If you have installed hardwood flooring in your home, you are likely aware that it is a living, breathing type of floor that swells and shrinks according to changes in temperature. Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips that you can use to help maintain your floor during the cold winter season.
- Keep the level of moisture entering your home as minimal as possible. Everyone likes to go out and play in the snow, but your boots capture lots of moisture that can prove destructive to your hardwood. Make sure you clean your boots off outside if you can on a mat, and then on an indoor mat. Once you’ve finished drying them off, knock off all of the snow salt that has accumulated on them to prevent scratches on your floors.
- Keep a mop or rags beside your front door at all times, especially if you regularly leave the house throughout the day. If your front door is continually opened and closed, you increase the chances of snow entering the home and damaging the floor. If snow does get inside, don’t wait for it to melt: mop or soak it up as quickly as possible.
- If you have a fireplace in your home, now is the time you’re probably thinking about using it: it will keep the house warm and comfortable during even the coldest weather. However, be careful that you aren’t using it excessively: keeping a wood fire burning without any humidity in the home will make the air very dry and potentially damaging to your hardwood floors. If you want to maintain atmospheric humidity, you can keep a water kettle boiling above the fire to help.
- Make sure that you know just how old your hardwood floor is. If it is getting up there in years, it may be time to add another layer of protection to it. Clean off the surface, sand it, and paint a coat of epoxy or polyurethane over the whole area.
Don’t let the winter ruin your home’s beautiful hardwood; take action as soon as you can to prevent damage!