November 21, 2022

A Complete Guide to Protecting Your Hardwood Floors During Winter

Winter is fast approaching, and along with its arrival is the preparation for many holiday parties and gatherings. But before you plan how to decorate your place and what dishes to whip up, start preparing to protect your hardwood floors from the upcoming colder weather. While hardwood floorings are the sturdier and more durable options, they need more protection than others during winter. Find out what you can do for your hardwood flooring this winter season.

Use More Rugs and Doormats

One of the most critical things to do to protect your hardwood floors during the season is to keep any winter elements out. But doing so is impossible, especially in trafficked areas or when the holidays are in full swing. Using more rugs and mats can help prevent snow and salt from getting inside your house.

Rock salt can damage and scratch your hardwood flooring finish, leaving a slick film that will lose the wood’s shine. Place a bristled doormat outside your door entrances. Mats with bristles or rubber scrapers can remove the salt particle and snow clamps from your shoes.

In addition, mats and rugs also catch other mess at your doors like moisture. Aside from absorbing moisture off your hardwood flooring, they also help the surfaces slip-free. Changing your usual rugs and mats to durable and absorbent types during winter is essential.

Keep Your Home’s Humidity Level Consistent

Another tip to prevent the cracking noises from your hardwood flooring is to stay consistent with the humidity level inside the house. Extreme humidity changes can result in your floorboard cupping or warping. These damages give the cracking noises you can hear when you walk around the house.

During winter, homes with hardwood floorings need their houses evenly heated. Once the air in your house becomes too humid or dry, hardwood planks expand and contract. Excessive humidity will make your floors buckle or cup, while drier air can lead to floorboard gapping.

To keep the humidity levels inside your home consistent, investing in a humidifier or a dehumidifier for the season is essential to safeguard your hardwood floorings.

Coat Your Flooring

Coats and finishes for your hardwood floors are not only for appearances. While they give your hardwood floors a shiny look, they also provide a protective layer that helps preserve the hardwood. Doing your annual summer wood flooring upkeep can make them more resilient to the winter elements.

The best way to keep your coat and finish shiny and long-lasting is to get proper cleaning equipment like a microfiber mop, floor cleaners, and buffing pad. New hardwood floors can also benefit from sealant applications before winter sets in.

Sealers are semi-permanent floor coatings that fill all the tiny cracks and pores on your floor’s surface. Sealing them before winter will make hardwood floorings easier to sweep and mop. In addition, opting for slip-resistant sealants is more beneficial for the season.

Be More Thorough with the Cleaning

When cleaning your hardwood floorings, be more thorough with the chemicals you use. Harsh chemicals damage your floor finishes and make them more prone to scratches and scuffs. To avoid these instances, use mild soaps or floor cleaners instead. Steam cleaners are also a big no for hardwood floorings as they can cause your floorboards to warp.

Get rid of any salt or water from your surfaces immediately. The longer salt stays on your hardwood floor, the faster it eats through the varnishes and discolors them. Water can also seep into your floorings and damage them from underneath.

Regular wiping and mopping are great additions to your winter cleaning routine. Sweep your floors daily, and depending on the foot traffic in some areas of your home, you can mop them twice a week. Vacuuming during the winter is also essential. Unlike other seasons, the dirt and salt from the winter elements can embed deeply into the floors if left for some time.

Teach Your Family and Train Your Pets

Winter days are beautiful memories your family can treasure, but they’re not a great experience for hardwood floors. Encourage and remind your family and guests to wipe their feet and take off their shoes before entering the house. You can also use shoe racks and storage bins by the entrance of your doors if you don’t have a mud room.

Take the time to educate your family about the expected floor care procedures to establish good flooring habits. Doing this will also keep the hardwood last longer and lessen the risks of falls and slips from wet floors.

 In addition, training your pets before they enter the house is essential. Certain breeds can have hip problems from slipping on hardwood floors due to their wet paws. Train your pets to stop, stay, and go. Make them stop at the door, stay and wait until you have their paws dried and cleaned, and go.

Protect Your Hardwood Floors This Winter

Hardwood floors are one of the sturdiest and most durable flooring options for households and offices, but they can’t handle the harsh weather of winter alone. Prevention is always better than cure for your floors in the upcoming colder months, especially in cooler cities and states.

Hardwood floorings in Austin, Texas, need more protection than usual to ensure their shiny appearance and quality last for more winter seasons. Consult with a professional on the best ways you can do this. Contact Kelly Hardwood Flooring today!