What is the Ideal Humidity for a Home with Hardwood Floors

Wood flooring is a natural product, so when it comes into contact with excessive variations of humidity, it either contracts or expands. You’ll then have to replace the troubled parts every once in while but it can’t go on forever. That’s why it’s important to learn how to maintain hardwood floors. The most important step is to find out which is the ideal humidity and install humidity controls to make sure that it doesn’t suffers any changes.

During cold months

In winter time, the air is generally dry as a result of the heating generated by all sorts of appliances. Dry air is responsible for ruining hardwood floors by making noticeable gaps appear between each plank. Once the humidity level rises again, most of the gaps created as a result of wood contracting will be starting to close again and all your problems will be solved. If you don’t want to wait until Spring sets in, you can try to control air humidity levels with the help of a humidifier. In this case, the ideal humidity is located at somewhere between 45-60% so try to bring it closer to these values. A good quality humidifier will add extra moisture in the air ensuring that the floors stay the same as they were before. Other than that, by increasing the level of humidity in the air, you start to feel more healthy and energized. On the HumidifierCritic.com website you can find different types of humidifiers Choose one with a capacity big enough to handle the size of the room where you plan on using it.

During summer days

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the optimal level of humidity in winter is between 45-60%. However, during summer months, if the humidity exceeds 55%, your hardwood floors could begin to expand slowly. As a result boards may end up cupping or warping eventually so it’s recommended to learn how to prevent this. A good solution would be to install a dehumidifier in your house, preferably a whole house dehumidifier that will decrease the level of humidity in the entire house. Another main advantage of owning a dehumidifier is that it helps you get rid of mold or bacteria caused by an excessive amount of moisture in the air. Another solution is to install an air conditioning unit that will help maintain lower temperatures during the hot summer days.

How to keep it in check

Knowing how to prevent potential damage to your hardwood floors is vital if you are living on a tight budget and you don’t have the means to buy both an humidifier and dehumidifier in your house. You can install a hydrometer or a humidistat check humidity levels and keep them in check. You can purchase these devices from home centers or local hardware stores. Note that there are also many humidifiers that have already a humidistat integrated.