With temperatures, humidity and precipitation on the rise, springtime in Gainesville can prove more challenging to hardwood flooring than most homeowners realize.
Unfortunately, the biggest threats to hardwood floors are easy to overlook. For example, does one area of your flooring receive more sunlight than others? Is your indoor humidity rising along with the humidity outside? Are you maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the day?
Most of us would never give a second thought to these considerations – at least, not until our hardwood floors are damaged and need to be replaced. Unfortunately, though, each presents a unique challenge to hardwood flooring – especially during seasonal changes.
More humidity in the air means increased moisture for your hardwood panels to absorb. Over time, this absorption can lead each panel to expand, causing them to cup or crown. If the problem isn’t corrected, the damage can become even worse: cracking or even buckling as panels pull away from the floor.
To prevent these problems in our humid environment, a dehumidifier should be used regularly. For solid hardwood floors, your indoor humidity should not exceed 55%.
Of course, using a dehumidifer regularly doesn’t mean running it constantly. A home that is too dry can be just as damaging as one that’s too humid. Excessively dry air (below 35% for solid hardwood) can cause planks to contract, eventually leading to gaps between each plank. Over time, the panels can also become weaker, making them more susceptible to damage from regular use.
Still Looking For New Flooring? Consider Engineered Hardwood
Unfortunately, dehumidifiers will have a noticeable impact on your utility bills. Between that and actively monitoring your home’s humidity level (especially while traveling), it may not be worth the hassle of having hardwood floors to begin with.
Thankfully, the industry offers an authentic alternative: engineered hardwood. This flooring options is still composed of actual wood, but is built with a layered construction rather than a solid piece of wood. These layers, typically composed of a stable core, help each plank maintain its integrity and slow the absorption of moisture.
Every home and situation is different. If you’re ready to make an informed choice, visit Gainesville’s leading flooring experts at CarpetsPlus COLORTILE today!