– During summer: It can move up to 50-55%. This expansion can create pressure between the boards, which can cause the boards to warp, cup or crack. This is why at Lauzon, we have developed three different types of hardwood flooring constructions allowing you to enjoy the beauty of hardwood floors no matter where you live. Make sure the clothes dryer vent is unobstructed and vents outside your house. I learn new information from your article , you are doing a great job . It is your responsibility to make sure you have a stable environment in your home, even when the home is unoccupied. Relative humidity that is too high may have health effects due to mold growth, dust mite infestations, as well as certain bacteria and viruses. Relative humidity settings that are too low may cause respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and asthma. I feel like I have tried everything on the market! However, it’s susceptible to buckling when exposed to certain conditions or if produced the wrong way. During the winter, when homes are heated and the air is dry, wood flooring loses some of its moisture and contracts or shrinks as a result. Second floor also failing with cupping over 65% of floor. Air with a high moisture content (MC) or high relative humidity (RH) causes wood to gain moisture. Here is the link https://lauzonflooring.com/blog/6-ways-humidity-affect-hardwood-floor/. These changes can also present a less-than-desirable change in the appearance of your wood flooring. You have entered an incorrect email address! I just wanted to say that I have fallen in love with your oak natural designer collection flooring. please visit. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists indoor air quality among its top environmental health threats. Back to Wood Floor Fitting Moisture And Humidity - Important Factors Before Floor Fitting . Due to its nature, wood will always react in accordance to its surrounding environment. “Buckling is when the hardwood floor lifts or separates from the sub floor. And wood is a natural material that reacts to changes in its environment even after it has been transformed into flooring. If it is installed at 10 percent, the width of the wood planks will be narrower than they will be at 13 percent. – Be aware that wood stoves and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions, so make sure to use your humidifier when these are on. If the humidity level inside or under the house is much lower than the wood flooring was acclimatized to when it was installed, the flooring may shrink and leave gaps between the boards. Chance of success? In extreme cases, this increased pressure can cause the affected boards to lose their structural integrity and crack. Whether your hardwood floor is made of solid or engineered wood, it is bound to react to moisture so ensure you take the precautionary measures to prevent cupping. Thank you. https://lauzonflooring.com/blog/6-ways-humidity-affect-hardwood-floor/, FAQ – Living with your Hardwood Floor: 1. We are going to have give our home up to Foreclosure if we cant Figure it out ! High Humidity Causes Buckling, Warping & Other Damage of Hardwood Floors Humidity is essentially warm moisture. We have floating wood floor over concrete install about 7 years ago and we getting some bouncing spots never washed with water. Have new construction house on slab with engineered hard wood clued down. © 2020 Today’s Homeowner Media. The wood contracts as it … Our home is 64 years old , concrete block , off Grade. More than temperature only, keeping humidity in your home at the recommended level is essential for keeping your hardwood floor looking great. For aesthetic purposes, they are usually covered with baseboards. Your hardwood floor during the Humid Season. Should cupping occur, it’s important to quickly identify the root cause in order to rectify the situation. Thanks. Our house is 31 years old and was built with oak cross-cut hardwood floors in our living room and dining room. Top os insulation between joists is wet also. Keep humidity at the recommended level as much as possible to reduce cracking noise and buckling. To put it into perspective, the humidity levels in Florida frequently hover in the high 90% range while the humidity in Las Vegas can go as low as 18%. The floors were put down in the dead of winter (January) and the humidity in my house was very low. Once the humidity levels off and temperatures cool, moisture in the wood is absorbed into the atmosphere. But if the wood shrinks too much, it won’t be able to fully expand again, causing permanent damage. Every Summer when we use the AC the wood floor humps up to the point , it is a Trip hazard ! During the summer, all wood floors tend to expand because wood reacts to moisture. – During winter: It may need to be between 30-40% to prevent condensation on your windows and other surfaces. No drainage issues with landscaping or lot. This has happened to a rental unit that I have. Wood is a hygroscopic material. This damage is permanent, because your hardwood floor finish is cracked—your wood is no longer protected. When this happens, the top edges of the board are sanded off and are therefore lower than the rest of the board when returning to a normal moisture content. Poor installation is the most common reason that wood flooring peaks. Your hardwood floor is made of… wood! While humidity level rises in summer, it is very low in the winter. We are Heartbroken. It’s Not really an attic , the ceilings were lowered in the hall to be able to run duct work , it’s Almost. I hope the floor gaps close. 