How Does Humidity Affect Hardwood Floors? Learn to Protect Your Investment

Hardwood floors are an investment into the value and beauty of your home. However, they’re not immune to the environmental factors that can impact their longevity. Humidity, in particular, can be a silent adversary to your hardwood floors.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the relationship between humidity and hardwood floors and provide expert advice on maintaining the right moisture levels to protect your valuable investment.

Understanding the Impact of Humidity

When humidity levels rise, wood absorbs moisture and swells; conversely, in drier conditions, wood releases moisture and shrinks. This constant swell-and-shrink dance can lead to several issues if not managed properly.

The Effects of High Humidity on Hardwood Floors

1. Warping and Cupping

In high humidity, hardwood floors absorb excess moisture, causing them to warp or cup. Warping is a general distortion of the wood, while cupping results in the edges of the boards lifting while the center remains lower.

2. Cracking and Buckling

Excessive humidity can also lead to the development of cracks and buckling. As the wood swells, it can press against the walls or adjacent boards, leading to these unsightly and damaging effects.

The Effects of Low Humidity on Hardwood Floors

1. Gaps and Separations

Conversely, low humidity levels can sap moisture from hardwood floors, causing them to shrink. This shrinkage can result in gaps and separations between the floorboards.

2. Cracking and Splintering

Extreme dryness can cause the wood to become brittle, leading to cracking and splintering. This is not only aesthetically displeasing but also compromises the structural integrity of your hardwood floors.

Expert Advice: Maintaining the Right Moisture Levels

1. Invest in a Humidity Monitor

Invest in a humidity monitor for your home to keep track of the moisture levels in different seasons.

2. Use a Dehumidifier in Humid Conditions

In regions with high humidity, especially during the summer months, using a dehumidifier can help maintain optimal moisture levels. This is particularly crucial if you live in an area prone to high humidity.

3. Use a Humidifier in Dry Conditions

Conversely, during the winter when indoor heating can lead to dry conditions, using a humidifier can add moisture to the air, preventing your hardwood floors from becoming too dry.

4. Install Engineered Hardwood in High-Humidity Areas

For areas in your home where humidity levels are consistently high, such as basements, consider installing engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood offers a suitable alternative in such conditions.

Close-up of a wood floor

Trust the Experts at Husker Hardwood Floors

Understanding how humidity affects hardwood floors is the first step in protecting your investment. Whether you’re dealing with warping due to high humidity or gaps from low humidity, the experts at Husker Hardwood Floors in Omaha Metro have the knowledge and experience to guide you.

For professional wood floor refinishing in Omaha Metro and expert advice on maintaining the right moisture levels, contact Husker Hardwood Floors. Our team is dedicated to ensuring your hardwood floors stand the test of time. Call us today!