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Moisture and Hardwood Flooring

Restoration Specialists

Based in Ocala, Florida, Restoration Specialists also provides disaster recovery contracting to homeowners in the surrounding communities of Leesburg, Lecanto, Lake City, Gainesville, Brooksville, and beyond. Restoration Specialists offers a variety of services, including dehumidification efforts to protect hardwood flooring and other elements of home structure.

Since wood naturally responds to changes in humidity, moisture in a home can cause serious damage to hardwood flooring. As moisture levels rise, fibers take in water and hardwood expands. This is a natural process designed to provide nutrients to the leaves in the tree that originally grew the wood, but can be a problem when the wood must function as a working floor.

Wood flooring is designed to respond to natural seasonal fluctuations, such as the expansion of the wood with high humidity levels in summer. Whenever indoor humidity levels rise above 65 percent, however, the wood can expand to a level that the floor construction itself cannot support.
Swelling of the wood causes pressure between the floorboards. Adjacent edges begin to push upward in a process known as cupping, which can resolve itself at lower levels of humidity. If the pressure becomes intense enough, structural integrity of the boards can fail and cause severe cracking.
Floors that have flooded may show other signs of damage, including crowning or buckling. The former occurs when the middle of the floor rises to a higher level than the edges, while the latter indicates that the floor has drawn away from the subfloor. However, even at these levels of severity, the proper interventions can restore structural integrity and function of the floor itself.

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