With cold winters come happy snow days, beautiful landscapes and peaceful moments. If you have hardwood floors, though, the season could also bring damage to your beautiful, natural flooring. Luckily, there are a few easy ways you can protect your hardwood floors from the effects of cold, wet winter. Use the hardwood floor care tips below to keep your wood floors safe, clean and strong this season.
Use rugs and covers on your floors, especially near entrances and exits where snow, dirt, ice and salt might get tracked inside. Salt leaves a white, abrasive residue that can scratch your hardwood floors and pose a slip and fall hazard. If left on your floors for too long, salt can damage the finish and even the wood itself. Protect your floors from scratches and reduce the risk of slipping by placing protective rugs and covers in high-traffic areas of your home or business.
Sweeping your floors frequently during winter is your best defense against scratches from small particles and debris. Clean puddles of water from melting snow or ice immediately to avoid permanent damage to your wood floors. Use a towel to absorb the moisture, mop the area, and then dry it completely. Be careful not to scratch the floors if you see salt in the water.
Do you see gaps between your floorboards? Cooler temperatures and lower humidity in winter reduce the moisture in your home, which causes wood to shrink. Hardwood floorboards are installed to accommodate minor temperature and humidity fluctuations – typically, 60-80 degrees with a relative humidity range of 35-55 percent – but dramatic changes can cause irreversible damage to the wood, including splits and cracks. To avoid shrinkage, run a humidifier to maintain the right level of humidity and keep your thermostat set at a temperature your floors can withstand. This winter, keep up with your hardwood floor care to avoid expensive repairs or permanent damage. If you aren't sure of the best way to care for your wood floors, call the experts at ServiceMaster Clean® to learn more about our commercial floor cleaning and residential floor cleaning services. You can trust the experts at ServiceMaster Clean® to keep your hardwood floors looking their best – all year long.