Prepare Your Hardwood Floors for Winter
Protect your hardwood floors from the harsh elements of winter with these tips from Elegant Floor Service!
Although winter does not officially kickoff until December 21 in 2014, the recent polar vortex has brought freezing, winter-like temperatures and conditions to the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC areas. With wintry weather around the corner, it’s time to prepare your hardwood floors for an onslaught of snow, slush, dirt, and salt.
The seasonal changes of winter—cold temperatures, weather conditions, salt, dirt, etc.—combined with the increased amount of foot traffic around the holiday season can do a number on your hardwood floors if proper steps are not taken. Continue reading to learn about the effects of winter on your hardwood floors and how to properly protect them during winter.
What Damage Can Winter Elements Cause to My Wood Floors?
There are many factors that contribute to the breakdown of your wood floors. Some damage winter elements can cause to your hardwood floors include:
Gaps– Air circulated by your home’s HVAC system is typically much dryer during the winter than during the summer, spring, and fall. Dry air reduces the amount of moisture in your wood floors and can cause separation, resulting in thin gaps between planks. Don’t worry, small gaps are to be expected! As winter turns to spring and outdoor temperatures begin to warm up, moisture will return to your hardwood flooring and eliminate almost all of the small gaps.
Scrapes and scratches– Dead leaves, mud, snow, slush, dirt, salt, and other winter elements are often unintentionally dragged into your home from the bottom of boots and shoes. If not cleaned right away, these could leave unwanted scrapes and scratches on your hardwood floors.
Rotted wood– If left long enough, dirt and other wintry elements can cause your hardwood floors to rot. When this happens, it is important to contact your local flooring expert to prevent further damage.
How to Protect Your Hardwood Floors from Winter
Follow these easy steps to protect your hardwood floors from winter:
- Keep a consistent thermostat setting– Constant changes in temperature and humidity cause wood floor planks to separate. To protect against separation and gapping, try to keep the thermostat in your house at a consistent temperature and avoid turning your heat up and down frequently.
- Clean your wood floors– Letting snow melt or not picking up leftover dirt and sludge will cause the most damage to your hardwood floors if not cleaned as soon as possible. Protect your flooring by sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping when necessary.
- Take off your shoes– Shoes and boots are the leading cause of unwanted scuffs, dirt and sludge. Not only will taking your shoes off prevent scuffing, but it will also leave unwanted snow and slush outside. Lastly, ask friends and family to leave their shoes at the door in order to protect your beautiful floors!
- Lay floor mats– Floor mats are an easy way to protect your hardwood floors. Laying floor mats over your hardwood in high areas of foot traffic reduces the amount of damage to your flooring and lessens the chance of unwanted elements coming in contact with your floor.
- Know your floor– Knowing things like how old your floor is, what work was previously done, and how much money you have previously invested in your flooring will all help when deciding how much time and money you wish to spend protecting your hardwood floors.
Hardwood Floor Services from Elegant Floor Service
Elegant Floor Service is Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC’s trusted flooring expert. With over 27 years of industry experience, our flooring technicians know the perfect method to bring out the beauty in your hardwood floors. We offer:
Contact us today for a free estimate on your hardwood flooring needs!