What are Safe Moisture Levels for Hardwood Floors?
08 July 2018
When it comes to wood flooring materials, working with them doesn’t spare you with a simple breezy kind of a job. At the point when the finest quality wood is installed correctly, it can simply be a standout among the most visually delightful and durable flooring materials available in the market.
Notwithstanding, a crucial environmental factor which numerous clients don’t really think about and which can muddle the fitting of a wood flooring is “moisture or humidity”. Generally, we assume that the latest and most innovative flooring materials, like solid oak wood flooring, engineered oak wood flooring and parquet flooring, are satisfactorily acclimated and bereft of surplus moisture content. However, such suppositions can prove to be dicey.
The presence of an improper moisture content can buckle, warp or delaminate the wood flooring substance triggering a considerable damage and leaving the attraction and style of the flooring in ruins. Many professional wood manufacturers and genuine solid oak flooring suppliers in London employ moisture meters to ascertain the dampness level of the flooring materials prior to their installation.
Therefore, it’s imperative to know the perfect moisture content of the wood flooring.
What’s The Safest Moisture Content Level For Wood Flooring?
Wood being hygroscopic in nature can either absorb or release moisture inherently until it attains an equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere. In dry and hot climatic conditions, wood can’t retain moisture for a long time. On the contrary, in a wet and cold weather wood starts sucking up excess moisture from the air.
The chart shown below showcases the absolute measures of moisture content in wood at different levels of temperature and relative humidity (RH):
The highlighted section in this chart declares the most ideal and safe conditions for wood to maintain its supreme quality – temperatures ranging between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity between 30% and 50%. Outside of these extents, hardwood flooring materials may begin to encounter and manifest adverse impacts.
Furthermore, an abrupt shift in temperature and moisture levels can also hamper the flooring quality, which is why measuring the moisture content of the wood in ambient temperature and humidity becomes compulsory before installation.
How Can You Measure Moisture Content of Wood Flooring?
The quickest method to measure the moisture content of wooden floors is to utilize a moisture meter. These gadgets can examine the moisture level (%MC) in a few seconds. Moisture meters for wood flooring applications are available in two main varieties namely pinless and pin-type.
Pinless meters are equipped to scan and scrutinize the hardwood floors until a certain depth by using electromagnetic radio waves. The fluctuations reported in the frequency of the waves indicate and quantify the moisture content present in the wood.
Pin-type meters apply the measurement of electrical resistance to assess the moisture component of the wood flooring. The fact that wood happens to be an insulator and water a conductor, the presence of less moisture will generate more resistance and vice versa. However, pin-type meters require the formation of pinholes by drilling at different points on the wood surface to estimate the moisture content.
Pinless meters have earned much popularity as the fastest technique to check large quantities of top-class wood flooring, whereas pin-type moisture meters are more effective in identifying the exact depth of a probable moisture cavity inside the wood.
Generally speaking, a majority of the people who supply best-in-class flooring materials to reputed durable engineered oak flooring stores in London prefer pinless meters for testing moisture in hardwood floors as they don’t require the creation of pinholes in the wood.