The changing seasons in Minnesota can bring some stress to your home, and it’s time to winterize! Everything is changing to the cold and dry seasons of the year, and you might be bringing in some leaves on your shoes. Hardwood floors are also feeling the stress of the fall season. Everything needs maintenance to ensure their survival through the winter months, our floors do too. Without it, the life, longevity, and warmth they bring to our homes will fade.
Minnesota Fall into Winter Season
As you can imagine, the main difference between maintaining your floor in the summer is bringing in debris and preparing for the ice, snow, and salt that is easily and regularly tracked through your home. Because there are so many conditions in Minnesota, standard maintenance has to be done more frequently, and preventive measures need to be put in place and monitored throughout the year.
Rain, snow, and ice, as with any other liquids and moisture, aren’t good for the long-lasting health and shine of your wood as it warps and discolors the planks. Salt is even harder to contain and clean than water because it gets broken down into tiny unseen particles that easily accumulate on mats and boot trays. They also get wedged between the grooves and cracks in your floor. Frequent cleanings are usually not sufficient to completely eliminate it from your home. However, there are several things you can do to curve its contact with your floors.
Start With Summer Floor Maintenance
One of the best ways to preserve your floors during winter is to keep up with their maintenance regularly during the summer. You should always clean up spills as quickly as possible to avoid stains and warping. Also, avoid using household cleaners as they can discolor the wood, and take the necessary precautions to prevent scuffs and scratches from shoes and furniture. You should also dust daily to fend off dust mites, protect the floor from heat and UV rays, and polish them often. Keeping up with maintenance throughout the summer is sure to make winter upkeep much easier.
Humidity Matters To Wood Floors
Just like the cold winter air dries out our skin, it also dries out wood. It is imperative to keep wood at a moisture level. Keeping your home consistently between 35-55% relative humidity is the best way to protect your wood floors from shrinking, expanding, cupping, cracking, and more. Dried-out wood creates unsightly gaps between the boards. You can reduce this by keeping the relative humidity levels stable in your home. You can easily manage these levels with a humidifier.
The Shine Is More Than Just Looks
The key to giving your hardwood floor a lasting shine, in addition to regular dusting, is to invest in proper cleaning equipment such as a microfiber mop, a soft-bristled vacuum, adequate hardwood floor cleaner, and a buffing pad. A lovely shiny hardwood floor is not just for appearances. It gives your floor a protective coating that helps with its preservation. If you give your floor a proper and regular cleaning, especially right before winter, it can help to make it a little more resilient to the outside elements.
Wipe Your Feet On The Mat
Homes without hardwood floors use mats, if not for necessity, then for decor. With hardwood floors, this is not just a necessity, but specific types of mats are needed, especially with winter around the corner.
Investing in quality, absorbent, non-slip mats will be worth it in the end. Vinyl or rubber mats just won’t do the trick and can even be a contributing factor to floor damage. Higher quality mats will not discolor your wood and are better able to absorb the debris, rain, snow, salt, and ice without dampening or damaging the floor underneath.
Throughout the year, these more durable and absorbent mats can be placed inside and outside all entranceways. When coupled with guests removing their shoes, they can keep the elements coming inside to a minimum. Make sure to clean your mats regularly.
Winter Is Coming
Neglected floors can lead to warped, dull, and discolored wood. They also lead to cracks, scratches, expensive and time-consuming replacements, and repairs. If you think a buff and coat or sand and finish is right for your winter preparation needs, contact us, we’ll be more than happy to help.