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Reasons Why Floorboards Need Ventilation

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Floorboards are made of wood, and wood reacts to warmth in the air. In particular, it reacts to the moisture in the air. The greater the level of moisture the more the wood can be damaged.

However, while you may feel that moisture in the air around you can be reduced with fans or air conditioning units, this isn’t the biggest threat to wooden flooring.

Wooden floors are usually suspended, which means there is a gap underneath them. At the bottom of this gap is the earth, although it may be covered with concrete foundations.

As the weather warms up, so does the earth. It radiates heat into the space under your wooden floor. Hot air is capable of carrying much more moisture than cold air. This means the space under your floor becomes hot and humid. The water in the air condenses on the underside of your floor and then soaks into it.

This is damaging in a number of ways, and the only way to prevent this issue is to use a good-quality underfloor ventilation system. That means a fan is blowing cold air into the void under your flooring and a secondary vent allowing the warm air out. This instantly cools the space, reducing moisture levels.

Expanding & Warped Boards

The first thing to note about floors that aren’t ventilated is that the moisture will soak into the wood, causing it to expand. While a well-laid floor will have an expansion gap around the edge, if the expansion is too much for this, the boards will move upward. In short, they’ll warp and create an uneven floor. It won’t look good or be much use for anything.

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Mould

Another major issue with unventilated floors is the build-up of moisture encourages mould to grow. Unfortunately, mould is not good for your health, especially the spores that enter the air.

Mould can cause respiratory problems, especially in people with asthma and allergic reactions.

Structural Issues

When wood becomes damp, it doesn’t just warp. The moisture in the wood will start to weaken the wood, and it’s a process known as wet rot. Over time the wooden boards will become too weak to take your weight and will collapse under you.

It’s not just the floorboards. The moisture under the house can also penetrate any upright wood in your home, potentially causing structural issues. This is a particular concern if you have a wood-framed house.

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Pest Control

If you have a damp, dark, and warm space under your wooden floor, then you have just created the perfect conditions for a variety of pests. They are likely to find their way into your home, and this can cause a variety of other issues. For example, termites can start eating your wood, while rodents gnaw their way into the main house to access food and potentially leave a trail of disease behind.

Ventilating cools the space and makes it much less attractive to any pest, effectively protecting your house, you, and your loved ones.

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