3 summers in a row since we’re in and Zero winters. Seal the walls and floor of your basement with a waterproof sealer, or cover the ground in the crawlspace with thick (6-mil or more) plastic sheeting. Did you ever think about how these living conditions and changing humidity levels inside your home can affect your beautiful new hardwood floor? I am Priscilla, Lauzon Flooring Brand Manager. Buckling. I’m guessing raise the thermostat to human levels–impossible –or insulate the floors very good. Now I want to replace the sticky tape. It’s like walking on a trampoline. I have used sticky carpet tape to tape down stairs carpet on my vinyl/wood stairs. Love your show! This problem is particularly pronounced during a hot, humid summer or cold, dry winter. The City Inspector told us to tear out the insulation under the house…. If the humidity level is much higher or lower inside your house compared to under it, it can lead to the boards cupping. When humidity drops too low, the wood shrinks. Four years ago, we removed the carpeting in our family room and had it replaced with oak cross-cut hardwood flooring. Keep your indoor humidity levels between 40-60%. Usually problems with buckling or cupping in a wood floor are caused by excessive humidity inside or under your house. We’re sorry to hear about this situation, and how devastated it makes you and your wife feel. Keep it up. Help. My wood floors often luck dull and around some furniture almost like a powder dust forms around legs or surface of couch or chairs? Considering this during the installation process is … Thanks. Our floor is about 2 winters old and the first winter we were on vacation (lowered house temperature-we live in Canada) and returned in early July and we saw no gaps. Controlling the humidity through fans and ventilation may alleviate the problem, but if the buckling causes the boards to … – Cupping: It most often occurs when a floor has been sanded too soon after cupping. The excess moisture at the back of the board works its way to the surface and as it moves through the board the floor develops higher edges giving it a cupped appearance. During the different seasons, when exposed to certain atmospheric conditions it will shrink or expand regularly. Once the humidity drops, the floor may shrink back, but it is possible that you may see spaces between the wood boards. That is why all homeowners should own a hygrometer to measure the temperature and relative humidity (RH), and be sure to respect the guidelines above. We have been selling our NextStep engineered floors in your sunny state of Florida for decades and we can confirm that both the 3 ¼ and 5 3/16 width products will behave beautifully. Reasons for hardwood buckling during summer . According to Claudette Reichel, LSU AgCenter housing specialist and director of LaHouse Home and Landscape Resource Center, raised floor homes are the most affected during summer with wood … First round of flooring cupped. High Humidity. We have had a lot of rain & very high temperatures. In either case, you should monitor the humidity level inside and under your home using a humidity gauge (hygrometer) to make sure both areas are under 60% relative humidity. Pulling off one of the crawl space vents and peering under the dining room, I can see that the OSB has pulled away from the joists about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. During warm and humid summers, your hardwood floor will absorb moisture from the air, swelling and expanding as a result. Usually problems with buckling or cupping in a wood floor are caused by excessive humidity inside or under your house. Acacia wood flooring is usually hardy and not easily damaged by various environments. The appartment is six years old. While humidity may be low in winters, they level rises up n summer month that may end up accumulating to a level then makes the wood floor to swell up, creating pressure between the planks and finally raising up or buckling. It is important to be aware that none of the damage caused by humidity variations is covered by any hardwood floor warranty. Now scheduled for third round of flooring. The general effect is easy to demonstrate by putting a small strip of paper onto a small drop of water. – Choose a good quality engineered hardwood floor that will fit with your needs. With the hot, humid weather that South Carolina and particularly Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand experiences every summer, the problems are compounded. Yes, manufacturers have developed different types of hardwood floor constructions to “improve and control” the wood natural reaction to changes in humidity. Hi, Be sure the ground slopes away from your house, and rainwater is diverted away from the foundation. https://lauzonflooring.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/lauzon-FAQ-SECTION-2-living-with-your-lauzon-hardwwod-floor-032019.pdf. We hired 2 different HVAC companies the First One was “ supposed “ Replace the duct work in The attic. I have a Brain Aneurysm, I had One knee replaced & can’t get my other knee replaced till my Heart Heals ( 1 year ) the floor is a trip Hazard & I can’t afford to Trip ! We have always had carpet and maybe we never saw it before now that we don’t have carpet. Let’s face it, even though hardwood floors have a long shelf life, it doesn’t save them from problems that occur due to climatic conditions, humidity, and excessive wear and tear. We hope you keep posting quality articles. Materials like wood will balance (equilibrate) its MC with its surroundings, similar to the principle of osmosis. In 99.9% of the cases the problems of cupping and buckling of hardwood flooring are caused by excessive humidity. Thanks, what an informative post! it was their opinion to add 8 inch duct , didn’t Work ?? If the flooring cups up (in a “U” shape on top), the humidity in the crawlspace or basement is much higher than that inside your house. If problems with high humidity in the crawlspace or basement under your house persist, consider closing up all vents and installing a dehumidifier under the house or conditioning the space under the house. Thank You , Hobart L. Williams. This “wood movement” occurs naturally according to seasonal shifts or when ambient RH levels change in the home. – Splits & Checks By way of explanation, the floor has gained moisture either by the ambient conditions within the home's structure or it has flooded with water. I am a Disabled Senior Veteran & was Just able to purchase ( what I thougt ) was our Dream Home ! Article on our blog that explains how can humidity affect your floor: The humidity in my home is 40 to 42 percent. Therefore the wood weakens, making your hardwood floor more brittle and increasing the likelihood of damage or splintering. I would add 2 quick points in this climate to your guidelines – I live in Florida and am considering your Reserva Pure Genius Nextstep Engineered White Oak. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for getting hardwood floors installed in a way that won’t get damaged. