Water and wood flooring is never a fantastic mix. That is why it’s important to watch the humidity level inside your house. The humidity level, if too high or too low, of your house can impact your wood floors. So how can you know if you have a humidity issue and what’s the magic humidity level?
The wood flooring experts at Floor Sanding Stevenage have a few tips about how to control the humidity inside your house in order to keep up your beautiful hardwood floors.
WHY IS HUMIDITY BAD FOR WOOD FLOORS?
Because wood is a porous material, it soaks up moisture which can damage it. Depending on how much moisture, and how long the hardwood floor is exposed to it, it may do irreparable damage.
The humidity levels in your home are extremely important for keeping your wood flooring because moisture reduction causes wood to shrink and moisture absorption causes wood to swell. Below are a few warning signs that suggest you may need some help with humidity.
SYMPTOMS OF NOT ENOUGH HUMIDITY IN WINTER
In the wintertime, the most frequent symptom you see in hardwood flooring is gapping between the planks.
What occurs is that, when we turn our insecurities on, the humidity level inside our homes plummets.
Hardwood floors don’t shrink consistently in all directions. When humidity levels decrease, the boards will shrink more from side to side than end .
Therefore, the distance between the planks develops larger causing openings. This also suggests that broader boards will shrink over thinner boards.
SYMPTOMS OF TOO MUCH HUMIDITY IN SUMMER
Extra humidity in the summer can get the wood planks to expand and push against each other. This increase in pressure can cause the boards to cup or become higher on the edges than in the center.
As in low humidity cases, the planks swell from side to side than end to end. In extreme cases, the pressure can cause the boards to crack.
WHAT SHOULD MY HUMIDITY LEVELS BE IN MY HOME?
So what’s a secure humidity range for your wood floors? Many experts agree that an perfect degree of indoor humidity is around 45%, although anything between 35% and 55% is acceptable.
Summer is generally not as big of an issue as winter. As long as you operate your air conditioner, then it will remove excess humidity from the air. Winter is when we see the worst problems with a lack of humidity. The relative humidity of indoor air during heating season can be as low as 10%-15%.
Think about that. Your home can be drier than the desert during the chilly winter months! That is bad for you and it’s definitely not good for your wood floors!
HUMIDIFIERS PUT MOISTURE BACK IN THE AIR
Your home needs additional humidity in the wintermonths, but how can you put in it and command it to keep an optimal level. Listed below are a few humidifier Pointers to Help you Do Precisely That:
Purchase a Hygrometer
This system measures relative humidity so you can easily monitor humidity levels in your home. It will inform you when your humidity is too low so you know you need more moisture to keep your wood floors (and furniture and woodwork) healthy. It is affordable and you can pick one up in your regional hardware shop.
Have a Humidifier Installed on Your HVAC System
A humidistat that’s built into the device will permit you to set humidity levels instead of leave it to chance. This is an ideal solution because it lets you control humidity levels year round so that you can avoid damaging your hardwood flooring with humidity levels that are too high in the summer or too low in the winter.
While mobile humidifiers aren’t as convenient as a whole-house system that’s incorporated into a HVAC system, they are better than nothing. You are going to need to wash out the moisture that may gather them around and refill them every few days. Most manufacturers recommend using distilled water rather than tap water which can cause mineral deposits which impact the humidifier’s efficiency.
If you’ve experienced a humidity-related problem with your wood floors and need advice on How Best to Mend themgive us a call
01438 420 159 Or contact us online to receive your free quote.