If you have recently installed hardwood flooring in your home, you surely take a lot of pride in it. Whether it be a light-coloured oak hardwood floor, or perhaps darker-toned cherry wood floor, you want it to look and feel good. The only way for this to happen is to ensure proper care and installation.
One of the major problems you want to watch out for, especially in the summer is cupping. Basically, this occurs with changes in the moisture of the air. The ‘cupping’ itself is basically the ends of the floorboards sitting higher than the central parts. If the overall look is concaved, then cupped boards are what you are dealing with. Usually, this is an issue that happens in the humid air of summer.
The reason why hardwood floors cup in the summer lies with the change in moisture levels of the air. Most of the solid wood floors cup because of high moisture content in the air, whereas engineered wood floors cup in low moisture levels. In any case, cupping is something you should always be on the lookout for in the summertime. That is when humidity levels are higher because you don’t run any heating indoors. To keep your floor in top condition at all times, you need to consider these following tips:
Allow time for the wood to acclimate
Now, for the most part, experts agree that in the best case scenario, your hardwood floorboards should be manufactured in the same climate as your home. However, most of the times this isn’t possible, so the next best thing you should do is leave the hardwood boards in your home to acclimate. That way, it will equalise in humidity levels with the surrounding environment. In the long run, this means less risk of cupping, regardless of the season.
Fasten floorboards the right way
Throughout the seasons, it is only normal for floorboards to retract and expand. This is a natural process, which you cannot fully control. What you can do, however, is minimise extreme cases of this by ensuring proper installation and fastening of the floorboards. When done right, floorboards will retain some of their natural elasticity and avoid cupping in the summer.
Get a whole-home humidifier in place
If you want something to work in conjunction with your HVAC system, then you need a whole home humidifier. It will monitor the humidity levels and work to maintain optimal levels throughout the entire home. It has a great benefit when it comes to rooms with hardwood floor. It will significantly reduce the risk of cupping and even prevent it altogether.
Don’t use a damp mop during your cleaning sessions
One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning a hardwood floor is to use excess moisture in the process. The right way to do it is to use minimal water. This is especially important in periods with humidity when water evaporates slower and has the potential to permeate through the wood material. This, in turn, will cause cupping.
Run the vents
If you have hardwood in a room with vents, don’t hesitate to use them. If there are no vents, open the doors and windows in the area to improve air circulation. That way, you will reduce moisture levels in the air and decrease the risk of cupping. It is especially important to do it in the summer.
Now that you know of all these tips to decrease the chance of cupping for your hardwood floor, you can better take care of it. You will surely be able to prolong its life.