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "a70cc7ac42210ab004cdd98b4fc1a29f" );document.getElementById("eb5f45d876").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); https://lauzonflooring.com/locate-retailers/, https://lauzonflooring.com/blog/6-ways-humidity-affect-hardwood-floor/, https://lauzonflooring.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/lauzon-FAQ-SECTION-2-living-with-your-lauzon-hardwwod-floor-032019.pdf, https://www.reallycheapfloors.com/blog/solid-vs-engineered-hardwood/. Thanks for considering our flooring as an addition to your home. This winter we noticed gaps. This is a reaction due to a humidity level disproportion in the wood plank. If the humidity level inside or under the house is much higher than the wood flooring was acclimatized to when it was installed, it can cause the boards to expand and buckle. Photo 2:  Beachwood, White Oak, Hamptons Series, Hello and welcome to Art From Nature. Humidity and wood floors. Since the Duct Work was replaced with 8 inch , the problem became a little worse ?? In some instances, the use of fans and/or dehumidifiers might be necessary to bring everything back to normal. Buckling occurs when wood flooring boards pulls up from the subfloor. The lumber people are balking at replacing floor. Recommendations on humidity level will vary depending on the Lauzon floor you have. Could moister do the damage that severe? This can occur when the surface of the floor encounters moisture. It’s the same as for us. – Clean your hardwood floor with a cloth lightly dampened with a recommended hardwood floor cleaning product. What kind of wood floor solution do you recommend? Will Lauzon hardwood floor re-expand (gaps close) if moisture is regained? My mother tells me Danny’s on. Q: I recently moved into a newly built log home in Northeast Ohio. Run a kitchen stove vent fan (vented to the outside) when cooking. I have had 3 Heart Surgeries, 2 Brain Surgeries in the past 6 months. Our hardwood floor in the kitchen has recently cupped. – Maintain proper humidity levels with an air conditioner, dehumidifier or by turning on your heating system periodically during the summer months. – Crowning: There is no evidence of water coming in from outside, no plumbing leaks. Wood floors contract and expand depending on the humidity in your home, the temperature, and the weather. The subfloor under vapor barrier is wet and some areas are rotted. We’re sure Danny can offer individual advice for this matter. The idea RH level is zero, so when the moisture content causes it … – Make sure you leave free expansion space around the perimeter of your floor when installed. This can cause gaps to appear in between the planks. Do you recommend keeping the AC off until we see the floor regain its moisture and then once gaps close ensure the humidity is properly controlled? If so, what can be done to prevent that? There were a number of innovative new bathroom fixtures on display at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) including streamlined faucets from Kohler and hand blown glass faucets from Danze. I have completely encapsulated my crawl space this last fall and have a dehumidifier in my crawl space. The preferred moisture content is 12 percent moisture or less, measured with a quality wood moisture meter. There is small amount of buckling in a few places where the noise is most noticeable. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to get a hardwood floor installed in the coming weeks. Once humidity levels rise again, the hardwood floor will expand and most gaps will close up again. Proper humidity level for your hardwood floor. Hi, Hobart, My apartment unit is built on top of concrete slab with garage under. 2. Best of luck finding your dream engineered hardwood flooring! It’s good to know that your floor could buckle if it expands and then shrinks back when the humidity drops. Hi, There is no easy answer we could write here to this question. Specifically, peaking is an expansion problem. Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly: https://todayshomeowner.com/radio/ask-questions/ (You can just copy and paste what you have included here; no need to type it all out again.) This sometimes happens when there’s been a flood that has seeped into the floor. Once the solution dries it still looks the same?! Danny, as you know I am an insulation contractor (& trained as a HERS Energy Rater), in your hometown of Mobile, Al one of the wettest humid cities in the country! It’s Still happening ! – Maintain a proper humidity level in your home by using a humidifier during the winter months. In the summer the noise goes away. To discover how Lauzon is going the extra mile for your health, by purifying indoor air with our Pure Genius hardwood floors, click here. – Relative humidity levels of 35-55% – Lauzon solid hardwood floors. Priscilla. By May I was having a problem with the floor, wavy in some areas and actually buckling in one room. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons. Your wooden floor can absorb moisture from the air, and this will cause the wood to expand and to buckle. Follow along with me as this blog evolves into what I hope will be an interesting and inspiring journey. Some moisture-related problems are visible to the discerning eye. Luckily, there is an easy solution to dealing with swollen hardwood floors. It didn’t Work …. can you Help ? Top only. Can keeping the temperature-in the moist Louisiana summer with 95deg, 99% humidity- in your house we so cold (67deg) that the outside of the doors sweat outside, double insulated windows sweat outside, and could it make the un-insulated 70 years old wood floors sweat so bad some boards cup or warp and discolor? Watch this video to find out more. Can you tell me some of the ways that the floors may cup due to the installers/installation? Thank you for sharing this blog. And wood is a natural material that reacts to changes in its environment even after it has been transformed into flooring. – Gapping Hi, the temperature you are referring to are normal, but more importantly you need to make sure your relative humidity is constant and controlled. You can find one near you here: https://lauzonflooring.com/locate-retailers/ Thank you. 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