Winter weather can be harsh, and so can its effects on your flooring. By following some basic maintenance guidelines, you can help keep your floors looking fresh and beautiful:
1. Use protective mats – by the front door, the back door, the garage; ANY entrance that might be used by people or pets should be protected. This will help prevent moisture, dirt, salt, oil , etc. from being tracked in. (Do not use rubber-backed mats as they could discolor your floor.)
2. Sweep, dust or vacuum regularly to pick up loose dirt that gets tracked in. It is a good idea to vacuum wood floors also to prevent the dirt from scratching or dulling the floor’s finish. Be sure to use a vacuum with a soft, non-beater bar attachment head.
3. Avoid excessive exposure to water from inclement weather. Snow, sleet, rain – keep it out as much as you can. Moisture and wood flooring don’t mix!
4. If your flooring begins to show gaps, don’t panic. Nearly every wood floor endures some separation between boards. Over the winter, dry air can cause the boards to shrink.
5. Minimize gaps by maintaining indoor humidity levels of 40-60%, and temperature levels of 65 – 75 degrees. This will help reduce expansion and contraction of floor boards.