The East coast state of Virginia is no stranger to humidity, just like all coastal areas. Humidity isn’t a major problem unless you have hardwood floors. Hardwood floors as well some engineered wood floors are prone to warping, cupping, or separating when exposed to high humidity. This is a natural reaction for wood under humid conditions. However, it can become a major problem if the humidity in your floor isn’t properly maintained and controlled. Mike’s Custom Flooring will share why is it important and provide a few tips on how to control the humidity in your home.
High Humidity Causes Buckling, Warping & Other Damage of Hardwood Floors
Humidity is essentially warm moisture. Humidity in Virginia increases in June and goes through September. On average in Virginia, the summertime humidity ranges between 55% to 80% which can become a major problem for those with wood floors. Humidity causes wood to absorb the moisture in the air and as wood absorbs the moisture, the wood will often expand and contract. When the wood expands it can cause the wood to buckle together which results in cupping. The edges will buckle upward much like a cup. When wood contracts it can cause the planks to separate which causes gaps to occur. Not only does the wood warp it can also develop mold deep within the grain during the expanding and contracting phases. This leads to wood rot. Wood simply doesn’t handle humidity well. This is why the humidity in the home must be maintained.
Low Humidity Leads to Wood Floor Splintering & Dry Rot
Now low humidity poses its own set of problems. Humidity that is too low can suck the moisture out of the wood which leads to splintering and dry rot. This makes the wood brittle. All wood varies on how much moisture or humidity it needs. Too little or too much is both harmful to the wood. It is important to know what type of wood is in your home. By knowing the wood you can help determine what humidity level is perfect for your home. In most cases, wood likes humidity between 50% to 70% and temperatures between 65 degrees to 75 degrees.
Relative Humidity for Hardwood Floors
To first control humidity it is important to have an accurate humidity meter. Make sure to have a good humidity meter which measures humidity in your home. Dehumidifiers or humidifier devices can be installed in your home. Both types adjoin to the HVAC system. However, there are many standalone humidifiers and dehumidifiers, depending on the region. In most cases, Virginia needs to reduce the humidity during the summer season. When controlling the humidity, it’s first important to know your wood floor type and what humidity level it likes. Often when installing hardwood floors you can ask the supplier, or that information may be on the product box or online. You can also contact manufactures for more information about your hardwood floors. For those who move into a home with hardwood floors and you are not sure what type of floor is in the home, it can be hard to properly care for the flooring. You can also contact a professional to inspect the wood.