Just like wood floors need extra care and maintenance in the summer, wood flooring also needs a little extra TLC to endure the winter. Though we are only in the middle of fall, preparing and knowing what needs to be done ahead of time can prevent the negative impact the winter can impose. With this in mind, we at Mike’s Custom Flooring would like to discuss how you should prepare the floors for winter and offer it more protection.
Humidifier to Minimize Hardwood Floor Separation Between Boards
During these cold winter months, you may notice small gaps between your hardwood floor boards. This occurs because the colder the weather gets, the lower the humidity will get. The moisture in the boards will decrease once the humidity reaches a certain level, which causes them to shrink. Running a humidifier in your home is the best way to prevent your floorboards from shrinking. The humidifier may need anywhere from 3 to 5 pints of water per hour to make up for the lost moisture, depending on the ventilation in your home.
Entry Mats to Stop Ice Melt & Salt Damaging Wood Floors
If tracked inside from the outdoors, the rock salt, or sodium chloride can be extremely tough on your wood floor. Additionally, the calcium chloride leaves a slick film that will damage your wood floor, where the shine diminishes. Providing floor mats at every door for guests to wipe their feet on as they enter can help you avoid this problem.
Dry Water from Wood Floors
Over the course of the year, your floors act as a magnet for dirt and other debris that gets inside. You also have to worry about water from melting snow and ice in winter. The water can cause your wood floor to warp and inflict damage to the surrounding boards if left untreated. Dirt and other small debris in your home can cause scratching on the surface of your floor as well. Sweeping, mopping, and immediately drying often can significantly reduce the potential of water and debris damage.
No Outside Shoes on Hardwood Floors
Kids and pets enjoy the outdoors and will frequently track in the moisture and debris. Be sure the kids take their shoes off at the door, and make sure to towel dry the pets when they come in at the door to help reduce the tracked in moisture. A designated mudroom can go a long way.
Protect Your Hardwood Floors from Real Christmas Trees
For those that celebrate Christmas, many families prefer the love the look, feel, and, of course, the smell of a living Christmas tree. Unfortunately, watering them can turn into a pretty big problem for your hardwood floor. So it doesn’t turn into a stain or cause any other type of damage, if you happen to spill, make sure to clean it up immediately, otherwise strive to avoid spills. Since they sometimes have chemicals that can discolor your floor’s finish, we recommend using tree skirts but make sure you avoid the skirts that have rubber backings. Before they are tracked into every room of your house make sure to clean up the fallen pine needles. Needles can cause small scratches to develop. Though preventative maintenance is usually best, should this happen, a professional can help.