Homeowners with hardwood floors are often concerned about damaging their floors during the winter season. Without proper care, winter’s harsh elements? slush, snow and salt? can dull the varnish of hardwood floors and even cause warping and gapping. Most movement or shifting that occurs in wood flooring is due to moisture and will realistically happen with all wood floors.
Trying to avoid winter elements is almost impossible. After all, what would the season be without building a snow man or sledding until you’re soaked? Rather than missing out on winter fun, here are a couple of simple steps you can take to prevent and protect your floors this winter.
Install floor mats.
Catching slush and snow at the door is the best way to avoid damage. It is important to keep these mats as clean and dry as possible – you may even consider investing in an additional mat that you can alternate while drying the other. If your kids enjoy playing outside, encourage them to remove their wet snow apparel as soon as they come back inside to avoid trekking snow all over the house.
Get creative with everyday, household materials.
Placing a dish-drainer tray mat by the door with a towel underneath can be a nice place for shoes and boots to dry off. Kindly ask your guests to remove their shoes as they enter. Buy inexpensive or disposable slippers to make your guests feel more comfortable.
Train your pets. Pets are the number one offender of tracking snow and slush into the house. Train your pets to patiently wait by the door while you dry their paws with a towel, and then reward them with a treat. Consider placing a bowl of treats by the door as a reminder.
Always keep soft towels or a wet/dry vacuum on hand in case you need to get rid of water right away. While towels can clean up most of the mess, it’s best to invest in a quality floor care kit.
Check the Warranty.
Some companies offer warranties, should snow or other harmful elements damage your floors. Make sure to find out before you purchase your hardwood floors what type of product warranties the company offers.
While winter can be a difficult time for hardwood floors, there is one benefit to this season: It’s one of the best times to install hardwood flooring, according to Sullivan, because indoor moisture levels are at their lowest which helps to prevent gapping.
So enjoy winter this year, and have fun taking care of your floors.