Winter in Minnesota is harsh, and it can also do a number on your gorgeous hardwood floors. However, there are a few easy hardwood floor maintenance tips you can use to prevent lasting damage to your wood floors.
1. Keep the elements outside
Place bristled “Welcome” mats at the entrances to your home to help prevent salt and snow from getting tracked into your house. Rock salt can scratch the finish on your floors and leave residue behind that you’ll have to clean up.
By encouraging family members and visitors to wipe their feet before coming inside, it’ll help keep salt and snow where it belongs—outside and not ruining your floors.
2. Please remove your shoes
You don’t need to get one of those signs you’ve seen at open houses, instead consider placing a waterproof mat and/or shoe rack at your door. This will encourage people to remove their snowy shoes and help protect your floors against the elements.
If you have pets, train them to stop at the mat so you can wipe off their paws to prevent them from tracking snow all over your house.
3. Keep a towel near the door
It’s important to clean up salt and melting snow right away so your hardwood floors don’t get damaged. A little water on hardwood floors is fine, but if people continue to track snow into your entryway and it’s not cleaned up, it could cause warping and discoloration.
Scratches from salt and sand can also lead to more moisture damage. An easy preventative step is sweeping more frequently in the winter and leaving a towel by the door for people to wipe up any winter sludge that gets by your mats.
4. Mind the gaps
Natural wood floors expand and contract when the humidity changes. In the winter, gaps and thin cracks can appear between the wood floorboards when the humidity drops. This is usually nothing to be alarmed about, but if you notice gaps in your floors, you can place a humidifier in the room to put moisture back in the air and help prevent your floors from drying out.
5. Think about your holiday decorations
Furniture pads are a practical step to help protect your floors year-round, but especially around the holidays when you’re moving furniture around for parties and decorating. The pads will help protect the finish from scratching and gouging from heavy furniture.
And while you’re decorating for the holidays, if you put up a real tree make sure you’re careful when adding water and clean up any spills to prevent damage to your floors. It’s also smart to clean up any pine needles that may fall, because if they get tracked around your home, they could make small scratches and dull the look of your floors.
At UB Hardwoods and Flooring in Plymouth, we install beautiful flooring but also want you to enjoy your floors for years to come. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about hardwood floor care. Contact us today at 763-807-4500.
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