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Humidity Can Affect Your Wood Floors

Humidity affects hardwood floors. During Minnestoa’s warm and humid summers, hardwood floors absorb moisture from the air, expanding and swelling as the water density in the wood increases. Some other issues can happen if humidity is too low during Minnesota’s dry winters. The expansion of hardwood flooring boards creates pressure between the boards, and over time, this extra pressure causes them to crack, cup, or warp. A small amount of cupping and crowning is natural for hardwood flooring, but that shouldn’t be a concern if the effect is minimal. However, more severe crowning and cupping, or if the floors start to crack, indicates a serious problem.

If you’re having trouble with humidity affecting the integrity of your hardwood flooring, we can help. Dave’s Floor Sanding & Installing is the top hardwood floor company in Minnesota, and we can help fix your flooring problems no matter how bad the damage is. These are some of Minnesota’s most common problems with hardwood floors, so if you have one of these issues, call us today for a custom quote!

Common Moisture Problems for Hardwood Flooring

Cupping

As the name implies, cupping is when a floor plank’s center becomes higher than its edges. It’s caused by excessive humidity in the planks, excessive relative humidity, humidity migrating from a crawl space or basement to the upper floors, or water infiltration into your home.

The best way to repair cupping damage is to find the cause and fix that. Once the excess humidity issue is resolved, the floor planks should balance out over time. Sometimes, using dehumidifiers or fans will help dry the wood and resolve the issue faster.

Crowning

The opposite of cupping is crowning; the middle of the floor plank is higher than the edges. It can happen if the surface of the floor is wet or if the floor was sanded too soon after cupping – the higher edges are sanded down, but when the moisture content of the planks returns to normal, the edges end up being lower than the middle.

Buckling

Buckling is an extreme reaction to excess humidity and results from the floor expanding to pull away from the subfloor. Extreme buckling can raise the hardwood planks off the subfloor by several inches, making the floor feel like a trampoline beneath the feet. When humidity drops, the floor may lower back to being flush with the subfloor, but there could be some spaces between the boards afterward.

Cracking

Extensive moisture and humidity cause the wood floor planks to expand significantly, and the adjoining boards press against each other. The increased pressure can cause some panels to crack instead of expanding.

How Can I Prevent Excess Moisture Problems For My Minnesota Home’s Hardwood Flooring?

There are a few steps homeowners can take to reduce moisture problems for their hardwood floors, starting from when you first install them:

  • Leave free expansion space around the floor’s perimeter, which your baseboards can cover
  • Maintain consistent humidity levels in your house with an air conditioner, a dehumidifier or by turning on your heat periodically in the summer
  • Leave the a/c on if you leave town for an extended period of time
  • Leave mats by your exterior doors to avoid tracking in excess water
  • Properly clean your hardwood flooring with a barely-damp cloth and the right cleaning product
  • Make sure that your hardwood flooring is made of good quality material and properly installed

We’re Your Local Hardwood Flooring Experts!

Dave’s Floor Sanding & Installing is a locally owned and operated company, and we’re very familiar with the impact that humidity can have on hardwood floors in this state. When we install your hardwood flooring, we consider all of the potential issues that may happen and give you the best advice.  Call us today!