Often, the relative humidity in homes drops significantly during winter because of the cold outdoor temperatures. The air can even be drier if your home has a central or furnace heat. Low relative humidity causes wood molding and shrinking of floorboards. This results in visible cracks.
If you’re living in an area where the temperature swing from summer to winter is wide and you have just installed new woodwork, then there’s a likelihood you’ll experience this. Paint your home during warm weather and your wood is going to expand. This is due to high humidity and temperature.
Come winter, your humidity and temperature levels drop, causing the wood to shrink. This results in each piece of your trim separating a bit from its neighbor, cracking the molding and caulking as well as the paint.
It can be frustrating and expensive to find yourself calling in a painter to renovate your home every winter due to cracking of your molding and caulking. Besides, the cracks are unsightly. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to alleviate or minimize these issues.
Get a Humidifier
It’s almost impossible to avoid cracks in wood-framed homes during winter. If you’re not humidifying your home, then the wooden parts that swell during summer are going to shrink in the colder months of the year. This is what causes cracks in the molding and caulking.
One of the easiest ways to stop cracking of your molding and caulking is to set up a central humidifier in your home. You can add it directly to your heating system. This option treats your home’s air supply to help maintain a comfortable humidity level by using your existing ductwork.
Another option can be to set up several portable humidifies throughout your home. However, it can be more costly to acquire and use the equipment. It means you’ll have to pay the extra utility costs. Moreover, maintaining them can be a heavy task.
Use the Right Caulk
One of the decorator’s worst nightmares is to use a caulk that cracks when painted over. Once a crack begins, fluctuating temperature and humidity can easily and quickly magnify it into a major issue. Unfortunately, this problem is all too common. To avoid this, look for the best quality product for your caulking and molding work.
Today, most decorators use standard acrylic fillers since they’re the easiest to work with and they provide a neat, clean seal. However, this type doesn’t stand over-painting with mat emulsion as it soon cracks.
The solution is to look for a high-quality flexible acrylic filler. This decorator’s caulk works well with any type of oil or water-based paint. Moreover, you don’t need to spray on a primer or stabilizer or even thin your paint down. What’s more! With a record drying time of less than one hour, it means you can finish the job quickly.
Don’t let the fluctuating humidity and temperature conditions in your home cause you trouble. Install a humidifier and use the right quality of caulk to ensure that there’s a stop to the constant cracking of your molding and caulking.