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  • Writer's pictureJoni Rocco

❄️Baby It's Cold Outside

Winters in Colorado are known for their beauty and also for being our driest time of year! Yes, we get over 100 inches of snow on average (hello moisture!) but with that beautiful white fluffy snow comes cold and dry air. Colorado’s winters are so dry because the cold air holds less moisture than warm air. So what does this mean? We are using extra hand lotion, drinking more water, and we need to protect our much-valued wood floors! How? Join us for this month’s blog as we explore the best way!

Do you know your home’s relative humidity level? You should; it is the #1 way to control the moisture in the air and also protect the wood in your home from shrinking or gapping. The National Wood Flooring Association recommends keeping your Colorado home’s relative humidity levels between 25-40% continually, year-round, to help protect the woodwork in your home. That means you need a whole-house humidifier that not only restores missing moisture to the air, it monitors your home’s humidity levels. As your heat goes up in the winter, your home’s relative humidity should remain between the recommended levels. If your home’s relative humidity is too low, your indoor air will absorb moisture from the wood, causing it to shrink and gap.

It’s important for you to know that if you neglect your home’s relative humidity, you may end up paying for it later. Wood flooring manufacturers and contractors do not warranty damage resulting from humidity issues. Artistic Floors by Design’s contract requires homeowners to maintain their home’s relative humidity between 25-45%. Why? If the boards shrink too much, you’ll notice gaps between boards. Our polyurethane is so strong that when boards shrink, our finish will stretch, not break, leaving white lines between boards. That’s one of the reasons why we ask about humidity upfront and also why we offer penetrating oil finishes as well (penetrating oils tend to be more conditioning: read here for different types of finishes). We measure and record your relative humidity during your estimate and during production and, prior to installation, we source our flooring materials from a climate-controlled warehouse that purchases northwestern hardwoods. If you have previously had work done in your home with a company that is not doing this, there is a higher chance that you will have humidity issues down the road.

Artistic Floors by Design will ensure your materials are properly acclimated by checking the moisture content of the flooring to be installed against the moisture content of the (plywood or OSB) subfloor to make sure they’re within an appropriate range. This is an important step to protect your flooring investment from the dry Colorado air. Also, purchasing and maintaining a whole-house humidifier is an important step in protecting your home’s assets and ensures you and your family stay comfortable. If you don’t know whether your humidifier is working, Contact Us and we will be happy to pay a visit to measure your home’s relative humidity.

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