How Moisture Affects Hardwood Floors

How Moisture Affects Hardwood Floors

How Moisture Affects Hardwood Floors

Are you ready to give your home a makeover with stunning hardwood flooring? Hardwood floors can completely transform your living space and give it a luxurious feel. Hardwood also comes in a wide variety of colors and styles, meaning that it is right for just about every home.  

But before you dive into your hardwood home remodel, let's talk about something important: how humidity can impact your new floors. You need to understand the moisture content in your home and understand how excess moisture can damage your hardwood floors over time. 

Too much or too little moisture in your home's air can spell disaster for your floors in the long run. Wood planks are extremely sensitive to water and that includes water that is in the air. Air that has too much or too little water will cause your planks to shrink or swell, this can lead to cupping, warping, or a number of other issues.  

In this post, we will discuss how moisture in the air affects the health of your hardwood flooring including what excess humidity does to your hardwood, changing humidity by season, and some tips you can try to protect your wooden floor's health.  

Sumatra Rosewood

What Does Excess Humidity Do to Hardwood? 


Wood is like a sponge, soaking up moisture from the air. This moisture causes the wood to swell and shrink, changing its size, and leading to buckling or warping. This can create unsightly gaps between the planks and compromise the structural integrity of your flooring. In the long run, too high of moisture content will result in your floors needing to be replaced. Additionally, excess moisture can also promote mold and mildew growth on your hardwood floors. 

However, too much humidity is not the only cause for concern. When the wood dries out, it will also be affected. Hardwood floors are sensitive to moisture levels in different regions. They will expand and contract depending on where you live. In dry climates, your hardwood will behave differently than in humid areas. For this reason, it is essential to acclimate your hardwood before you install it.  


How Does Humidity Change from Summer to Winter 


Hardwood floors are affected by the seasons, especially in the winter. As homes are heated, the air becomes dry, causing the hardwood to release moisture and shrink. This can lead to small gaps between the planks, so long as they remain small, this is completely normal. 

To prevent these gaps, make sure to control and monitor the humidity levels in your home during the winter. Don't let your beautiful hardwood floors suffer, if you notice your your indoor air drifting away from ideal humidity levels, install a humidifier or dehumidifier and enjoy gap-free floors all year long. 

During the summer months, it's a whole different story. The air tends to become more saturated with water, leading to your wood planks expanding and potentially causing them to cup or buckle. It is important to monitor the humidity levels in your home during the summer as well, especially if you live in a humid climate. Using a dehumidifier can help maintain the ideal moisture content in the air and protect your hardwood floors from damage. 


Tips for Protecting Your Hardwood Floors 


Here are some tips to help you protect your hardwood floors from moisture and humidity. 


Get a Moisture Meter 


To protect your hardwood floors from moisture and humidity, start by investing in a good quality moisture meter. This tool will allow you to monitor the moisture levels in your home and make adjustments as needed. 


Maintain Consistent Indoor Humidity 


Make sure to keep your home's humidity levels within the ideal range for hardwood flooring, which is typically between 35-55%. You can achieve this by using a humidifier or dehumidifier to regulate the moisture in the air. Always try and maintain consistent humidity levels and indoor temperatures. 


Acclimate Your Hardwood Before Installation 


Be sure to acclimate your hardwood flooring before installation, especially if you live in a region with extreme climate changes. This will help prevent any warping, buckling, or permanent damage once the wood is installed. Look up the ideal humidity for hardwood floors and buy a type of wood that is right for your home. Consult with the A Step Above Flooring experts if you have questions. 


Clean Up Any Excess Moisture 


Regularly clean and maintain your hardwood floors to prevent any excess water from seeping into the wood. Wipe up spills immediately and avoid using excessive amounts of water when cleaning your floors. Remember that moisture damage does not come from humidity alone, spills and leaks can be just as dangerous. 

By following these tips and staying vigilant about monitoring the moisture levels in your home, you can ensure that your hardwood floors remain beautiful and intact for years to come. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to protecting your hardwood floors from the damaging effects of moisture and humidity. 


 Healthy Hardwood Flooring with A Step Above Floors 


Keeping your hardwood floor surfaces safe from moisture damage is one of the best things you can do to ensure its long-term health. Understanding how humidity for hardwood floors affects your floor's health is the best way to prevent moisture imbalances and warped or cupped wood. 

Excessive moisture can ruin perfectly healthy solid wood flooring so it is important to monitor your moisture content levels, especially during the summer and winter months. 

If you are looking to purchase new hardwood floors, A Step Above Flooring is the perfect fit for you. Our flooring professionals know how to properly acclimate your hardwood floors and we will suggest the perfect wood and flooring type for your home's humidity level. 

Click here to reach out to A Step Above Flooring or stop by our showroom today!

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