Do Wood Floors Shrink in the Winter? How to Get Salt Residue & Protect Hardwood Flooring in Vienna, VA

Virginia can have some pretty intense winters, between snow and ice, the locals can experience a lot of winter abuse to their property. With the salt, melting ice and snow that gets tracked in, it won’t take long before the wood floors are showing signs of damage. When the winter hits, as it is just around the corner, you need to be prepared to protect, clean, and care for your wood flooring. With this in mind, we at Mike’s Custom Flooring would like to offer some basics tips to help ensure your hardwood floors survive the winter months.

How to Get White Salt Residue & Stains Off Hardwood Floors

Potassium chloride, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and urea can be contained individually or as a blend in most ice melt products. Being cost-effective and efficiently melting ice, the ice melt has a chemical foundation of calcium chloride (salt). The issue with salt, is the high pH level, similar to that in products used to strip wood floors. The ice melt residue removes the protective finish, if not cleaned up promptly, will ultimately exposing the wood to damage over time. When you see a white residue left behind, you know your floor has come into contact with ice melt. You must neutralize the alkalinity in the salt with an acidic chemical in order to remove the white film. You may need to try a professional floor cleaning product in the event that a soft, clean cloth and water is not enough. If you prefer natural solutions, combine 1cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water to clean the area. Immediately buff and dry using circular motions and a micro-fiber cloth. There are alternatives to ice melt such as sand and kitty litter. Though these products cannot necessarily melt the ice, it does provide traction, however, do avoid tracking in the granular particulates that can potentially scratch the wood surface.

Prevent Scratches on Hardwood Floors

There is a worry about the grit from sand, kitty litter, and regular road dirt in addition to the snow, moisture, and chemicals that get tracked in from the bottom of footwear. When entering the home, encourage the family and visitors to deposit their footwear in a plastic boot tray. Be sure to have walk-off mats in place, both exterior and interior on the entry points of the home. Ensure the mats are waterproof, or at least water resistant, and if you notice any saturation, be sure to remove it from the floor until it dries.

Cleaner for Wooden Floors

With a quick cleanup when coming in from outside, reduce the potential water damage to hardwood floors. Avoid using indoor rugs as the main source to absorb access moisture, but perhaps to avoid scratches. Be sure to sweep or vacuum (with the beater bar deactivated) on a routine basis; daily if your schedule permits. Any puddles or moisture residues that get tracked in should be immediately dried.

Hardwood Flooring Installation & More in Charles Town & Eastern Panhandle of Berkeley & Jefferson Counties in WV | Winchester & Frederick County | Round Hill & Loudoun County | Berryville & Clarke County | Herndon & Fairfax County VA

During the winter, even the most carefully installed wood floors tend to dry out and shrink. There are two methods to combat this. If you find any water damage, Mike’s Custom Flooring can help you make the necessary repairs, call us today to get started!