Though Phoenix is mostly dry year-round, there are still occasional problems with increased moisture. This moisture can negatively affect your hardwood floors if you do not handle it correctly. Your hardwood floors near Phoenix need a specific amount of moisture; otherwise, your floors could crack, warp, or dry out. Continue reading to learn more about protecting your hardwood floors from moisture problems.
Use a humidifier during the winter.
During the winter months, hardwood floors tend to shrink. There is very little moisture in the air, which causes the hardwood to shrink and dry. This is a normal function of hardwood during the winter, but it can result in unseemly and annoying gaps between your hardwood planks. As the individual planks shrink, they can cause small gaps to form. This is natural, but it may be annoying at times. To avoid your hardwood floors drying out and forming gaps, install a humidifier in your furnace or use a portable humidifier in a well-circulated room. Use a humidity meter to ensure your levels stay within 40 to 60%.
Use an air conditioner during the summer.
Summer time, especially during monsoon season, is when humidity levels rise outside and inside. This is when your hardwood floors are most at risk for expansion, warping, and cracking. As the planks expand with rising moisture levels, the increased pressure is what causes the hardwood to become damaged. Using your air conditioner will keep your house cool and protect your hardwood floors from humidity. If your humidity levels get really high, then install a dehumidifier to remove more of the moisture.
Use throw rugs to guard against spills.
Another threat to your hardwood floors comes from accidental spills. Your hardwood should be chemically treated to prevent water absorption, but preventing spills is important to the overall health and function of your hardwood floors. Place throw rugs in fashionable and functional areas—such as under a coffee table—to protect your floors from accidental spills. This will keep your maintenance and repair costs low throughout the life of your hardwood floors.