The seasons are changing and so are your wood floors needs! Obviously, keeping your hardwood in good condition is important all year, but cold weather does come with a unique set of challenges that can increase scratches and the gaps between your boards.
1. Vacuum Up Debris
Vacuuming wood floors is necessary for proper upkeep. Neglecting to do this can allow debris to build up, causing scratches to form on the wood when it gets trapped and drug across the floor. Regular vacuuming can keep your floor clear of debris and help you maintain shiny, healthy floors that you can be proud of.
2. Make Cleanup and Prevention Simple
With colder temps comes more moisture. Whether it comes in the form of rain or snow, when guests come into your home, they can track in dirty water/snow with them. This can cause warping and gaps in your flooring if left alone, so it’s important to clean up any puddles immediately.
If you keep a rag or mop near the door, it makes cleanup a breeze and helps you remember to take care of it immediately. If you feel this option is a bit unsightly, using door mats and shoe/boot trays will also help prevent that dirt and water from reaching the floor.
3. Keep an Eye on Humidity
Colder weather equals drier air inside your home. This can cause shrinkage in your wood floors, which creates gaps between the planks. In order to prevent this, you need to keep track of the humidity inside your home. It’s simple to do with a hydrometer, which is available at any hardware store near you. To avoid this, you must monitor the humidity in your home. Your ideal humidity levels are somewhere between 35 and 50 percent, so if your levels are a bit low, investing in a humidifier could be a good idea.
4. Protect Your Furniture and Floor
Oftentimes, we’ll rearrange our furniture around the holidays in order to better accommodate visitors. When doing this, we tend to drag furniture across the floor, making scratches possible. In order to avoid this damage, try placing felt pads on any surface that may come into contact with the floor. This allows the furniture to move easier while also preventing scratches from forming.
5. Give Your Plants a Safe Home
If you’re planning to move your potted plants inside for the cooler months, be sure you place a base under each one to catch the excess water. Water can easily damage your hardwood floors and go unnoticed when it’s under a plant that has no base. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Remember to Shut Your Windows and Lock Them Tight
Summer months allow for your windows to be open while the breeze blows through. However, it’s important to close and lock those windows securely once the cold arrives in the fall. When windows are not properly sealed and secured, it can allow for rain and snow to come through and damage your floors. Additionally, cold air can leak in, which results in more expensive utility bills.