Moisture and Hardwood Flooring
10 June 2018
The summer is at its onset and higher levels of humidity in the air can severely damage your hardwood flooring. The wood used in solid and engineered wooden flooring is dried and processed before installation; however, despite the initial processing, it continues to respond to variations in humidity level by contracting and expanding. It is extremely necessary to control the moisture levels inside the room to prevent these distortions. Usually, the wood expands in case of greater moisture levels and shrinks in case of lower moisture content in the air.
Designer Solid Wood Planks have the tendencies to absorb moisture from the air during the summer season and as a result, it expands. In order to prevent such mishaps, one has to ensure the humidity levels inside the room are never more than 65% to prevent cupping. The humidity levels can be maintained with the help of a dehumidifier or an air conditioner as well. Spillage of water and other liquids are some of the other possible reasons of wood expansions.
During winters, the moisture level of the air decreases which causes the wooden floors to dry out and shrink. Usually, people tend to heat up their indoors during the wintery season. As a result, small spaces between the boards are formed which can prove to be hazardous for the flooring. This problem can be prevented by adding humidifiers inside the room which help maintain healthy moisture levels.
Know your Flooring
Moisture is one of the biggest threats when it comes to measuring the durability of your wooden floors. In order to prevent your floors from any potential threats, you must be well aware of the most common types of distortions.
High levels of humidity in the air and spillage of water may cause the edges of boards to rise more than the centre. This phenomenon is termed as cupping. This procedure is usually a by-product of high moisture levels in the air, which can cause the floors to become uneven. This often leads to deformity, giving the designer solid wood planks a twisted, bent look. Plumbing leaks and seasonal changes can also cause the swelling up of designer solid wood planks. Cupping can be treated by coating the floor with sand.
Usually, wooden floors are sanded just after cupping. Crowning is the exact opposite of cupping, wherein the centers of the floors rise more than the edges. This usually occurs when the floor boards are exposed to moisture or water for long periods of time. This is not an ideal situation, as the flooring quality goes down drastically, and the boards become highly uneven.
How to prevent Moisture-related problems?
By now, you must be well aware of the havoc that the fluctuations in moisture levels can play on your favorite wooden flooring.
The following key tips can help you maintain your hardwood flooring effectively:
• Never clean your floor with water; use a soft cloth with recommended floor cleaners.
• Don’t spill water or water-based products on the floor
• Install a digital temperature and moisture meter to monitor the conditions of the room.
You must make sure that your room has a hygrometer to measure and regulate the humidity level of your room in order to ensure greater durability of your hardwood flooring. Moreover, the distortions caused by moisture aren’t covered within manufacturing warranty. For this very reason, it is your sole responsibility to maintain a stable environment in the room.