Imagine this: You’ve just had beautiful hardwood flooring installed in your Cambridge home. It’s smooth, elegant, and perfectly complements your space. But then, one day, you notice something’s not quite right. The edges of the planks are rising, or there’s a wave-like buckling along the length. Your perfect floor is warping. But don’t worry; let’s explore how to fix this and prevent it from happening again.
Warping in wood flooring, also known as buckling, is a distortion where the shape of the plank changes. This can manifest as cupping, where the edges are higher than the centre, or crowning, where the centre rises above the edges. These issues can occur due to a variety of reasons, but primarily, they stem from moisture imbalances.
The Causes of Warping
- Moisture Damage: The most common culprit is water or moisture damage, making preparation crucial when installing floors. The use of correct underlays and damp-proof membranes is essential. With its cross-layered core, engineered wood flooring tends to be more stable against warping.
- Humidity Imbalances: Cupping often results from a moisture imbalance, possibly due to trapped moisture under the flooring or dry air caused by central heating or air conditioning.
- Environmental Factors: Bathrooms and utility rooms, with their humid atmosphere, are challenging for hardwood floors. High temperatures, direct sunlight, and dry conditions can also cause wood to shrink, split, and warp.
Fixing Warping: A DIY Approach
In many cases, especially with minor warping, you can address the problem yourself:
- Drying Out: For minor cupping and crowning, simply drying the floors out can help the planks return to their original shape.
- Addressing Humidity: In summer, use fans to balance room humidity and avoid using air conditioning excessively. A dehumidifier in the room below the affected floor can also help.
Professional Help for Serious Warping
For more severe warping, it’s advisable to seek assistance from hardwood flooring specialists. They can assess the damage and recommend the best course of action, which may involve more extensive repairs or, in some cases, replacement.
Preventing Future Warping
Here are some tips to avoid warping in your wood flooring:
- Immediate Clean-Up: Quickly clean up any liquid spills to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.
- Weatherproofing: Ensure that doors and windows are well-sealed, especially before wet weather.
- Appliance Checks: Regularly inspect appliances for leaks.
- Humidity Control: Use fans and dehumidifiers in rooms with natural wood flooring to maintain a balanced atmosphere.
- Proper Finishing: Ensure your flooring is properly finished to protect against excess moisture.
Enjoying Durable, Beautiful Wooden Floors in Cambridge
Wooden floors in Cambridge homes can add charm and elegance, but they require care to maintain their beauty. Understanding the causes of warping and how to address them can save you from the hassle and cost of extensive repairs or replacements. With proper care and preventive measures, your hardwood flooring can remain a beautiful and stable feature of your home for years to come.
Written by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing
For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please don’t hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901549 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Farthings Cambridge provides our Dry Cleaning service.