Dealing with Seasonal Issues

With the fall season in full effect, the temperatures are starting to cool, and humidity is dropping. Seasonal related issues are extremely common during this time of the year. Most wood floors will have some type of seasonal separation in the boards during the fall and winter. Due to the heating systems in full effect, the humidity levels drop. The wood starts to lose moisture and the boards shrink, resulting in gaps.


Evaluating the Gaps

When the first complaint of gaps come in, the first test is checking the temperature inside the home, relative humidity, and the moisture content of the flooring. With these three pieces of information, it is easy to evaluate whether the gapping is seasonal. If the gaps don’t look to be seasonal, there will be more evaluation needed.

What’s the Solution?

Replacement of a wood floor to fix the gaps is usually unnecessary. It is best to leave the floor with gaps in place and just repair if needed.

With a normal gap, which means the gaps close in the summer months, the floor doesn’t need to be repaired. Any filler that may be used now can damage the floor when it picks up moisture in the summer months. A normal gap also might have been initially built into the floor, which should also not be filled. When humidity kicks in outside, or if you introduce humidity to your home with a humidification system, the seasonal gaps will swell up and disappear.

With an engineered floor that has been dry cupped, it will most likely return to its normal state. In a worst case scenario, the layer may delaminate from the core when the stresses overtake the strength of the adhesives, or when the stresses are greater than the strength of the wood fiber. In these cases, the wood floor needs to be replaced.

With abnormal gaps, they can still be repaired so they almost disappear. If the wood floor has a surface finish, the matching filler can be put into the gaps. For bigger gaps, individual boards might need to be replaced.

The only real way to fix seasonal fluctuations in your home will be to control the inside ambient conditions. Have anymore questions on the season’s effects on your hardwood floors? Contact the flooring experts at Signature Hardwood Floors, Inc. by calling 410.415.0755 orclick heretoday! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, andLinkedIn!


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