Wood Flooring Care Tips for the Winter
Winter can be hard on all of us, and our floors are no exception. Just as we should take extra time for self-care throughout the colder seasons, our homes can use some extra love, too. Hardwood flooring is a beautiful and durable choice throughout the home, and an investment you’ll want to protect. Proper wood flooring care is your best bet to combat the seasonal changes and challenges of winter.
Not sure how to get started? Think prevention first. By introducing a few simple methods to address dirt, monitor moisture, and manage cleaning, you’re well on your way to keeping your floors happy and damage-free this winter.
Prevent Dirt From Traveling Indoors
Dirt, salt, and debris – you’re not welcome here! Although it’s usually white, snow can be dirtier than you think. Sand and salt used to prevent slipping and treat outdoor surfaces can scratch, discolor and damage your floors. All of which collects on your footwear, and if you’re not careful, also your floor.
The good news? An outdoor mat can stop a mess before it starts. Brush snow and debris off footwear before stepping indoors. Meanwhile, a waterproof mat inside can keep wet shoes and clothing off of your floor. But, if drips or spills still happen, just try to clean up the mess as quickly as possible.
Manage your Home Temperature and Humidity
Hardwood floor fibers can absorb and release moisture. That’s why they are so sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. Therefore, preventing excessively hot or dry indoor conditions in the winter time can help prevent wood from cracking, splitting, swelling, and warping.
Moreover, aim to keep indoor temperatures moderate and home humidity between 35% to 55%. Monitor levels with a humidistat and adjust accordingly with humidifiers or dehumidifiers. And, if your skin is feeling dry, it might be your first clue that your floors are also seeking moisture.
Keep Up With Daily and Weekly Care
Keeping a clean home is always a top priority, but a strict cleaning schedule is even more important in winter. Moisture, salt, and debris left to sit is a recipe for damage and disaster. So, plan to keep up with your wood flooring care daily and make time for a deep clean at least every week.
Conveniently located supplies can also help make your job easier. Place your towels, mops, and brooms close to the door for quick daily sweeping and mopping. Then, at the end of the week, a thorough cleaning with soap or vinegar and water should address any stubborn buildup. Just be sure to use a damp (not soaking) mop and check with your flooring manufacturer for any special care instructions.
Protect Your Wood Flooring Investment
You’ve already made the wise choice of investing in hardwood to add character and lasting value to your home. Now, be sure to protect that investment for many years to come. Winter wood flooring care takes time and effort, but the results will be lasting and worthwhile.
Winter is hard enough without unnecessary or unplanned home maintenance. The last thing you want to deal with is a preventable repair. Need more expert advice on quality home flooring installation, maintenance or repair? Contact the folks at Elite Hardwood Flooring and we’d be happy to help.