If there’s one thing almost anyone can agree on, it’s surely that a hardwood floor can make even the most average of rooms look amazing. However the other thing that there can be no doubt about is that wooden floors also require a lot of work to keep them looking that good. And not just keeping them polished and free of stains and scratches.
The weather can really mess with your floor, especially when it fluctuates rapidly, from hot to cold and vice versa.
In England we’re pretty lucky with our weather, although some people would no doubt disagree with that statement! But it’s generally fairly mild – we don’t generally have extremes of heat or cold very often, especially not out of the blue. But it’s not unknown, so it’s useful to know how to cope.
Wood absorbs water, so when there’s a lot of moisture in the home, from wet or very hot weather, it causes your wooden floorboards to swell up and may see their edges rising higher than the centre, a process known as cupping. The source of the humidity needs to be identified and fixed, or it is likely to cause permanent, costly damage to your floor. In the meantime, you need to try and get the excess water out of the wood. This can be done by raising the temperature of your home to dry it out, or sometimes by using a dehumidifier, which can be hired or bought.
If your floorboards are suffering from excess moisture, you should never re-sand them until they are back to normal, or it can result in what’s known as “reverse-cupping” which sounds a big naughty but is in fact just when the centre of the floorboard is higher than the edges. This can be devastating to the floor and very expensive to resolve.
Very cold, or dry weather, will often cause wooden floorboards to contract and may see small cracks develop. To resolve this you can use a humidifier, and try opening windows to air the house out.
Remember, if your floor is starting to look a bit dodgy it’s always best to seek the advice of a professional before attempting any fix.