Recognizing and Preventing Moisture Acclimation Issues

Do you have hardwood floors in your home? Are you planning on installing hardwood floors? If you answered yes to either of those two questions, you should be aware of the following signs that relate to moisture damage in hardwood flooring. Most of these issues arise from improper moisture acclimation upon installation. Optimal moisture content is extremely important to the durability and strength of hardwood flooring. If your floor is not acclimated properly, it can be exposed to excessive amounts of moisture that can cause structural damage. Hopefully you won’t have to deal with any of these problems; but just in case, you should know what to watch out for.

Signs that Your Hardwood Flooring Has Moisture Damage

• Humidity plays a large role in the stability of moisture content in wood flooring. If you heat your home in the winter, there is a chance that your floorboards will shrink, creating spaces between one another. This is a result of lower relative humidity levels. Most of the time, once the weather gets warmer, the boards will return to normal. However, to avoid having this problem at all, you may want to consider installing a humidifier to use during the colder months.

• Another problem that may occur is called cupping. If the edges of your floorboards are higher than their center, this is a problem. Cupping typically happens when the bottom of your boards are wetter than the top. It is also caused by high relative humidity levels because the boards will expand and press together, creating deformities.

• Crowning, the opposite of cupping, is defined when the center of your floorboards is higher than the edges. This happens when your floor is exposed to humid conditions for a long period of time. It can also occur if flooring previously had a cupping issue and the edges were sanded down before the moisture content lowered to its normal level.

• One more uncommon and extreme sign of water damage is buckling. It is a big problem because this happens when your floor actually detaches and pulls up several inches from the subfloor in various places. As mentioned before, this is fairly uncommon. Buckling will typically only happen when flooring is exposed to excessive amounts of water for a long period of time–for example, after a flood. If you catch this problem early on, some simple repairs may be made. Otherwise, more extensive repairs must be made. Usually a few of your floorboards will have to be removed while the rest of your floor dries out, but occasionally complete floor replacement is necessary.

You can prevent most of these problems by monitoring your flooring’s moisture content with a wood moisture meter. However, if you discover signs of any of these problems in your own home, contact us at West Flooring & Design and we can help you find a solution. In addition, we are one of the best hardwood floor installers in Southampton and, therefore, can help you avoid moisture damage issues right from the start. We will ensure that your flooring is properly acclimated, so you won’t have to fix problems in the future and you can enjoy the look of your beautiful hardwood floors for a very long time.