With all the crazy weather we see in Colorado from season to season, one thing we don’t have a lot of is humidity. This is great news for hardwood floor owners because humidity is a pain in the neck and can cause your floors to warp. However, just because our natural climate isn’t humid, doesn’t mean that you aren’t creating humidity. Protect your floors in the summer months by keeping your indoor humidity levels in check.

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Make sure you ventilate your kitchen properly if you have hardwood floors.

Why your floors are cupping

When your floors were installed, your contractor should have taken the time to allow the wood to acclimate to its new home. If during the seasons, the humidity in your home rises above or below the levels to which the wood was acclimated, it could start to buckle, cup, or shrink, which is never a pretty sight.

If your hardwood floors are reacting to changes in humidity, you need to locate the source of the problem. If your floorboards are cupping upwards, in a U shape (sort of), it’s a sign that the humidity levels below your floors are higher than the room where the floors are installed. If you have hardwood floors in the room above the kitchen, and you forget to air out the kitchen or run a fan while cooking, the humidity in your kitchen could cause the floors in the room above to cup upwards.

However, if you are diligent about airing out your kitchen and maintaining consistent humidity levels, but have a basement or crawlspace that is not properly ventilated, the higher levels of humidity coming from the basement under your hardwood floors will cause your floors to cup downward, like an upside down U shape.

Maintaining hardwood floors

If you’ve got hardwood in your salon or barber shop, be sure to maintain the humidity levels to prevent cupping and warping. Photo: Al’s Barber Shop, floors by T&G Flooring

Of course, if you are in the beauty business, like a hair salon or barber shop, and you’re going to be running a lot of blow dryers and washing hair in hot water, make sure that you ventilate to prevent your floors from contracting or expand.

Why your floors are shrinking

If the humidity levels are too low, the wood boards will shrink and create unsightly gaps.

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The first step to reducing humidity in your home and protecting your hardwood floors is figuring out the problem area. Once you’ve located the problem area, you can take measures to maintain the humidity levels.

Need advice on your hardwood floors, schedule a free consultation with a hardwood flooring craftsman