Winter can be rough on your hardwood floors. Aside from the trouble caused from tracking in rain and, in rare cases here in Charlotte, even snow (!), the cold inside your home can wreak havoc on your hardwoods. Here’s what you can do about it.What’s the Problem With Cold Harwood Floors?
In addition to feeling pretty unpleasant under your feet first thing in the morning, cold hardwoods can actually indicate a larger issue. If the humidity inside your home is off, you might actually warp your hardwoods if your bring the temperature up too quickly. To avoid this, you’ve got to warm the temperature in the room without drastically decreasing the humidity levels at the same time.
Measuring the Humidity in Your Home
If you’ve got a digital thermometer inside your house, you’ve probably already got a humidity monitor. Measuring the relative humidity inside your home (at least, measuring it where your thermostat is located) is one of the primary functions of this technology. Odds are, you’ve got a lot of wood inside your home aside from your hardwoods – moldings, door frames, etc. – that don’t like drastic swings in humidity. As a general rule, you want to maintain a humidity level between 40-60% year round in rooms that have hardwood flooring. If the humidity drops below that point, you risk warping your floors and opening up gaps and cracks between the slats. Conversely, if the humidity is too high, the increased pressure on your boards could cause cracking.
How to Improve Conditions for Your Hardwoods
First things first: There are a few relatively easy ways to warm up your home without influencing the humidity levels. Area rugs are a great way to warm up rooms that have hardwoods. If drafts are getting in through doors and windows, investing in better insulation or guard-sealers to stop incoming air.
If you don’t have a digital thermostat or you’re not sure about the humidity levels inside your home, bringing in a professional HVAC technician to take some quick measurements is a smart move. If you’ve noticed hardwood separations, cracks, or warping during the winter, you may need a professional to help you get your humidity levels under control. This may also be a sign your heating system needs a tune-up and can’t efficiently keep up with the heating needs of your home.
Hardwood woes? Your friends at MTB Mechanical are here when you call. We’ve got you covered in winter, in summer, and all year round.
Talk to one of our experienced technicians today.
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