Most of us know that water pooling in your hardwood floors is a bad combination. But were you aware that the humidity level, whether too high or low, in your house can also affect your wood floors?
The hardwood flooring experts at Floor Sanding Fitzrovia have a few tips about how to control the humidity inside your home in order to maintain your beautiful hardwood floors.
WHY IS HUMIDITY BAD FOR WOOD FLOORS?
Since wood is a porous substance, it soaks up moisture that can damage it. Depending on how much moisture, and the length of time the hardwood flooring is exposed to it, it can do irreparable damage.
The humidity levels in your home are extremely important for keeping your hardwood flooring because moisture loss causes wood to shrink and moisture absorption causes wood to swell. Here are a few warning signs that indicate you will need some help with humidity.
SYMPTOMS OF WOOD FLOOR WINTER HUMIDITY
In the wintertime, the most frequent symptom you notice in hardwood floors is gapping between the planks.
What happens is that, once we turn our insecurities on, the humidity level inside our homes plummets.
This causes the wood to shrink. Hardwood flooring don't shrink consistently in most directions. When humidity levels decrease, the boards will shrink more from side to side than end to end.
Thus, the distance between the planks grows larger causing gaps. This also suggests that broader boards will shrink over narrower boards.
SYMPTOMS OF WOOD FLOOR SUMMER HUMIDITY
Extra humidity in the summer can get the wood planks to expand and press against each other. This increase in pressure can cause the planks to cup or become higher on the edges than in the middle.
Just as in low humidity instances, the boards swell more from side to side than end . In extreme cases, the pressure can cause the boards to crack.
WHAT SHOULD MY HUMIDITY LEVELS BE IN MY HOME?
So what is a safe humidity range for your wood floors? Most experts concur that an ideal level of indoor humidity is approximately 45%, although anything between 35% and 55 percent is acceptable.
The relative humidity of indoor air during heating season can be as low as 10%-15%. To put that into context, consider that the average relative humidity in the Sahara Desert is 25%!
Consider that. Your house can be drier than the desert during the chilly winter season! That's bad for you and it is definitely bad for your hardwood flooring!
Have a Humidifier Installed in Your HVAC System.
A humidistat that's built into the device will let you set humidity levels instead of leave it to chance. This is an ideal solution since it lets you control humidity levels year-round so you can avoid damaging your hardwood flooring with humidity levels that are too high in the summertime.
Portable humidifiers are not as easy as a whole-house system that's incorporated into your HVAC system, but they're much better than nothing. You'll need to clean the moisture which may gather about them and wash them every few days and most manufacturers recommend using distilled water rather than tap water, which may result in mineral deposits that affect their efficacy.
IF YOU'VE EXPERIENCED A HUMIDITY-RELATED PROBLEM WITH YOUR WOOD FLOORS AND NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO REPAIR THEM, GIVE US A CALL AT 020 3369 0385 .