These are requirements for you to protect your investment and combat the winter weather.
Invest in a Humidifier
Wood is constantly expanding and contracting due to the humidity levels in your home, both excessive and insufficient. Monitoring your indoor relative humidity to 35-55% (we recommend 45%) and the temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit can help maintain your floors and keep them protected. We strongly recommend additional humidifiers during the dry winter months, if this is not done there can be negative effects on your flooring. Negative effects can include: Board shrinkage, board separation, board lifting, white lines on seams, boards cracking and splitting, and more. We also recommend having your HVAC system maintained annually.
Use Welcome Mats
Use rugs and doormats to protect your floors from any water, snow, and salt that may be tracked into your home. Encourage guests to leave their shoes at the door to prevent the spread of the winter elements throughout your house.
Wipe Your Feet
Make it a household habit to wipe your feet thoroughly on the doormat before entering. This small gesture can significantly reduce the amount of dirt and moisture that makes its way onto your hardwood floors. Consider having a shoe tray or designated area for wet footwear.
Avoid Wet Footwear Indoors
Ensure that all family members and guests remove wet or snowy footwear when entering your home. Providing a designated area for changing footwear, such as a mudroom, can make this process more convenient.
Invest in a Good Quality Boot Tray
Don't have a mudroom or area to store those icey shoes? To prevent snow and water from spreading throughout your home, use a boot tray near your entrance. This will give wet boots a place to dry off and contain any excess moisture.
Utilize Furniture Pads
Fall is an excellent time to install furniture pads on the legs of your chairs, tables, and other heavy furniture. These pads help to prevent scratches and dents on your hardwood floors, which can occur when furniture is moved or used during the winter months.
Immediately clean up any spills to avoid your hardwood floors from absorbing moisture. Clean any salt tracked in from outside as it can corrode your floors. We recommend using BONA Hardwood floor Cleaner.
Use Salt Sparingly
Salt is a common remedy for melting ice and snow, but it can be damaging to hardwood floors. If you plan on using salt, be sparing in your application and sweep it up as soon as the ice melts to avoid long-term damage. You could also consider alternatives like sand or kitty litter.
Keep a Close Eye on Pets
Pets can track in snow, ice, and dirt, often without realizing it. Be vigilant about wiping your pets' paws when they come inside. You might also want to consider using pet-friendly mats and rugs near their favorite entrance.
Protecting your hardwood floors in the winter doesn't have to be an overwhelming task. With these tips and tricks, you can maintain the beauty and integrity of your floors while still enjoying the winter season. By being proactive, using doormats, practicing regular cleaning, and avoiding salt, you'll keep your hardwood floors looking their best all winter long. So, get ready to cozy up by the fireplace with peace of mind, knowing your floors are safe from the winter elements.