When it comes to harsh winter weather, most homeowners think about the risks to the home’s exterior, including outdoor furniture and patios. However, if you have hardwood floors, you also need to take extra care of your flooring throughout the winter season. Learn how to protect your hardwood floor throughout the winter.
Risks to Your Hardwood Flooring
All types of flooring have pros and cons, but when choosing hardwood flooring, you must prepare to protect it against damage. In the winter, you have to worry about moisture, melting salts and mud. If you track water through the hardwood floor and leave it, it can warp the wood and dull the varnish.
In addition to moisture, dry air can also damage your flooring. Your home should have a relative humidity of about 35% to 55%. High heat reduces humidity and can shrink the boards and create gaps. While moisture can close back up the gaps, you may want to keep the house at optimal humidity.
Protective Cleaning Methods for Hardwood Floors
Dirt and grit can harm your hardwood floors all year long. To protect your floor, use a soft bristle broom or microfiber dusting pad to capture small dirt particles. In addition to dirt being tracked into your home, you also have to worry about calcium chloride, the main ingredient in melting salts. Most homes and businesses use melting salts in the winter to reduce the chance of injury in snow and ice.
Melting salt has a high pH that can eat away at your floor’s finish. To fight the high pH level of the salt, clean with vinegar and water. Use five ounces of plain vinegar and mix it with four gallons of water. The mixture neutralizes the pH levels to keep your floors safe.
Simple Tips for Reducing Hardwood Damage
There are various ways you can keep your floors safe throughout the winter months. The first tip is to have mats in your entryway. Ensure that everyone wipes their feet before entering your home and do not leave wet shoes on the hardwood. Use towels to clean up spills as soon as they happen.
Remove all shoes while inside your home. Mats can protect your home, but they do not absorb all the ice, dirt and snow from your shoes. Wear socks or slippers indoors to protect the wood. Additionally, you can keep clean slippers near the door for your guests to use when visiting.
Consider accent rugs if you want to enhance your decor while also protecting your floors. Accent rugs add visual interest but also protect the flooring underneath. Use mats in high-traffic areas like hallways and living spaces. While rugs are protective, ensure they remain dry at all times. If you have a damp rug, it can trap moisture and cause water damage.
Choose Hardwood Flooring for Your Home
Once you understand how to care for hardwood floors throughout the winter months, you can enjoy the beauty of hardwood all year long. Contact us at (704) 251-7279 the Hardwood Giant today for an estimate on your next flooring project!