The Cold Season is Upon Us, How to Care for Your Wood Floors
Source: Unique Wood Floors
While the winter months bring holiday cheer, they also bring cold weather and snow. Preparing your home for the winter can become quite the project. Everyone tries to conquer the outdoor tasks such as yardwork and moving the patio furniture inside before the first snowfall. However, there are many indoor tasks that also need to be thought about and completed. With winter weather, there comes extra water and snow tracked in by all, including our loving pets. The air is dry, and snow and ice begin to make their way inside your home as well. Here are a few quick and easy things to consider to maintain your hardwood and engineered wood floors:
Hardwood floors are prone to gapping during the cold winter months. The reason for this is because the colder the weather gets, the lower the humidity inside your home will get. Solid hardwood floors move in sync with fluctuating conditions in their environment. They expand when the humidity increases and contract when it decreases. Dry air from heating your home causes the floorboards to shrink. Use a humidifier and try to keep the humidity levels between 35-55.
Beware of Salt and Dirt
Rock salt, dirt and other debris can also be extremely tough on your wood floors if tracked inside from outside. This causes scratches and damage to your wood floor’s finish. One way this problem can be avoided is by providing floor mats at every door for guests to wipe their feet on as they enter. Better yet, have your guests leave their shoes and boots on mats inside the front door. It is your house after all!
Avoid Warped Floors
During 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 cause damage to the surrounding boards. Take off all wet clothing on a tile floor. Don’t hang wet clothes where they can drip water on your wood floors. If they do get wet, mop up the water immediately.
General Care and Cleaning
We always share with our clients general cleaning and care of their newly installed or refinished floors, here are a few reminders here.
Sweep and dust floors frequently. Dust can settle into the grain and between floorboards which causes damage overtime. Clean spills immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth to wipe up spills. Avoid wet or steam mops. While engineered hardwood flooring is more water-resistant than solid hardwood, you should still take care to not let moisture seep into the wood.
When vacuuming floors, avoid using one with a rotating bristle bar which can damage your floors. If your vacuum has a beater bar, be sure to set it to a bare floor setting or use a floor-brush attachment instead.
How to Avoid Scratches
Scratches are some of the toughest problems to solve in wood floors. While some scratches are inevitable, others are preventable. One of the best ways to prevent them is to add furniture pads to the legs of your chairs, sofas, tables, etc.
We also love a good area rug and floor runners, these are great for protecting your hardwoods and adding life to high traffic areas.
Things to Avoid
Avoid cleaning products with harsh chemicals, such as ammonia. Steer away from wax-based cleaners and oil soaps. Use only soft materials to apply your cleaners – never use a steel wool brush or scouring pad to buff out marks or scratches. A microfiber cloth or mop works great to collect dust and debris without damaging your floors. Because excessive moisture can damage your floors, avoid using floor steamers, wet mops, or other cleaning methods that would allow water to seep between the planks and cause warping or other damage.
That’s it folks, stay warm this season and keep your floors protected.
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Thanks for following along,
Katie Kath + Jkath Team
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