Hardwood and Humidity in Asheville, NC
Wood is a moisture sensitive and porous material. For a homeowner looking to upgrade their flooring, this is a key concept to understand. Wood floors bring luxury into a home, but it comes at a cost, especially if you live in high humidity. New, freshly cut wood has a moisture control percentage from 30 to 250 percent. This is the amount of moisture found in the wood itself.
Wood flooring goes through processing to dry it out, bringing the moisture content down to between six to eight percent. The problem is once installed, the wood continues to absorb liquid from the air. Smart homeowners understand the effect humidity has on their beautiful wood floors and how to counteract it.
How Does Humidity Affect Wood Floors?
High humidity can warp wood floors. That amount of damage depends on many factors like installation, storage and even the cut. As the woods absorb water from the air, the boards curl up at the ends. This curling exposes the area under the wood to moisture, as well. Once the swelling subsides, the moisture remains under the boards and may rot the wood.
Dry environments are just as problematic, though. Wood needs a certain amount of moisture to remain healthy and flexible. Dry wood becomes brittle and may crack or splinter. Excessively dry boards will shrink, opening up the spaces on the floor.
Managing the Health of Your Wood Flooring
Your best resource when it comes to wood floors is a knowledgeable installer. Look for a company that specializes in hardwood products. They will have a full understanding on how to pick the right wood flooring products based on your home environment and humidity levels. An expert installer knows ways to counteract the potential damage done by humidity or lack of it such as acclimating the wood to the home before installation.
Do research on your own, as well. Moisture content changes based on the species of wood and the different cuts so take the time to comparison shop and learn more about various products available in your area. Ask the dealer how installation may lower your risk of environmental damage for your new floors, too.
Hardwood floors are a perk for any home, but only if they look good. Even areas with high humidity can enjoy the benefits of wood floors, though, if done right.