Winter brings many things; holidays, loved ones visiting from out of town, happiness, beautiful snowy landscapes and peaceful moments, but it also brings with it the bitter cold. If you have hardwood floors this could also mean winter brings damage to your beautiful floors. Use the following tips to make sure your floor stays in tip-top shape this winter.
1. Use rugs to cover up entry ways and areas with high traffic.
If it snows outside and is cold enough for ice, that means its also time for many of us to throw some salt down outside. This gets dragged in with our shoes on the way into our homes and can damage the hardwood on our floors. It also leaves a powdery white residue on the floor which can cause a slipping hazard and, if left on the wood for too long, can damage the wood itself. Putting a rug down will help protect the wood from moisture, scratches and punctures, and salt residue
2. Sweep your floors regularly.
Frequently sweeping our floors during the winter is essential to helping protect against damage. It helps keep small debris and particles from damaging the finish of the wood on your floor. If someone comes in from outside and brings ice or snow with them make sure to wipe it up with a towel to absorb the moisture, mop the area, and dry it completely. Just remember to watch for salt in the water when wiping it up so you don’t scratch your beautiful floors. Not only does this keep your floor protected, it keeps anyone from slipping and falling on their way into your home.
3. Keep your home at the right temperature and level of humidity.
We have all experienced our doors sticking when the temperature fluctuates outside. The same happens with our floors. As temperatures fall in the winter and the humidity in the air gets lower, wood floors shrink. Overall, most hardwood floors can withstand temperature fluctuations of between 60-80 degrees and a humidity level of between 35-55 percent. However, drastic fluctuations can cause permanent damage to the wood including cracks, gaps and splits. To best avoid shrinkage (and damage) keep the temperature in your home within a range your floors can withstand. You can even run a humidifier to make sure the humidity is within a range the floors can handle. This will help ensure the correct balance.
Using these tips this winter will keep your floors looking brand new and help protect against damage this winter. As always, if you'd like to schedule a hardwood flooring project with us, feel free to contact us via our contact page. We look forward to working with you!