The holiday season has finally arrived! Here in Eastern Iowa we know that this time of year brings lots of joy and cheer, but it also brings an abundance of unpredictable weather. We endure raging snowstorms and frigid temperatures one day only to find ourselves breaking out our t-shirts and SPF the next. But we are Midwesterners and we expect nothing less, and in true midwestern fashion, we will be prepared! It is really important that we remember to take care of our homes during these chilly months. This is especially the case if you have beautiful natural hardwood flooring! Here are a few helpful tips on how to prevent, prepare, and protect your wood floors from damage this winter.
The key to keeping your hardwood floors looking great and functioning well is to control the temperature and humidity levels in your home. This is especially important during these winter months. Your temperature should always be between 60-80 degrees, and your humidity level should be between 35-55 percent. If your room is too dry, your hardwood can begin to shrink and split causing gaps and altered appearances in your floor. If your room is too humid, your hardwood can expand and become uneven. In extreme cases, it may even begin to buckle or crack. To prevent these issues with your floors, be sure to monitor your temperatures and use humidifiers and dehumidifiers as necessary.
This is also why it is important to understand your flooring, your environment, and the installation process before putting new hardwood floors into your home!
With harsh winter weather on its way, it is important to make sure your floors are prepared for the wear and tear that will be coming their way this season. Your floors will quickly be covered in water, salt, sand, and other debris as winter arrives. Plan ahead for this, and invest in some quality rugs and mats. It is important to have them both inside and outside of your home. Placing mats outside of your entrances will help reduce the amount of debris that gets into your home. Having mats and rugs inside of your entrances and in heavy traffic areas will give your wood floors even more protection. When you are able to keep water and debris off of your floors, you are able to prevent scratching and damage.
When you are shopping for indoor mats and rugs, make sure that they are hardwood safe to prevent damage and discoloration to the flooring below.
The best way to protect your hardwoods this winter is to keep them clean! Sweep and vacuum often to prevent your floors from getting scratched or damaged from sand and salt. Keep towels on hand, and wipe down or mop your floors to clean up any water that you may bring inside. As mentioned earlier, hardwoods hate moisture! The sooner you can clean up any water, the better protected your floors will be!
I highly recommend Bona cleaning tools and products for all of your hardwood and flooring cleaning needs!
With a little effort, your hardwood floors can survive even the toughest midwest winters! They will require a little TLC, but if you are able to maintain them, they will last you for years to come! If you are interested in learning more about hardwood flooring maintenance or interested in new hardwood floors, stop into Randy’s Flooring to speak to any of our flooring experts!