Hardwood is a soft and pliable material, as many of you already know. It expands and contracts with the ever changing seasons because they effect moisture. We all know water and wood are not friends, however there is an ideal level of moisture we have to achieve to keep it healthy. Now that we are reaching the winter season the air is dry and, just like our hands and lips, wood will dry out and start to shrink. When the wood contracts it will cause gaps in the floor and can look unprofessional, a temporary fix is to put wax or wood filler in the gaps. This is great until the summer comes the wood will expand from the moisture and push the filler out. This seems like such a vicious never ending cycle and can wear on the wood tremendously. So how do you prevent this from happening?
Importance of Moisture Level
Especially in Colorado, whole house humidifiers are highly recommended. It's very common now to have a humidifier attached to the furnace, since the furnace is known to dry out the air. This makes it very convenient because you can turn it on when you turn the furnace on. It is also cost effective because you don't have to get another system installed in the house. Ideal humidity level for wood floors is 35%, this allows the wood enough moisture to stay healthy but not too much to cause water damage. In most cases the humidifier will have a dial to set to 35% one time and not have to worry about it all winter, how easy, right? So why not protect your investment?
In Floor Heat
You're probably wondering, "doesn't heat dry out wood even more?" in which case you would be correct. However; there is no need to worry, we have solutions. With the installation of wood floors over in-floor heat we install what is called a Fidbox. A Fidbox is a product we can install inside one of your planks of wood and it tests for moisture as well as heat. This product connects to your phone via bluetooth and alerts you when your wood is too wet or too dry. It will also alert you if the heat is too high on your in-floor heater. Fidbox is recommended especially for in-floor heat; however you can use it in any location you have wood. We do not personally install in-floor heat under wood floors, however, we do know credible companies we work hand-in-hand with to accomplish this for you.