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How Humidity Can Affect Your Wood Floors

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Wood floors are beautiful, elegant and durable. They can dramatically change the look and feel of any room. They can also last years - even decades - if properly cared for. A big part of this is monitoring the humidity in your home and your crawlspace to prevent swelling, buckling, cupping, splitting or other forms of damage. 

Pay Attention to Your Home’s Humidity Level

Different times of year might require different temperature and humidity settings, but The National Wood Flooring Association recommends keeping your home between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and between 30-50% humidity, year-round. During the winter, you want to keep the humidity range lower end (30-40%) to prevent condensation on windows and other surfaces. In dry months like the summer, you can go up to 50-55% humidity to limit the growth of mold and bacteria.

Consider Using Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

When the indoor air gets dry, it’s not a bad idea to use a humidifier to add some moisture to the air. If you don’t already have one, you may want to consider a whole-house humidifier that connects to your HVAC system to prevent the need for small, freestanding humidifiers all over your home. On the other hand, you may want to consider a dehumidifier for the wet season. Dehumidifiers especially come in handy when there are long periods of heavy rain or fog, or when the humidity stays above 80%.

Limit Moisture

Wood floors are made from wood—a naturally porous material that reacts to its environment. This means they are susceptible to swelling and expansion in moist environments. Expert hardwood installers will leave expansion space around the perimeter of your floor as a precaution, but there are some things you can do too:

  • Never allow water to sit on your floors. Clean up spills immediately.
  • Ensure that your floors are properly sealed, finished and installed.
  • Stay away from products that promise to “rejuvenate” or “restore shine” to your wood floors. The best and easiest way to clean your wood floors is to vacuum or sweep, and mop with a damp cloth or wet vacuum, followed by a dry cloth.

With the right care and maintenance, your hardwood floors can last a lifetime. However, if you’ve noticed excessive cupping, crowning, buckling or cracking, you may want to reach out to us to discuss new flooring options. Our flooring experts are here to help, all you have to do is take the first step and contact us

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