Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am. Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-989-9226 or texting 81807. Here’s must-know information from Barry Stranz (professional & educator) who has 30+ years in the home improvement industry shared on 3.17.18.
The utilization of lumber products for home improvement purposes is prevalent. However, most homeowners never really give much thought to the fact that before a tree is harvested, its water content is often between 40% and 60%. Lumber products need to be dried prior to being utilized in home improvement projects to avoid bowing and movement. The original drying method involved letting the lumber dry in a warehouse for a year and a half. As technology has evolved, the method of kiln drying lumber products has become commonplace. This process reduces moisture levels to 19%, which allows the product to be utilized within homes where the wood will continue to naturally dry to a level of 5%-7%. As wood continues to lose water volume, it begins to shrink. This is why it’s wise to avoid installing engineered wood flooring flush with solid wood flooring, as the wood floor will shrink, causing a hump in the flooring. In addition, wood floors experience seasonal movement. In the winter months, when homes are dryer, a wood floor’s moisture content can shrink 2%-3%. This leads to minor gaps in flooring that correct themselves as the seasons turn and moisture becomes more prevalent. If you’re considering sanding and refinishing wood floors in your home, the best time of the year to take this project on is the spring or fall. That’s because the moisture levels during seasons are more moderate than other times of the year.
Darlene in Lakeville was the first caller. Her home had a wooden deck and she was interested in switching to composite in order to avoid to annual staining. She wanted feedback on whether the composite decking could be installed over the previous wooden deck. Darlene was advised that installing a new composite deck over the wooden one would create a moisture problem and cause issues with the adhesion of the new deck.
Listen to the entire show here: