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How humidity affects your hardwood floors

11 Jan 2022

Hardwood flooring is a tasteful, value-adding flooring option for any home. However, if you live in a humid area, you may be wondering whether the humidity will affect or damage your hardwood floors. The short answer: yes, humidity can affect your wood flooring. However, with proper preparation and care, you can avoid any damage and keep your floors looking as great as the day they were installed. A great option to avoid this is to choose Hybrid flooring that is a water proof option. Available in a range of styles and colour ways.

Humidity can cause hardwood flooring to swell

Wood is a natural, porous material that reacts to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Wood floors absorb moisture from the air, causing the individual boards to swell and put pressure against the neighbouring boards, resulting in buckling, warping, discolouration or cupping. This affects the structural integrity of your floors, and ruins their look! To be sure that there will be no issues with water damage you want to make sure you get a quality product at is installed by experts. You can can opt for a water proof flooring such as vinyl sheet or vinyl planking.

Humid environments can make hardwood floors mouldy

Mould thrives in porous, moisture-filled environments. If your floorboards or the areas under your floors are not adequately sealed and treated and are regularly exposed to humidity, mould is likely to build. This will deteriorate the wood over time, create bad smells and possibly detriment your health. If you are looking into what to clean your floors with we have a range of products that are suited for almost all flooring types, see here.

Is this an issue in New Zealand?

Luckily for Kiwis with hardwood floors, our climate doesn’t usually reach the humidity levels that would lead to damage. However, if you live in a particularly damp valley or microclimate, humidity may still be an issue for your floors. Making it important to consider what product will work best in your home.

So, here are some ways to prevent humidity from damaging your wood floors:

  • Make sure your hardwood floors are installed and sealed properly by a reputable flooring company.
  • Control the humidity levels in your home as best you can. You can use extractor fans and dehumidifiers to help you maintain ideal levels of humidity (30-50%) year-round. Any less humidity may cause dryness problems and floorboard shrinkage!
  • Do not use excessive amounts of water to clean your floors.
  • Consider alternative flooring surfaces in areas of your home that become regularly humid, such as bathrooms and laundries.
  • Avoid drying your washing in small rooms with hardwood floors.

If you would like to learn more about caring for your hardwood floors or are wondering whether a new hardwood floor would be right for your home, reach out to the experts! The Harrisons team have been enhancing Kiwi homes for decades. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about all types of flooring. Contact us here.

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