Summertime means fresh air, bright sunshine, and playing outside, but it can also mean high temperatures and climbing humidity levels. Don’t let high humidity wreak havoc on your wood floors this summer. Find out why humidity affects wood floors and what you can do to stop it.
Why Does High Humidity Change Wood Floors?
Think of wood like a sponge: it shrinks when there is little moisture in the air and swells when there’s high humidity. It’s a small change when it happens infrequently, but constant changes in the air will cause cupping – the phenomenon that makes floorboards look sloped because the sides rise higher than the middle. In rare cases, high humidity can cause moisture to get trapped under the floor and warp the floorboards, which is both dangerous and unsightly.
How Can You Help Your Floors in High Humidity?
Ideally, the humidity in your home during the summer should rest somewhere below 50%. A hygrometer can give you some idea of your humidity levels by measuring the moisture in the air. If you notice that your humidity is creeping higher than 50%, think about using a dehumidifier to remove extra water in the air. Turning on the A/C at the first sign of humidity will help dissipate some of that humidity, too. If you have a basement or crawl space under your home, think about contacting a foundation company to install a vapor barrier to encapsulate the space and keep humidity from rising to your home above.
Other Ways to Protect Your Hardwood Floors in the Summer
Of course, summertime also brings challenges like extra-hot sunshine on your floors and shoes tracking in dirt and grime. If you have wood floors in a particularly sunny room, install blinds or shades to create protective layer or use glass that filters UV rays. Make sure to keep up regular maintenance of your floors to protect it from scratches and scuffs caused by shoes, dirt, and gravel.
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