Hardwood floors have the ability to add much needed warmth and beauty into your home. In order to maintain this beauty, they must be taken care of properly. This is especially true during the winter months when the air is dry, and snow and ice begin to make their way inside the home.
Here at SVB, our experts put together a few tips on how to protect your hardwood floors from old man winter this year:
Gapping Between Boards
Sometimes you may notice small gaps between your hardwood floor boards during these cold winter months. The reason for this is because the colder the weather gets, the lower the humidity will get. Once the humidity reaches a certain level, the moisture in the boards will decrease, causing them to shrink.
The best way to prevent your floor boards from shrinking is by running a humidifier in your home. Depending on the ventilation in your home, the humidifier may need anywhere from 3 to 5 pints of water per hour to make up for the lost moisture.
Ice Melt and Salt on Your Wood Floors
Rock salt, or sodium chloride can be extremely tough on your wood floors if tracked inside from the outdoors. This causes scratches and damage to the finish on your wood floors. On the other hand, calcium chloride leaves a slick film that will damage your wood floor, causing it to lose its shine. One way this problem could be avoided is by providing floor mats at every door for guests to wipe their feet on as they enter. This will keep most of the ice melt and salt away and keep your floors shining.
Water and Debris
Your floors act as magnets for dirt and other debris that makes its way into your home over the course of the year. Unfortunately, in the winter, you also have to worry about water from melting snow and ice. If this water isn’t taken care of properly, it can cause your wood floor to warp and inflict damage to the surrounding boards. Additionally, the dirt and other small debris in your home can cause scratching on the surface of your floor. While this may not seem too damaging at first, it will soon allow moisture to enter. The best way to eliminate the potential of water and debris is by sweeping and mopping often.
Pets and Children
It’s no secret that your kids and pets love to play outside in the snow. Sadly, all that snow will eventually end up melting on your lovely wood floors when they come back inside. Do your best to let your dog back inside through your garage or laundry room. If neither of those is an option, be ready to wipe off their paws with a towel when they return.
For the kids, make sure they understand the importance of shaking off excess snow. If possible, they should remove their coats, snow pants, scarves, mittens and boots outside, or in a designated area like a mudroom with a protected floor. If any puddles are created, wipe them up to avoid damage.
Most families love the look, feel, and, of course, the smell of a living Christmas tree during the holidays. However, watering them can turn into a pretty big problem for your hardwood floor. Do your best to avoid spilling and if you happen to spill, make sure to clean it up immediately so it doesn’t turn into a stain or cause any other type of damage.
We recommend using tree skirts but make sure you avoid the skirts that have rubber backings because they sometimes have chemicals that can discolor your floor’s finish. Finally, make sure to clean up the fallen pine needles before they are tracked into every room of your house. This will produce small scratches everywhere and your hardwood floor may lose its shine.
Is the finish on your hardwood floor fading? Now the holidays are over, SVB can give your wood floors a face-lift in just two days! Contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation.