Colorado has a relatively dry climate, so humidity is not always on our radar. But, in the winter months, when we shut the windows, turn up the heat, and take long, hot showers, your indoor moisture levels could become a problem for your hardwood floors.

Tips to protecting your hardwood floors from moisture issues

Open up a window now and then to let out some of the moisture buildups from everyday activities like cooking and breathing.

Ventilate your home regularly to control the buildup of too much moisture

In the winter time, when the cold air sucks the rest of the moisture out of the air, your hardwood floors begin to contract causing gaps between each floorboard. This process is entirely natural. However, if you’ve had hearty stews and soups cooking on the stove all winter long, and keeping every window tightly shut, you could be creating an atmosphere of too much moisture, causing your floors to swell up, eventually cupping and warping. This process will happen whether you have engineered or solid hardwood flooring.

Good indoor air quality is not only beneficial to you and your family, but it will also help protect your hardwood floors. In the wintertime, make sure you are not drowning your hardwood floors with excess moisture and humidity. Be aware of the most common culprits in your home that will raise moisture levels.

Obviously, improper ventilation is a significant factor in controlling your moisture levels. Opening up a window now and then and letting old, stale, moist air out is just good sense. If you’re starting to feel stuffy, it’s time to let in some fresh air.

Choosing the right flooring for your Colorado home or business

Hearty winter stews can create moisture in the air that can affect your hardwood floors. Be sure to ventilate after cooking.
Photo: Reclaimed oak kitchen project

Part of raising moisture levels are your everyday activities like:

  • Taking a hot shower and not ventilating
  • Cooking and not ventilating
  • Running the washer, dryer, or dishwasher (or all of the above) and not ventilating
  • Keeping a lot of indoor plants and not ventilating
  • Breathing! Yup, you read that right. So, try not to breathe too much in the winter months, Just kidding. But, breathing will, over time, cause the moisture levels in your home to increase unless you (you guessed it) ventilate regularly!!

Keeping an eye on moisture levels in your home during the winter could prevent your floors from damage. Too much or too little can put pressure on your floors. If you notice significant changes in the way your floors are expanding and contracting, check your indoor moisture levels. If you have questions or concerns, a hardwood flooring craftsman in your area can help you get to the root of the problem. It could just be a matter of opening – or closing a window – but if you’ve allowed the problem to occur for too long, you may need someone to help you repair the damaged floorboards.

For hardwood flooring advice, installation, or repairs from Denver to Evergreen, Colorado, call for a free consultation.