How To Care For Hardwood Flooring During Winter
Winter can mean a number of things for your home; the central heating gets more use, condensation appears on the windows and outdoor furniture can be put into storage. But what do the winter months mean for your flooring? At Arnold Laver we’re hoping to prepare you with ways to get your home and outdoor areas ready to take the hit of winter in order to keep your home looking it’s best through the harshest of seasons.
It goes without saying that the autumn and winter months are when we experience the most inclement weather with rain, frost and maybe even snow taking hold of our days. The weather can have a huge impact on the condition of your flooring, so it’s imperative around this time that we are proactive in protecting the hardwood flooring in our homes to avoid possible damage.
Remove dust and dirt
It’s true that you’re probably on top of your housework all year round, but winter may see an increase in dust and dirt entering your home due to the predictable winter debris that will be dragged in via footwear and clothing. This is unavoidable and completely normal! Knowing the key areas in your home that are likely to be seeing the most debris falling on the floor are most likely the hallway and where the back door is, whether it leads into a dining room or straight from the kitchen. A buildup of dust and dirt can eventually lead to damage of hardwood floors, potentially having an effect on the grain of the wood, or resulting in scratches and deep grooves that can interfere with the finish. Solve this with daily gentle sweeping and weekly cleaning of the hardwood flooring to help keep the condition consistent throughout the winter months.
Investing in quality cleaning products for hardwood flooring can also be key to keeping your floors in top condition all year round. During the winter months, expect to be mopping and sweeping your hardwood floors more often, so have the tools available and ready to go!
You’ll have been aware before having hardwood flooring fitted that excess or continued moisture on the surface of the wood should be avoided in order to prevent warped floors. However, with the wet weather that accompanies the colder seasons, the presence of rain and slush being brought into the house and left to sit on top of the hardwood flooring can cause problems.
It’s a good idea to introduce doormats at each outdoor entrance of your home and rugs, and offer a place for visitors or family to leave their damp shoes to dry. The doormats and rugs will soak up the excess moisture, as well as making the floor safer to walk on without that excess water sitting around which could become a safety hazard if not dealt with straight away. If you can pets who come in from the outdoors regularly, try to dry their paws before they walk onto the hardwood flooring.
Another tip is to avoid using salt on porch areas as this can be brought in on shoes and the salt will damage hardwood flooring.
There are some issues with hardwood flooring that can be avoided, and others that cannot. An inevitable change in humidity and heat that occurs in the central heated home during the winter season can actually cause gaps and separations in natural floor boards. Dry, cold air can make floor contract, whilst excessive heat and humidity can lead to cupping and crowning of the wood, which leads to lumps and bumps appearing in the wood. Keep humidity at a consistent and acceptable range by using humidifiers and dehumidifiers to aid this, but be aware that hardwood flooring can experience these changes naturally!
Caring for your outdoor decking during winter
Protecting your wooden outdoor decking during winter needn’t be a chore, so before the freeze takes hold, there are some things you can do to prepare the deck for the colder times ahead.
Here’s our top tips on how to care for outdoor decking during winter time:
- Clean the decking thoroughly – This should be the first thing you consider doing to protect your decking area during winter. Clean the wood decking using a bleach-free cleaner (there are specialist cleaning products available on the market) and remove any moss and dirt that may have accumulated over summer.
- Consider stripping faded finishes – Sometimes it’s better to start again from scratch! If the summer sun has faded your stained decking, then think about stripping the finish completely before applying a water-repellent stain.
- Apply a high quality protective finish – For maximum protection against water absorption over winter, we recommend applying a water-repellent stain to protect the wood against frost, slush and rain causing cracks or splits in the decking.
Our guide on how to care for hardwood flooring during winter can be helpful for those considering investing in hardwood flooring, or those who already have it in their homes. If you’d like to see our ranges of flooring, be sure to browse through our excellent ranges of laminate flooring and solid wood flooring. With the right preparation and care, this style of flooring for the home can be perfect all year round!