A lot of people consider the winter holiday season to be the most wonderful time of the year—but your hardwood floors might disagree. Extreme weather, holiday foot traffic, and winter slush and snow can wreak havoc on your floors. If you want them to emerge from winter in the same shape they are now, you need to take a few steps to protect your hardwood floors from seasonal hazards. Use these tips to preserve the quality and longevity of your investment!
1) Get everybody in the habit of taking their shoes off.
Winter boots and shoes track in a lot of mud, snow, ice, salt, and other debris. Dirt, rocks, and salt can scratch and stain your floor, while moisture from snow and ice can warp the wood. Place a shoe rack, boot tray and, if you have to, a note at the door for people to remove their shoes to help keep abrasive materials at the door.
2) Use rugs and mats.
Despite your best efforts, it’s inevitable that some debris is still going to squeeze through the door and into your home. For hardwood floors, area rugs and mats can serve as a barrier to catch whatever tracks in. Use mats at all entrances for people to wipe their shoes and lay down area rugs in high-traffic areas.
3) Consider a humidifier.
Dry winter air and cold temperatures cause wood to contract and shrink. If humidity and temperature levels fluctuate dramatically or quickly throughout the season, these contractions can turn into large cracks and splitting in your wood floors that need to be repaired. Using a humidifier will help keep humidity levels consistent as cold winter air and heat from the furnace move in and out.
4) Keep up with cleaning.
The best way to protect your hardwood floors from winter debris is to remove what gets tracked in before it can do any damage. You should sweep, vacuum, and mop your floors regularly throughout the season and as soon as you spot any dirt, salt, or moisture that shouldn’t be there. It’s a good idea to keep a few old rags handy to help with quick cleanup.
The better the quality your hardwood floors start with, the easier it will be to make them last through their first holiday season and beyond. At A&E Millwork, all of our custom millwork projects are defined by our dedication to quality craftsmanship. We can design and install custom hardwood floors for your home that, with proper care, will be around for many winters to come.
Contact us today for a free project quote!