It’s that time of year again in Colorado when we start to see ‘cracking’ in wood floors. This is a seasonal occurrence and typical in wood flooring.
Wood flooring, after all, is a natural product and as a result, contains varying levels of water in it at all times. The moisture levels in the wood fluctuate as the moisture in the environment differs. As the ambient air dries out, the wood similarly dries out and contracts. This causes the ‘cracking’ between the individual floor boards.
The cold winter weather is especially harch on hardwood floors. As the temperatures drop, homeowners turn on their heating systems and keep the doors and windows closed. The hot, dry, heater air dries out the air and moisture is literally pulled from the wood resulting in shrinkage and ‘cracks’ begin to appear. The dry air can be somewhat minimized by having a humidifier attached to the heating system.
The second factor to consider regarding your wood floors is the air temperatures falling below freezing. The majority of the moisture in the air dissipates out as snow, frost, or ice occurs. A particularly long cold spell with ice or snow essentially causes a lot more shrinkage and cracking.
As the temperature and humidity change the in summer, seasonal cracking should repair 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.
We recommended that you do not fill your wood floor throughout the winter months. It is important to remember that this shrinkage is not a flaw in the wood or an installation related problem.
For more information about your hardwood flooring, visit our showroom and let’s talk flooring!