In today’s world it’s absolutely normal for us to adjust the temperature according to our own personal preferences. If it’s hot out, we crank the AC. If it’s too cold, we turn up the heat. But have you ever thought about how the changing seasons can affect the floors of your home?
The logic to understanding this is simple: In heat and humidity, porous flooring like hardwood and laminate floors, expand. In cool temperatures, the same materials contract. So what does this mean for your own hardwood or laminate floors?
A good rule of thumb is that if humidity within your home reaches over 60%, you might be open-ing up a chance for moisture to seep into the wood and cause the floor boards to swell. This swelling can create pressure between the boards, causing some of them to lift, warp, or cup. The same is true for both solid hardwoods and engineered hardwoods in heat and humidity.
As the temperatures start to dwindle in the fall throughout the Northeast, hardwood and laminate floors begin to contract due to the loss of moisture in the air. This will cause any swelling to reduce and you should begin to notice that as temperatures fall, warping or cupping might also be reduced. But, when spring and summer rolls around, concerns about temperature and humidity will come to the forefront again.
More importantly, what can you do to help protect hardwood and laminate floors from cracks, warping, and cupping? Here are a few quick tricks.
- Make sure your floors are installed properly and kept clean. Avoid using excessive amounts of moisture to clean any hardwood or laminate floors.
- Don’t mop your hardwood floors with water. In addition to adding extra moisture to the floors, water can also speed up the deterioration of the wood or finish.
- Avoid cleaning hardwood and laminate flooring with water-based products on a daily basis. This will reduce the amount of moisture your floors are exposed to and also help cut down on any potential issues.
- Keep an eye on the humidity within your home. If the humidity reaches over 60% and you’re fearing issues with warping and cupping, a dehumidifier or air conditioner can help bring those levels down and help protect your floors.
Humidity and moisture is an important factor that should be considered when choosing flooring for your home. Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your floors in stellar shape? Let us know in the comments below and contact Smart Carpet & Flooring for your next hardwood or laminate flooring installation in New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, or Staten Island!