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The importance of maintaining a stable humidity level in a home with hardwood floors

I saw a couple of situations over the last couple of days that reminds me of problems that may occur for people who purchase hardwood for their homes in the late fall and winter.

I walked into this nice home out in the country, it was a new build.

The client says to me –“look at this floor, its splintering along the edges  everywhere!”.

The homeowner appeared to think I was not going to look around or do my inspection.

First clue- den is unaffected, rest of main floor is affected in traffic lanes.

Second clue- the wood is coming out in chunks.

Third clue- they use a wet Swiffer with no chemicals

I asked the client to see his air handling system. He was not pleased. I had to reinforce that many people do not know how to use their air handling system and he just rolled his eyes.

Well lord and behold- he had the humidity set at 70% on his HRV.

I take readings downstairs and upstairs the RH is around 70%.

Its been like that since last December!

The wide plank products made these days are very susceptible to high and low humidity.

It is very important to be proactive in maintaining a stable relative humidity in a home, Ideally around 40%.

But if you wait to turn the settings up until its really cold and dry, the wood will likely shrink until spring anyways.

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