Does weather affect hardwood floors?

Does weather affect hardwood floors?

A+ Hardwood Floors Offers Tips for Wood Flooring Seasonal Care

Most homeowners understand how humidity levels and indoor temperatures affect their comfort, but have you ever stopped to wonder how the weather affects your hardwood floors? Colorado’s seasonal changes can have a cumulative effect on your hardwood flooring, as wood expands and contracts, depending on environmental cues. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage done to your floors. With over 25 years of hardwood flooring experience in the Denver area, A+ Hardwood Floors is here to offer expert advice for caring for your wood floors year-round. Should you have any specific seasonal care questions or concerns, we urge you to reach out to us. We’re happy to help!

Hardwood Floors Have a Comfort Level to Keep in Mind

Like you, your wood floors also have a specific comfort level. The species of your wood flooring dictates where that comfort level falls on the spectrum. Domestic woods are usually more tolerant of extreme seasonal changes than exotic wood species. Humidity can cause your wood floors to warp or buckle in severe cases, and natural wood floors are affected by humidity more than engineered hardwood flooring. Engineered wood floors won’t expand or shrink due to humidity, so that’s something to keep in mind when choosing between engineered vs. natural hardwood flooring.

Why Does Humidity Affect Your Hardwood Flooring?

During the wintertime, homeowners fire up their furnaces, which causes the air to dry out inside their homes. This lower humidity level is responsible for your floorboards shrinking, which in turn can lead to gaps between the planks and cracks in your flooring’s surface. This is a natural reaction of wood, but you can do some things to control your home’s humidity levels. The ideal humidity for hardwood floors falls between 40% and 60%, which translates to average indoor temperatures being between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. If your home features exotic wood floors, you should adjust the humidity range to 50% to 70% with indoor temperatures between 65- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit. Investing in a humidifier in the winter or a dehumidifier in the summer is in your best interest because it will help you maintain proper humidity levels in your house year-round, so you don’t have to worry about wood floor humidity. When you rely on A+ Hardwood Floors for your hardwood flooring installation, we’ll also do our best to acclimate the wood to our local climate before installation.

How Hot and Cold Weather Affect Your Hardwood Floors

As mentioned above, cold weather leads to the air inside your home drying out, which sucks the moisture out of your hardwood floors. Hot weather brings higher levels of humidity because of excess moisture in the air. Poor ventilation, leaks, indoor cooking, and air conditioners shortening their running times all contribute to even higher humidity levels in the home during the summer. Your hardwood floors take in all this excess moisture, causing them to expand. If your wood floors had gaps during the winter, these gaps will now close during the summer, and your planks may cup as a result. Besides installing a humidifier, pay attention to the baseboard trim separating your walls from your flooring. When a gap is left around the edge of your flooring, it gives your planks room to expand and shrink. The baseboard trim hides this gap, so that you won’t notice your hardwood floors reacting to seasonal changes.

Other Things You Can Do to Protect Your Hardwood Floors

There are other things you can do to winterize your Denver home and protect your hardwood floors. We recommend applying weather stripping to your windows and doors or upgrading to energy-efficient windows and insulation. These measures should cut down on the cold drafts coming into your home, which affect your indoor temperature and humidity levels, not to mention make your wood floors cold when you walk across them. You should also keep a close eye on your home’s plumbing during the winter. When pipes freeze and burst, flooding can cause your wood floors to warp or crack. Insulating your water pipes and letting your faucets drip when the temperatures fall below freezing are in your best interest to prevent frozen pipes and leaks. We also recommend placing floor mats around your entryways and removing your shoes whenever you enter your home during the winter. This helps protect your wood floors from melting snow and ice and the salts often found on your sidewalks and driveways, all of which can lead to scratches and eroded finish on your wood flooring.

Contact Us With Weather-Related Questions or Concerns

Do you have additional questions or concerns about how Colorado’s seasonal changes or fluctuating humidity levels will affect your hardwood flooring? Contact A+ Hardwood Floors for more tips and tricks regarding hardwood flooring maintenance or hardwood floor refinishing to protect your floors.