Properly controlling the moisture levels in your home allows you to reduce the possibility of serious complications that can occur with hardwood flooring. Steam, leaky pipes, faulty appliances, breathing and ventilation errors are five common inside sources of moisture.
Steam: Steam comes in many forms. Showering, running the dishwasher and mopping all emit moisture into the air. Washing dishes by hand when you leave the hot water running emits moisture into the air. Letting anything simmer all day on a stove top contributes to the moisture levels as well. Dryer vents that are clogged or are not properly hooked up will let steam back into the house or will pump moisture directly into a crawl space or basement. When moisture is placed into the air of your home, it travels naturally into each room through natural air movements or with the help of centralized air or heating units.
Leaky pipes: Common sources of leaky pipes include bathroom fixtures, pipes under the kitchen sink, a dripping toilet and pipes that run through the walls or under the house. A cracked or broken pipe can let several gallons of water run within or underneath your home. Pipes that are exposed to temperature changes that cause dripping condensation can potentially also cause problems.
Faulty Appliances: Appliances such as freezers, refrigerators with ice makers and air conditioning units may produce condensation. This condensation can slowly drip in unseen areas by the homeowner.
Breathing: Breathing also emits moisture back into the air. Therefore if you have suddenly large gatherings of people in your home such as family gatherings or for entertainment events, more moisture than normal can be absorbed into the floor.
Ventilation Errors: Rooms that are closed off in the home for long periods of time can store moisture in the air that may have been seeping into the home from other areas. Closing off a room is commonly done to conserve heat in unused areas of the home or in situations where you’re only at a home for short period of times such as when you visit a vacation property. This can cause a musty smell. If hardwood flooring exists in these rooms then some of this excess moisture will be absorbed into the flooring.