Protect Your Office Furniture From The Damaging Effects of Dry Air

Let’s face, office furniture isn’t cheap, nor is it easy to replace. It’s not uncommon for some business owners to spend tens of thousands of dollars in office furniture alone, which is why it’s important for them to protect their investment. Allowing the office to fill with dry air can damage or even ruin office furniture.

Wooden office furniture (and other wooden items) contain small pores that absorb moisture vapor. Although they are naked to the human eye, thousands of tiny pores line the surface of wooden furniture. In humid environments, these pores wills swell and expand. Some expansion is perfectly normal and should cause no reason for concern. But when there’s not enough moisture vapor in the air, the pores on wooden furniture will dry out, resulting in costly damage.

If office furniture is left in an environment with low humidity over a prolonged length of time, it will gradually begin to dry out. You may notice the furniture losing its natural luster and sheen, as the coloring begins to evaporate. Over time, its texture may change, feeling rough and brittle. If the furniture isn’t moved to an environment with proper humidity, the wooden materials may warp and crack. Wood is inherently designed to hold at least some moisture, and when it doesn’t receive this moisture, it will crack and splinter.

It’s not just the wood in office furniture that’s susceptible to low humidity. A report published by the Smithsonian Institute found the coatings to be adversely impacted by humidity swings as well. “Wood is not the only furniture component to suffer from humidity swings. As they age and deteriorate, coatings become more inflexible. Since the wood continues to move with humidity changes, and the coating becomes increasingly brittle with time, humidity fluctuations eventually cause the coatings to begin fracturing or separating from the substrate,” wrote the report’s author. This report attests to the need for humidity control in offices.

The easiest way to protect your wooden office furniture from the adverse effects of dry air is to invest in a humidifier. These devices will maintain a proper relative humidity (RH) in your office by monitoring airborne moisture vapor and releasing additional moisture when needed. The bottom line is that every business owner should invest in at least one humidifier for his or her office.

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