Your hardwood floors would be at risk of warping, crowning, and buckling. So if you live in a place that happens to get humid, especially in the summer, then it's highly recommended that you get a dehumidifier. It could help you save money in the long run on repairs needed for your home.
A Dehumidifier Is Actually a Bad Idea for Hardwood Floors
Or you notice some of the floorboards have started to bend and the edges may curve up or down. Cracks may have appeared in the floorboards.
Use a dehumidifier placed at the highest setting possible to dry the floors. Place it in the center of the room and leave it on for at least 24 hours. Next, place fans around the room so the entire surface receives the blowing air. Place the fans at the highest settings possible.
With or without a good solid humidifier, wood expands when wet. Just as shrinking wood planks can make for significant creaking and damage, so too can excessive moisture cause hardwood to swell. This can create just as much havoc as wood panels stretch and strain at cement foundations or other types of framing.
Here's the Hardwood Golden Rule: With both solid and engineered hardwoods, you should aim to keep humidity levels in your home between 35% and 55%. Now here's why. If the humidity level drops below 35%, it can be a problem for your hardwood.
At a minimum, you should wait at least 24 hrs before walking on the floors; for hours 24-48, it's best to wear socks only (no shoes, no bare feet). Ideally, you should wait a total of 4 days before moving furniture back. This is to allow enough time for the floors to dry and cure.
Hardwood floors absorb moisture from the air, and extremely high or low humidity levels can be detrimental. Low humidity can cause hardwood floors to dry out, shrink, crack, or damage the wood's finish. It is vital to keep the humidity level between 35-55% for the well-being of your hardwood floors.
Humidifiers. Humidifiers emit moist air into a room, increasing the room's humidity levels. They work by pulling the moisture from a water reservoir, either by using an evaporative belt or a rotating drum covered in absorbent padding. A properly functioning humidifier will not damage wood floors.
The area immediately surrounding the portable unit can get too humid, and the water droplets that fall from the air close to the humidifier can damage small areas of your floors.
That's called hardwood cupping. Excess moisture is the culprit when it comes to hardwood cupping. This happens when the humidity level is high, when the boards absorb too much moisture from the subfloor, from water leaks and spills or even by cleaning your hardwood flooring in the wrong manner.
Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air and replacing it with dry air. Used in conjunction with fans and heaters they can speed up drying out a floor. The problem with using a dehumidifier to dry out a floor is that it will collect moisture from the entire room not just the wet surface.
For a solid floor as flooring acclimates to the space the initial cupping will subside and gapping will be the issue of the finished floor. In this case allowing the flooring to complete a heating season will likely fix the cupping as the elevated moisture will be removed by the heating and the flooring will flatten.
If the floor is swollen from humidity, then you must set up ventilation fans to dry out the room. To speed up the process, a dehumidifier may also be set up in the room to help dry out the flooring and capture the moisture.
As mentioned, weather and moisture are the most culprits of buckling wood floors. If the buckling is minimal, you can try drying the damaged area and see if it returns to its normal shape. You can also try putting a little pressure or a heavy object on top of the buckled wood to settle it back to its place.
Air with a high moisture content (MC) or high relative humidity (RH) causes wood to gain moisture. Extreme moisture can cause cupping (when the edges raise higher than the middle of the wood planks) or even buckling.
If there is one enemy hardwood floors have, it has got to be moisture, and buckling is what you get when hardwood floors have been exposed to moisture for an extended period of time. This often arises after flooding, subfloor moisture buildup, drainage problems, or leaking pipes. laterally, it leads to floor buckling.
You may also need to know how to keep your indoor humidity at a low level. If so, check out our post How To Naturally Reduce Humidity In A Room. Putting a finish on wood furniture can also help protect from moisture and humidity. Painting a varnish, shellac, lacquer, or even just paint offers a layer of protection.
If the wood is installed too dry, when it picks up moisture from the higher humidity environment it will expand and could cause permanent cupping. The goal is to acclimate the wood to whatever the normal living conditions are and ensure the wood flooring moisture content is within 2% of the subfloor moisture content.
Shrinking and swelling occur as the wood changes moisture content in response to daily as well as seasonal changes in the relative humidity of the atmosphere, i.e., when the air is humid, wood adsorbs moisture and swells; when the air is dry, wood loses moisture and shrinks.
Water damage happens when water is allowed to saturate a hardwood floor often the result is a condition often referred to as cupping. This happens because more moisture is absorbed by the unfinished underside of the boards causing the bottom of each board to expand more than the top.
No. By all means, avoid sleeping in the house after refinishing surfaces using oil-based products. Oil-based polyurethane emits a strong smell that's uncomfortable to be around. It is neither safe nor smart to expose yourself and others to such a highly toxic environment.
If your hardwood floors have been sanded and finished with Bona Mega Clear HD, it is safe to sleep in the home about 2-3 hours after the project is finished, but again, only if there are other rooms that have not been robbed of their furniture – furniture should stay off floors for at least 24 hours after ANY project ...
If the buckling is only minor, in many cases the boards might return back to normal. If the boards are still showing areas of damage and buckling, you'll need to replace them.
Dry the furniture
Water often swells wood. If you dry it out too quickly, it will shrink, crack, and warp. If drawers and doors are swollen, don't force them open – you'll do more damage. Instead, carefully remove the back of the furniture, and allow the air to circulate and dry steadily.