Summer is right around the corner and we thought it might be worthwhile to write about how seasonal weather changes can affect your hardwood floors. Wood is an organic material that has characteristics that make it unique. A responsible owner knows the ins and outs of their floors so as to make sure they can identify a problem at the first warning signs. Read ahead if you'd like to know what the inevitably hot midwest summer is going to do to your hardwood floors.
It was a long and brutal winter here in Chicago, but summer is coming. If you've lived in Chicago through a single summer, you know just how humid it can get. Humidity can have drastic affects on your hardwood floors. Indoor humidity can get as high as 90%. Your hardwood floors will absorb moisture and expand as a result. Prolonged humidity will lead to an effect call "cupping". Cupping refers to a situation in which the edges of the floor boards are higher than the center. While this can occur with humidity, a spill of any liquid that is not attended to quickly can have the same effects.
"Indoor humidity can get as high as 90%."
In extreme cases, the edges of the floor boards can actually start pressing against each other and lead to pressure. This pressure, if not dealt with in time, can lead to cracks in your wood. While this is an extreme situation, we think every homeowner should be wary of how dangerous moisture can be if not dealt with in a timely manner. The best way to avoid "cupping" is to make sure humidity levels inside your home never exceed 60% for prolonged periods of time. You can do this by having the air conditioner running as well as a dehumidifier.