West Virginia ranks about 27th in the country in terms of the highest humidity. What many homeowners come to learn is how destructive humidity is on solid hardwood floors. Wood expands and contracts all the time and when adding moisture to the mix it can have devastating results. Wood floors that have been damaged by humidity can have severe cupping which is when the edges of the plank bubble or bulge upwards. To help prevent your wood floors falling victim to our humid climate, Mike’s Custom Flooring will share how you can protect and maintain your home’s hardwood floors.
How Do I Regulate the Temperature in My House?
When a home has wood floors installed they do require basic care and maintenance. However, what many manufacturers fail to mention is that climate control is basic to maintaining your home. Inside temperatures should be between 60 and 80 degrees. Along with temperature control you will want to control the humidity inside your home. When measuring the humidity inside the home you would only want humidity to range from 30% to 50%. Humidity any higher will begin to affect the wood. Some moisture in the air is good for the wood and of course your skin, so you don’t want to dry the room out completely. However, you may want to install a dehumidifier in your home to control how high the humidity is inside your home.
How Do You Keep Hardwood Floors from Cupping?
If your home seems to be creating humidity, this could indicate a broken or leaky water line inside your home. To prevent cupping you will want to determine if your home has any leaks. Cupping can also occur if the wood is exposed to water directly. It is important to remove the water and dry the wood. Inside the home there are two areas that create a lot of humidity, which would be the bathroom and laundry room. When taking a hot shower or drying your laundry in the dryer, turn on the exhaust fans to help pull the humidity up and out of the room and home.
Can You Fix Cupping Hardwood Floors?
If cupping does occur don’t panic, it can be repaired. When cupping occurs the wood will bulge upward around the edges of each plank or wood on the floor. The risen edges can be sand down and made level with the rest of the floor. However, repairing cupping can only be done once and at times twice on the same wood floor. Over time the wood cannot be sanded down. To repair cupping the entire wood floor is stripped of the stain or sealer and is sanded down to a level and smooth finish. Next the wood is re-stained or sealed to prevent surface damage.
What is Hardwood Floor Buckling?
Another common problem with humidity damage is buckling. Buckling is when the edges of the surrounding planks no longer line up and/or separate. This can be a much more difficult type of damage to repair. In most cases the plank that has been affected must be replaced. There are some joint fillers that can help connect the planks. However, this can only be done in minor cases.