I purchased a new home about 2 years ago (the home was built in 1968). I paid someone to resurface/stain my hardwood to be darker and to also get rid of my metal heating vents and replace them with hardwood heating vents that flow naturally. The outcome was wonderful.

The problem I'm running into is that this winter (not the prior winter) I started to notice that a lot of the hardwood is starting to come apart and leave large gaps between the boards. It's not every piece, but it's also enough pieces to be noticeable, with some pieces being very noticeable.

Even though I have hardwood throughout most of the house, it seems to be a problem in the dining room area for the most part; I have my dining room, family room, stairs, and all bedrooms upstairs with hardwood, but only the dining room seems to exhibiting issues.

Split Hardwood Split Hardwood Split Hardwood

I checked my heating unit and it has a built in humidifier, and I think that seems to be working (I opened it up and water was in the honeycomb item). I also am not sure why this seems to be only happening in the dining room (it's situated above the heating unit which is in the basement of course).

What is causing this?

  • Is this due to winter?
  • Do I have an infestation issue (termites perhaps); note that I have not noticed any critters like ants or anything else in the home?
  • Is this a humidity issue?

How do I fix it?

  • Do I have to do something to fix this?
  • Will it naturally fix itself when the weather warms up and wood expands?

1 Answer 1


They say that wood never sleeps.

Seasonal fluctuations in relative humidity cause wood to expand and contract. Winter is traditionally the dry season, which causes wood to shrink. Similarly, summer is typically more humid, which causes expansion.

This is absolutely positively not an infestation of any type.

Not sure why this wouldn't have happened last year, but local weather or changes to your humidifier may have been related.

Short version: don't worry about it.

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