Hardwood and Humidity Mount Vernon, WA
Hardwood floors and humidity are never a good combination, and both high humidity levels and low humidity levels can ruin your floors. Wood absorbs moisture from the air and then swells. When it dries, it begins to shrink. Depending on the amount of swelling and the space between boards, it’s possible for the wood flooring to become warped. This is known as “cupping” because the edges of the planks become raised. And in wet conditions, humidity may even cause the wood flooring to rot. The rule of thumb is to keep humidity levels in the home between 35 and 55 percent. Following this golden rule and your hardwood floors will remain in good shape.
Low Humidity Levels and Hardwood Floors
Low humidity levels that drop below 35 percent can cause a problem. It can cause the wood to dry out, weaken and splinter. Other problems with low humidity levels include wood splitting along the grain and a damaged finish.
High Humidity Levels and Hardwood Floors
When the humidity levels go above 55 percent, moisture may seep into the wood. It can cause the boards to swell, warm or cup. This can occur with both a solid hardwood floor and an engineered hardwood floor.
To avoid humidity adversely affecting your hardwood flooring, keep an eye on the humidity levels. You can purchase a hydrometer or humidistat at any hardware store to check humidity levels. If the humidity levels don’t fall within the 35 to 55 percent range, use a humidifier for low humidity levels and a dehumidifier for high humidity levels. This will keep your floors in shape to perform well while ensuring that your floors remain covered by warranties. Having wood flooring installed is an investment. With good care and the proper humidity levels, you can protect that investment.