As the weather changes with the approach of winter here in the Tulsa area, it’s time to start thinking a little differently about the care and protection of your hardwood floors. Wood flooring can certainly create the sense of warmth and coziness you desire during these months, but winter also brings a different set of circumstances that can create undue wear-and-tear on the floors. It’s important to take a few extra steps to ensure that they don’t get damaged. Let’s look at some common-sense ways to protect your hardwood floors during the winter months.
Limit Salt and Sand Exposure
When snowy or icy conditions exist, salt and sand magically appear on our roads and sidewalks. (Actually, it’s not magic, but you get the idea.) The problem with salt and sand is that they come into the house on our boots and shoes and corrode and scratch hardwood floors. You can limit this issue by putting hefty floor mats at every entrance–or better yet, leave the shoes at the door and wear comfy slippers inside.
Wipe Up Melting Snow and Ice
If someone comes in from the snow and tracks snow, ice, or even mud on the floor (i.e., they don’t take their boots off at the door like a good guest should), the moisture can damage the floors. If there is any salt mixed in with it, the floors can become corroded from it. Have paper towels or cloths on hand to wipe these messes up before they dry. (Same thing if your dog goes outside and tracks snow in before you can wipe its paws.)
Place Runners or Area Rugs in High Traffic Areas
With the holidays comes company—family, friends, gatherings, etc. It can be difficult to control incoming dirt coming in on so many feet, not to mention the occasional spill of something-or-other. To limit damage and create more peace of mind, try temporarily placing area rugs or runners over high-traffic areas of your home.
Create Extra Protection Around Christmas Trees and Fireplaces
Don’t forget—falling sap and needles from live Christmas trees can be murder on wood floors. So can the metal feet of artificial trees. Make sure you protect your floors by laying protective mats under your tree and limiting needle fallout when bringing your tree in and out. Additionally, we use our fireplaces more frequently during the colder months, so don’t forget to lay down a hearth pad or fire-resistant rug to catch stray embers.
Run a Humidifier
Finally, furnaces kicking into high gear during these colder months can dry out the air—and your hardwood floors along with it. An easy way to prevent this from happening is to run a humidifier in your home. This creates atmospheric moisture that will protect the wood from drying out and possibly cracking. (It will make you more comfortable, as well.)
By taking these extra precautions, you’ll have greater peace of mind during the holidays and beyond knowing that your floors are effectively safeguarded from winter. Meanwhile, if you’re thinking of installing wood floors in your home, Renaissance is here to help. For a complimentary estimate in Tulsa, Catoosa, Broken Arrow, Claremore, or other parts of Green Country, give us a call at 918-298-4477.