If you have hardwood floors in your home, there seems to be no way around gaps forming as the dry winter air approaches. As winter approaches there is less moisture in the air, and when this moisture isn’t present, it isn’t present in your hardwood flooring either. When hardwood floors lose moisture they tend to shrink and cause gaps to form. Mike’s Custom Flooring would like to talk about some ways you can lessen gaps in your wood flooring this winter due to shrinkage.
Choose the Right Hardwood Flooring
If you haven’t had your hardwood flooring installed yet, you may want to think about what wood is best for shrinkage. Some woods shrink more naturally than others. For example, hickory tends to shrink more than red oak. Along those same lines, flatsawn flooring shrinks about twice as much as quartersawn flooring. Make sure you look at all your flooring options when choosing the right flooring choice if shrinkage is a big concern for you.
Ideal Humidity Level for Hardwood Floors
One way to avoid a large amount of shrinkage in your wood flooring is to add moisture to the air in your home. When considering the moisture level in your home, the relative humidity (RH) level should be around 30. The normal activities of a family each day including showering, cooking, cleaning and other activities contribute to raising the RH of a home, but your home will more than likely need more than that this winter. One of the most efficient ways to add moisture to your home is with the use of humidifiers. There are different kinds of humidifiers out there. You can have a portable humidifier that can be moved from room to room, or you can have a whole house humidifier that is hooked up to your forced air furnace. Adding this moisture to the air in your home will help your wood floors shrink less.
Fix Moisture Water Problems that Can Lead to Hardwood Floor Rot, Buckling, Cupping & Lifting Up
If you use a humidifier too much, and add too much moisture to the air in your home, you could be facing other issues. When there is too much moisture added to the air, it can cause condensation to happen which can result in mold growth. In extreme cases, the walls of the structure can even begin to rot. You don’t want to add too much moisture to your home and cause other issues like buckling, cupping at floor boards lifting up. Depending on the temperature outside, you will need to keep the RH in your home at certain levels to avoid adding too much moisture. You should read the manufacturers recommendations that come with your humidifier to avoid this issue.
Hardwood Floor Installation, Refinishing & Repair in Charles Town & Eastern Panhandle of Berkeley & Jefferson Counties in WV | Winchester & Frederick County | Round Hill & Loudoun County | Fairfax County VA
When you choose to have hardwood flooring installed in your home, there is no way to completely eliminate shrinkage when moisture levels are low. There is no way to change the physics of wood flooring, only ways to help minimize the problem. If your flooring has gaps that are wider than the width of a dime, Mike’s Custom Flooring can repair it for you. Mike’s Custom Flooring has years of experience in hardwood floor repairs. Call us today!