I t is that time of year again in the Rocky Mountains when we start to see “cracking” in wood floors. This is seasonal and common in wood flooring.

W ood flooring, being a product of nature, has some water in it at all times. This moisture content in the wood changes as the moisture in the environment changes. When the ambient air dries out, the wood dries out and shrinks. This causes the “cracking” between the boards.

C old winter weather hits wood flooring twice. When temperatures drop, homeowners turn on their heating systems and keep doors and windows closed. This heat dries out the home and moisture is pulled from the wood causing the wood to shrink and “cracks” to appear. This can be somewhat minimized by having a humidifier attached to the heating system. Wood stoves are especially bad for drying out the inside air as well as areas directly around furnaces, heating ducts and base board heaters.

T he second factor that effects wood floors is when the air temperature fall below freezing. Most of the moisture in the air falls out as snow, frost or ice. So, when we get a long cold spell with ice or snow, we experience a lot more shrinkage and cracking.

A s temperature and humidity changes occur summer, seasonal cracking should remedy itself. As moisture is replaced back into the air, moisture is also absorbed back into the wood. Expansion occurs and wood floors return to their original state before the winter season.

I t is recommended that you do not fill your wood floor throughout the winter months. When the wood expands again in the summer, the wood will either force out the excess fill or boards will warp. Wood must go somewhere as it expands, the force of this expansion can be significant.

I t is important to remember that this shrinkage is not a flaw in the wood or an installation related problem. If your desire additional information concerning wood flooring seasonal movement please contact us.


Floor Max LLC