Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition and investment in a home. With changes in temperature and humidity, the flooring will expand and contract as all wood does. Hardwood floors are designed to adjust to reasonable climate changes but will not react well to extreme moisture or to extreme dryness. When a home gets too dry, primarily in the winter, the flooring can begin to crack. When flooring gets wet, for example from spills, the floor can crown or cup if the moisture remains on the floor. When flooring is moist or wet from below, in extreme cases, it can cause the floor to buckle or remove itself from the subfloor.
Hardwood flooring is just another reason to pay attention to what is going on in your crawlspace. The high moisture levels can create expensive problems within your home as well. It is important to keep the moisture levels stable in your crawlspace to protect your investment in hardwood flooring.
Some people control dryness from winter heating by actually placing humidifiers in their homes. It is just as important to keep things in balance during hot and humid summers by limiting the humidity. Air conditioning systems generally take care of humidity inside your home, but hardwood floors can be just as affected by what is going on in your crawlspace creating the need to reduce the moisture levels there as well. It is also important not to be too extreme on drying in the crawlspace as stable wood moisture is the key goal. Some dehumidifiers in the crawlspace are set on such a low humidity setting that they will run almost continuously and actually dry the wood near the dehumidifier in the crawlspace too much.