Seasonal Shrinkage

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Seasonal Shrinkage

bulletSeasonal shrinkage is common in wood flooring. Wood
flooring, being a product of nature, has some water in it at
all times. The 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.
bulletCold weather hits the wood floor twice. When temperatures drop home owners turn on their heating systems and keep doors and windows closed. This dries out the home and moisture is pulled up from the wood causing the wood to shirnk and "cracks" to appear. This can be somewhat
minimized by using a humidifier.
bulletThe second factor that affects wood floors is when the air temperatures 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 great deal more shrinkage of wood and cracking.
bulletWood stoves are especially bad for drying out the inside air. Areas directly around furnaces, heating ducts and base board heaters also are more susceptible to shrinkage cracks.
bulletAs temperature and humidity changes occur in Summer,
seasonal shrinking should remedy itself. As moisture is
introduced back into the air, moisture is also absorbed back into the wood. Expansion occurs and wood floors generally return to their original state before the Winter season.
bulletIt is recommended that you do not fill your wood floor during the Winter months. When the wood expands again in the Summer the wood will either force out the excess fills or boards will warp. Wood must go somewhere as it expands. The force of this expansion can be significant.
bulletIt is important to remember that this shrinkage is not a flaw in the wood or an installation problem. If you desire additional information concerning wood flooring seasonal movement please contact Rock Solid Hardwoods.

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