When considering buying new flooring for your home, you may want to take the time to consider how your climate may affect your choice of flooring. Severe hot or cold weather can crack or warp your floors, and high humidity can do an unbelievable amount of damage to both your floor and sub-floor as well. There are a few different flooring options that you can consider for your home, and a few can withstand just about any climate if installed right. Here are some of the most popular types of flooring and how they are affected by climate.
Hardwood flooring is one of the most common but can be challenging to maintain in certain climates. Extreme humidity can cause problems for your hardwood flooring. It normally does well in mild climates with humidity levels staying between the 35-60% ranges. The following are some of the conditions that may cause problems with your hardwood floor.
- High humidity will cause hardwood planks to expand and contract.
- Low pressure will cause planks to shrink, which creates gaps.
- Pooling liquids such as flooding may cause the planks to swell making them warp.
- Direct sunlight may cause your hardwood flooring to fade taking away the beauty of the flooring.
Concrete is a very durable form of flooring. The fact of this is that because concrete is used for highways, bridges, buildings and foundations, shows it can withstand even the harshest of climates. The only time you would have to worry about concrete is if it has not been sealed properly. Otherwise, it will last lifetimes.
Linoleum is a very effective type of flooring and will withstand any climate as long as it is prepared and installed correctly. There are added benefits of having linoleum like resisting the growth of bacteria, mold, fungi, yeast and mildew. It would also probably be a good idea to install a vapor barrier between your floor and sub-floor. This will help with the mold, mildew, and bacteria.
Carpet is less susceptible from the effects of changing temperatures. The combination of high humidity and consistent liquid spills can be harsh on your carpeting and may cause mold and fungi growth. When using carpet you want to be sure that it’s installed correctly and is better fitted for lower traffic areas in your home like bedrooms and hallways.
To ensure the lasting effects of you carpet, here are a few things you can do.
- Install a sub-floor with a moisture barrier and glue your carpet to it.
- Use a dehumidifier to help reduce the humidity levels in your home.
- If your carpets do get wet or flooded use a combination of a ceiling fan and open windows to dry your carpet out faster.
Vinyl flooring is another great example of flooring that works well in most climatic conditions. The surface of vinyl flooring is moisture resistant but you still need to ensure that the perimeter is properly sealed with high quality silicone caulk in areas that are water-susceptible. For instance around sinks, bathtubs, and exterior doors. Pooling liquids need to be cleaned up as quickly as possible; otherwise the liquids may seep into the seams and damage the sub-floor underneath. Too much direct sunlight will also cause your vinyl flooring to fade.
There is much more to consider than just cost and styling when deciding on the right flooring for your home. The climate that you live in could largely impact the performance and longevity of your floors. Make sure you take into consideration of your surroundings and climate before making renovations to the flooring in your home.