As summer gets underway here in the Tulsa area, our minds naturally turn to things like vacations, outdoor grilling, cold watermelon, family gatherings, water sports, and so on. Your hardwood floors are probably the last thing on your mind right now, but the summer sun and humidity can actually leave your floors vulnerable to damage. As the summer heat builds in Green Country, here’s what you need to know about the dangers of direct sunlight and high humidity, and how to protect your hardwood floors.
The sunlight streaming through the windows onto your wood floors may look gorgeous, but that doesn’t mean damage isn’t being done. Summer is the time of year when the sun’s rays are most intense and direct, and the ultraviolet light can break down chemicals in the wood, causing a fading effect—similar to the way the sun “bleaches” your hair. Over time, you may begin to notice the wood by your windows growing lighter, causing the overall look of your floors to be uneven and blotchy.
The increase in humidity during the summer months is indirectly related to the sunshine, but no less dangerous to your floors. Warm air can hold more moisture than cold air can. If the humidity in your home is not properly regulated, the wood planks will begin to absorb the moisture and expand, sometimes causing warping and cupping. This effect often corrects itself when humidity returns to normal levels, but in extreme cases it can permanently damage your wood planks.
Tips to Protect Your Hardwood Floors
The good news is by taking a few precautionary measures, you can safeguard your floors through the summer months so you don’t have to think about them anymore. Here are some tips to help.
- Keep the drapes or blinds closed during periods of direct sunlight. By far, this is the easiest way to reduce sunlight exposure.
- Install “low-e” windows. This is a more expensive option, but if you prefer keeping your drapes or blinds open, low-e windows will filter out harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays from the sun, making the sunlight safer for your floors.
- Rotate furnishings. Sometimes thoughtfully arranged furniture or a strategically placed rug can cover your wood floors in the parts of the room that get exposed to sunlight.
- Keep the A/C running. Cooler air naturally holds less humidity.
- Buy one or more dehumidifiers for the home. Optimal humidity levels inside the home should be between 35-45 percent.
While the summer heat and humidity have the potential to wreak havoc on your floors, it doesn’t have to be a point of panic. Just take common-sense steps to protect your floors like the tips we mentioned above, and you can enjoy a worry-free summer focused on the things you love. If your floors experience damage, we’re here to help. For a free estimate on wood flooring installation or repair in Jenks, Glenpool, Tulsa, Sand Springs and Broken Arrow, give Renaissance Hardwood Floors a call at 918-298-4477.