Hardwood and Moisture
You never walk into a bathroom or laundry room with hardwood floors. This is not just based on a tradition of aesthetics, it is because of all the flooring choices, hardwood is one of the most affected by moisture.
Since wood is a natural substance, it's no wonder it has a system in place for dealing with the moisture levels nature brings. The moisture content held in a tree can add up to 200% of the weight of the tree’s wood! This is due to water absorption that happens in wood fibers.
When wood is cut for flooring, it is also dried and the water in the fibers begins to evaporate. But, usually the saturation of wood will remain semi- saturated. When dryness or humidity occurs in a room with wood flooring, the wood saturation content will change and the wood will contract or expand. Further than that, wood does not swell and shrink in a uniform manner in all directions which may result in warping, bowing or twisting of the planks.
Don’t worry that any time you spill a drop of water on your floors the boards will warp- the moisture content in wood changes at a slow pace, especially if the wood has been finished or sealed. Since moisture changes can be spread apart and short lived, usually the wood has time to recover to its normal size before the next fluctuation.
However, be aware that in the winter, all the heating makes wood very dry and this can cause the wood to contract, while in the summer, oftentimes humidity will cause the floors to expand.
Have any questions about hardwood installation or preventative care for your floors? Be in the know and avoid unnecessary hardwood floor repair. Come in today or give us a call at 814-310-9972.