How does Humidity Affect Hardwood?

If you had to make a list of all the natural enemies of hardwood flooring, humidity would undoubtedly be right at the top. By its very nature, wood tends to absorb moisture from the air around it - which means that in humid environments, wood is more likely to swell. If those floors are allowed to swell too much it could lead to cracked boards, bowing, bending, cupping and other issues that are quite expensive to fix. Luckily, there are a few key steps you can take to help make sure these issues don't affect you.

Hardwood Flooring and Humidity

As wood flooring starts to swell due to humidity, a number of unfortunate things can happen next. As individual boards begin to swell, they begin to press up against one another - especially if the proper amount of space between boards was not left in the first place. This can cause individual boards to warp, which will be evidenced by the edges of boards being raised. In extreme cases, your wood floors may even start to develop an odor and could possibly begin to rot.

How to Prevent Humidity-Related Issues With Your Floors

If you know that you have a naturally humid environment in your home but have your heart set on hardwood floors anyway, the number one step you can take to make sure you don't run into any issues involves planning accordingly. If you live in an area of the country where humidity is a major concern during the warm summer months of the year, an option like engineered hardwood flooring would undoubtedly be your best bet.

You'll also want to take steps to make sure that your hardwood floors are installed properly to avoid major problems down the road. This often involves acclimating your flooring materials to the conditions inside your home before installation to prevent issues like swelling. This is another reason why choosing your service provider carefully is of paramount importance.

Finally, investing in a central air conditioner or other environmental control system can be a great way to control the humidity in your home regardless of the temperature outside, thus protecting your floors at the same time. Even small steps like placing a dehumidifier in any room that you're concerned about will go a long way towards protecting your investment and preserving the lifespan of your wood flooring.

To learn more about how we prepare your floors before installing hardwood, contact Oberdorf Carpet One Floor & Home in Lewisburg, PA.