Unfortunately, some of the biggest issues that people with hardwood floors have to worry about are scratches and flooring gaps. Today, we at Mike’s Custom Flooring would like to offer some tips to help you avoid wood floor gaps during the winter.
Winter Dryness Causes a Wood Floor to Gap
Because hot air normally loses moisture, gaps in your floor may occur in winter months. The air in your house increases in temperature when the thermostat is set to heat your home. A drop in relative humidity levels from the loss in moisture in the air. Gaps start to appear between individual boards throughout the floor since moisture is lost. It is directly related to the environmental conditions the wood is being exposed to and is normal phenomenon. The indoor environment will regain moisture and most of these seasonal gaps will disappear as your home transitions into the spring months, and once the interior heating system is turned off and the temperature of your home gradually changes.
Hardwood Flooring Needs Consistent Temperature and Humidity Levels
The materials need to become acclimated for several days before the project begins as the temperature and humidity levels inside the home are so important that whenever hardwood floors are newly installed. The more consistent the temperature and humidity levels, the better the long-term results of the project are for installation and even the refinishing of existing floors.
How Do I Prevent Gaps in My Wood Floor?
Below are a few things you need to consider for preventing gapping or cracking in the winter and maintaining the beauty of your hardwood floor.
1) Reduce floor gaps and cracking in the winter by picking the right wood material. Different types of wood that you use behaves different depending on moisture contents. Make certain you select a material that is more stable like oak and will shrink less with changes in moisture. Do some research and contact a hardwood floor installation expert who can give you the best advice on the flooring types. Do not let moisture content stop you from getting your desired hardwood floor. You simply need to be proactive to reduce some of the natural changes that occur with the seasons after knowing how your floors will react to weather changes.
2) By keeping the moisture level in your home consistent, you can stop wood floor gaps. You need to keep the moisture content in your home consistent all year round if you want to protect your existing floor from shrinking and gapping in the cold months. You need to start thinking before winter sets in if you want to protect your existing floor from shrinking and gapping in the cold months. Use a humidifier in your home during the dry season to keep the average relative humidity (RH) level at 30-50%. Keep your home well-ventilated as well. Also, avoid turning off the heat completely while you are away. To avoid damage, when the temperature in your home is at 65-80F, ensure humidity levels are at 30-50%.
3) Damage from salt, sand, and water must be prevented. People will bring snow, dirt, and sand inside with them which causes a whole host of issues for hardwood floors. While water from melted snow can damage a floor’s finish, abrasive snow-melting materials produce scratches on the floor, dried salt leaves an unsightly white residue. Place mats near all entrances that lead outside as a simple and affordable way to reduce this damage to your hardwood floors.