Winter Dryness

Posted by in Buying/Maintaining a Home, Winter Concerns | February 17, 2014

Separation at mitered joint in window trim from shrinkage. of the wood material.


One of the local television news programs I watched recently broadcast a story regarding how our bodies were being dried out by the excessive operation of our home heating systems during the extremely cold temperatures.  The advice for this was lotion applied to one’s skin and drinking fluids.  The addition of a humidifier was also mentioned.

But what affect has the excessive cold and nearly continuous heating had on our homes?

There have been many:

  1. Wood trim around window and door openings exhibiting separations from shrinkage of the wood material.
  2. Drywall exhibiting loosening and nail pops from shrinkage of the wall studs and the loosening of the drywall nails.
  3. Floor decks exhibiting loosening and more squeaking from shrinkage of the floor joists and loosening of the nails.
  4. Drywall cracking, especially vertical cracking above door and window openings, from shrinkage of the wood wall framing.
  5. Interior doors that had bound on their frames temporarily shrinking and not binding.
  6. Furniture members separating and loosening at the joints from shrinkage of the wood and the breaking of the glued joints.


Nail pop in drywall.


Some of these effects can be reversed by adding moisture to the air, however, others will need repair.  Drywall nail pops may need repair.  Floor decks may need to be refastened.  The furniture may need to be re-glued.


Shrinkage cracking emanates from bottom of window.

But as dry as it has been, why is there frost or moisture in my attic?  That is another phenomenon of cold weather.  See the next blog, Winter Dampness.