Site-Finished Hardwood FlooringIf your home features hardwood floors, you’ve probably gone above and beyond to protect them from scuffing, scratches, and general wear-and-tear. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do to prevent your floors from coming into contact with moisture. Whether it’s a spilled drink or a flash flood, accidents can happen. Discover the most common problems that occur when moisture gets to your hardwood flooring and what you can do to correct them.

Cracks or Separation. Hardwood flooring planks have a certain moisture content. During the winter, when we’re pumping heat into our homes, the wooden slabs that your hardwood floor are made of can lose some of that moisture content and ultimately shrink. Typically, these variations are seasonal, which means the floor will correct itself when the weather warms up again. To prevent this from occurring, monitor your home’s temperature and relative humidity by having a humidifier installed.

Cupping or Crowning. Cupping occurs when your hardwood floors comes into contact with moisture. The edges of a board appear higher than the center as a result of a moisture imbalance. If moisture comes into contact with your hardwood, it will dry on the surface more quickly than it will at the bottom of the board, just above the sub-floor. Conversely, if you notice the center of a particular board is higher than its edges, crowning is at play. This occurs when hardwood is exposed to moisture or humidity for a prolonged period of time. If your hardwood was installed correctly, you shouldn’t run into these problems, but if you do, you’ll most likely need to replace the boards.

Buckling. Perhaps hardwood’s most extreme reaction to moisture, buckling is when your hardwood floor pulls up and separates from the subfloor. While it’s not a common occurrence, buckling happens after a hardwood floor has been flooded or exposed to moisture, like a spill or flood, and left untreated. To fix the appearance of buckling, all traces of moisture must be removed and the boards must be taken up so that the subfloor can try. Once the surface is dried, new boards can be installed.

To prevent these common problems associated with hardwood, quickly whisk away any moisture that comes into direct contact with your floors. To learn more about protecting your hardwood floors or having hardwood installed in your home, contact Floor Coverings International of Cincinnati today!