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Wood expansion due to moisture content of air

Posted by Harold Kestenholz - Hydronic Network on July 7th, 2001 02:31 PM
In reply to Speedbumps from hardwood floor warping by Steve F on July 7th, 2001 01:54 PM [Go to top of thread]

Wood expands when the humidity increases as the wood absorbs moisture from the air. The floor may have been satisfactory to owners in the past who kept air conditioning on to dehumidify the air in the summer. Warm air can hold more moisture than colder air. A new occupant may choose to save money on energy (present practice in California) by turning off the air conditioning or raising the thermostat significantly.

The humididy level will need to be kept below a certain point for the installation of the flooring. The alternative is to have a contractor make more clearances between boards so the wood can expand. Frequent contraction and expansion is not good for the longevity of a wood floor.

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