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Wooden floor cracks

Cracks appearing in floor

sndhpll
post 28.Feb.2013, 12:20 PM
Post #1
Joined: 11.Sep.2012

Hi,

I've recently noticed few cracks appearing in the wooden floors of my house. Read somewhere that it should be due to humidity.

Its a 1970's build.

Would it be due to ventilation?

Any pointers on how to deal with this?

Thanks,
Sind
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John.Smith
post 28.Feb.2013, 12:44 PM
Post #2
Location: Sweden
Joined: 12.Sep.2011

Pictures would help :9
yes, it is due to humidity, or to be more precise, lack thereof. I guess the damage was done during the colder Winter period.
The good news is that once humidity levels return to normal the cracking will subside and appear less obvious to the naked eye (assuming there is no warping).

However, now the wood is damaged and the cracking will become worse each subsequent 'dry' season. I would reckon that ventilation has little to do with your cracking as the air is dry. If you were getting warping due to excess of moisture then you would need to ventilate.

One quick solution is to place a bucket of water close to the radiators and this hydrates the air. Also place damp towels/newspaper on the cracked areas of floor periodically (over night) to rehydrate and limit the damage.

Any permanently damaged areas can be repaired by a professional. Also recommend that you consider sanding the whole floor area and refinishing, this hides any cracks and gives an even finish.
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mångk
post 28.Feb.2013, 12:50 PM
Post #3
Joined: 27.Jul.2008

Make sure that the floors are real 'wood' not a laminate or wood veneer surface.

The joins in these floors are very easily damaged by water.
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sndhpll
post 28.Feb.2013, 01:11 PM
Post #4
Joined: 11.Sep.2012

[attachment=4898:IMG_1202.JPG]

Picture of one of the cracks
 
Attached Image
 
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sndhpll
post 28.Feb.2013, 01:12 PM
Post #5
Joined: 11.Sep.2012

[attachment=4898:IMG_1202.JPG]
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skogsbo
post 28.Feb.2013, 01:17 PM
Post #6
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

looks like it is just opening up a little due to shrinkage. Are they long manufactured boards or parquet? I imagine that in two months once your dry central heating is turned down and your doors and windows are open more, then they'll close up. All wooden floor need space to move a little, so I would not worry, it's probably been doing this for years. Problems can arise with poorly fitted floors that don't have an expansion space around the side if fitted in winter time etc..
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mångk
post 28.Feb.2013, 01:23 PM
Post #7
Joined: 27.Jul.2008

Have a look in June/July, the gap will not be as big!
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sndhpll
post 28.Feb.2013, 01:33 PM
Post #8
Joined: 11.Sep.2012

Thanks, probably its being doing this before. Just moved in October , didnt see it then. Started seeing this late last month.
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LittleMickey
post 28.Feb.2013, 01:59 PM
Post #9
Joined: 28.Feb.2013

Yes, it is because of humidity. Humidity acts badly on wooden things epecially on floors, doors and other furniture. I also had this kind of bad experience.
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skogsbo
post 28.Feb.2013, 02:26 PM
Post #10
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

it is not acting badly, it's acting normally. This is what wood does it absorbs moisture around it, so at some times of year doors will open more easily than others, windows the same, floors will move back and forth, stairs will creak. It is all perfectly normal.

What is a problem, is if it people fit floating floors without allowing the wood to air for a few weeks in the same room, then fail to leave a decent gap around the outside, your floor will rise and fall like a choppy sea!!
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mångk
post 28.Feb.2013, 02:34 PM
Post #11
Joined: 27.Jul.2008

Agree with that!

If the OP looks and takes photos now and then looks and takes photos June/July he will see the difference.

The floating floor expands and contracts very slightly from season to season and if there is floor heating for example. All the OP is looking at (from what I can see from the picture) is that the 'crack' is from the drift of floor as it shrinks. Come summer and as the floor expands it will drift again.
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Johno
post 28.Feb.2013, 02:52 PM
Post #12
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Buy a hygrometer to measure humidity eg http://www.jula.se/digital-termometer-hygrometer-943093 (but there are cheaper). You will likely see indoor humidity sinking to as low as 40% in the winter and up to 70% in the summer. I bought one to follow moisture movement in our wooden cottage. (Quite educational, also shows why summer is the time for mould growth, not necessarily winter).
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skogsbo
post 28.Feb.2013, 02:59 PM
Post #13
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

warm air can hold a greater volume of water molecules than dry air, hence why you get condensation or damp when warm moist air cools against a colder surface etc. Today it's showing about 80% relative humidy outside, but 80% relative humidy in summer when it's 30 plus degrees, would feel much less tolerable.

In the house it does depend on the type of heating system you have and any other ventilation system, extractor fans and the like.
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sndhpll
post 28.Feb.2013, 07:22 PM
Post #14
Joined: 11.Sep.2012

Thanks for all the replies.

Does that mean that I don't need to worry too much for this?

I was thinking of calling somebody to look into this, but from the replies here it seems normal

Sind
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Rick Methven
post 28.Feb.2013, 07:32 PM
Post #15
Location: Linköping
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

QUOTE (skogsbo @ 28.Feb.2013, 02:59 PM) *
warm air can hold a greater volume of water molecules than dry air, hence why you get condensation or damp when warm moist air cools against a colder surface etc. Today it' ... (show full quote)

Current humidity here.
Outside 81%
Inside 37%

As our floors are now nearly 60 years old we really get not much movement
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