below
- The species of the wood
There are different species of hardwood. The species will react differently on moisture. When installing this floor get to understand the species of hardwood.
- Where the log was cut from
The part on which the wood was cut from will also determine on how it will react with moisture. This aspect will be best explained by the manufacturer if you ask. So it is always good to ask about it.
- The cutting season
The season when the log was cut also determines the quality of the wood and how it will react to moisture. Asking all these questions from the manufacturer or installer before purchasing will help you get the best one, that will last a long time and one that you will be able to take care of.