Winters can be hard on hardwood, especially the kind of winters we get here in Connecticut. On the one hand, the air is drier and filled with static, but, on the other hand, much more moisture gets tracked in from outside. Help! What do we do to keep our hardwood flooring healthy during this time of year?
Like any other plant-based material, wood floors are made up of cells.Over time, those cells become less and less elastic, but they still can capture moisture or have moisture drawn out of the cells. Even simple humidity changes that occur naturally during the year can cause shrinkage, cupping, crowning, or cracking in a hardwood floor.Yet, there are solutions.
The simplest option is to purchase humidifiers to keep the air from becoming too dry in the winter and dehumidifiers to keep the air from becoming too moist in the summertime. These will allow you to control the overall humidity and protect your floors from the damage caused, especially in winter.
Individual humidifier and dehumidifier units can be cumbersome to set up and store when not in use, so another option is a whole-home humidifier system. These can be tied into any forced-hot air unit that you might have (central air conditioning naturally dehumidifies air) or into a central vac system. This allows you to control your home's humidity from a central location, and there is no need for individual units.
Another option to consider would be the use of engineered flooring,especially in areas where moisture tends to come inside. These floors are designed especially with moisture in mind, and the plywood base of the floor is designed to stabilize the surface hardwood from the effects of water — preventing the swelling from too much moisture or the shrinkage caused by not enough.
At SunShine Floor Supplies, hardwood is one of our passions, and we want to see you enjoy your hardwood for years to come. To that end, we have developed approaches to help you combat moisture when it comes to protecting your wood floor. If this is one of your concerns, give us a call and schedule an appointment with one of our associates. We will even bring our samples to your car to look at them. We serve the Stamford and Bridgeport, CT areas, and we would love to help you as well. We will help you sort out what is possible with winter season humidification and your floors.