Winter is here, and few places in the continental U.S. feel the brunt of it like Minnesota. As temperatures continue to drop below 0°, some of our neighbors are a little concerned about our cold winter’s impact on their hardwood flooring.
Yes, there are a few steps to help keep hardwood floors in top shape during the winter months ahead.
Fortunately, doing so is pretty easy. Here are a few basics to get started.
Installation: Timing is Everything
If you’re considering hardwood installation now, it’s best to wait until warm weather arrives – unless the room is well heated above and below and will remain that way during installation. As temperatures rise, hardwood floors expand. While this expansion is typically too minimal for us to see, it’s enough to cause all sorts of problems if the panels were installed in a cold room. Of course, this isn’t to say that a house with hardwood flooring should never be allowed to cool; just not during installation.
It’s worth mentioning that it is not necessary to pretreat hardwood floors to resist cold weather. Our panels are engineered to last throughout the year when installed properly from the start.
Monitor Your Home’s Humidity
With the falling temperatures outside of our homes and the methods we use to heat them inside, indoor humidity tends to fall during colder seasons. Given the natural tendency of how wood reacts to fluctuating humidity, it may be beneficial to invest in a humidifier, though it usually won’t be necessary to run it all day and night. Usually, the time between arriving home from work and going to bed should prove sufficient. Some homeowners simplify this process by installing a furnace humidifier.
Use Doormats: Keep the Snow Off Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are generally considered much easier to clean, so who cares if a little snow melts on them? However, snow is typically composed of more than meets the eye: dirt, pebbles, and even rock-salt in certain parts of the country. These particles can easily scratch the surface of your hardwood flooring. Even worse, a thin buildup of rock salt can degrade your floor’s surface over time.
Continue cleaning your hardwood floors as you normally would. Although some climates experiencing temperature extremes call for specialized care, Indiana’s climate isn’t among them. So, the same solutions that you would use to clean and care for your hardwood flooring in the spring and summer are fine to use throughout winter.
Hardwood Flooring And The Fireplace: Is It Safe?
The natural aesthetics of hardwood flooring tend to compliment a roaring fire quite well. But is it safe?
In most cases, yes – though it will require a little planning. For example, the International Building Code requires over a foot of clearance for combustible materials from a fireplace. Additionally, some options are better for both the heat and aesthetic appeal than others. However, elevating the fireplace above the floor line can also help meet compliance while maintaining safety. Ultimately, it’s best to leave the work to a professional floor installer.
To learn more about proper care for hardwood flooring – or to find the perfect match for your home’s style – be sure to stop by CarpetsPlus of Burnsville today!