You may not think that the gutters on the outside of your home can have an affect on your wood floors, but the two are closely related.
Properly maintained gutters and landscaping around your home will let water flow away from your home, not towards it.
Gutters that are broken or not working well will cause water to seep into the ground right next to your foundation.
Whether or not you have a basement or crawl space, this can lead to moisture being absorbed into your concrete slab and eventually being transferred to your flooring.
Excess moisture in your foundation or basement can damage your wood floors.
Wood and water just don’t mix well. The symptoms of excess moisture in your wood floors can include:
- Expansion, cupping, crowning, swelling, or buckling of flooring boards.
- Squeaks, popping or other noises due to boards moving against the fasteners holding them down.
- Glue failure and boards coming loose from the subfloor.
- Delamination of engineered flooring layers.
Excess moisture can cause real damage to your wood floors and other parts of your home, including flooded basements, mold, and more.
The best way to prevent water coming into your home is to direct it away from your home. Clean, properly working gutters and downspouts are one of the best ways to keep your home dry.
Tips for keeping gutters and downspouts working well
Follow these inexpensive and easy steps to protect your home and your wood floors from excess moisture:
- Clean gutters at least twice a year; in the Spring and Fall after leaves have fallen.
- Check downspouts for clogs, and replace or repair any sections that have holes.
- During a storm, check that water isn’t flowing over your gutters. This is a sign of a clog, or perhaps that the gutters are not hung at a proper slope to allow for good flow and drainage.
- Add extensions to your downspouts to keep water from flowing into the ground right next to your foundation. Even a 4-5 foot extension can make a big difference.
- Maintain good landscaping around your home. The ground should slope down and away from your home so that water doesn’t pool next to your foundation.
Wood floors are a great investment in your home, and if maintained properly can last a lifetime.
Keeping your foundation dry, and the interior environment of your home stable is one of the best ways to protect your floors.
For more helpful information on cleaning, repairing and maintaining wood floors visit our Resource page.