How to Protect Wood Floors from Cold Weather

How to Protect Wood Floors from Cold Weather

Wood floors bring warmth and beauty to any home, but winter brings them into contact with dangers that can damage them as much as summer heat (see our story “How Spring & Summertime Humidity Can Damage Your Wood Floors”). Just as summer humidity can cause harm, so can rain, snow, salt, and the bits of sand and gravel that gets trapped in shoes and pets’ feet. Here are some tips on how you can safeguard your natural wood floors.

Moisture and Wood Floors

The best thing you can do for your wood floors during the winter is to keep away the moisture.  Over expansion from too much moisture causes wood floors to buckle. Buckling creates ridges in the floor that will not go away. The floor will have to be replaced.

When the temperatures plunge below freezing, the biggest danger to your wood flooring is burst pipes. Take care of your pipes by preparing for that winter freeze:

  1. Hosepipes can cause problems if they freeze, so remove hoses and cover the pipes with an insulated cover.
  2. Insulate pipes in walls, attics and crawl spaces.
  3. Open sink cabinet doors.
  4. Turn on the faucet and let water drip. This alleviates the pressure created by freezing pipes and keeps them from bursting.
  5. If you are going to be gone an extended amount of time over the holidays, then turn off your water at the main shut off to your house and drain the pipes.

Another way to keep moisture from your wood floors at entrances is by making sure to have mats at all external entrances where visitors can wipe off their feet, and rugs on the inside. These not only collect moisture, but they also help to remove sand, salt, and grit that collects in rain, snow, and ice. All of which can cut groves into your floor.


Heat and Wood Floors

Wood flooring absorbs or loses moisture as conditions change inside your home, causing shrinking and expansion. Heat from forced hair heating can cause shrinking, making gaps appear between the boards.

It is important to keep your wood floors clean and conditioned with a professional cleaner. One of the best is BONA.

Before applying BONA, vacuum your wood floor. Then, moisten a bar towel with clean water and twist until it is just damp. Instead of using a wet wipe pad, put the moist towel into the pad holder. Use this to remove stains and surface dirt. After cleaning surface dirt with the towel, then apply the BONA per the instructions on the bottle. BONA kits are available at City Tile in Murfreesboro.

Never use vinegar or lemon based product on wood floors, it will damage the finish.

Get into a Routine

Wood floors need consistent care. Make sure you clean them daily with a broom and dustpan getting up dirt.

Wash and BONA your floors weekly to keep them conditioned.

Have your floors professionally cleaned once a year.

Have them refinished about every two to three years.

A Little Care Means Years of Comfort

With a little forethought to keep moisture and heat from causing floors to expand or buckle, and weekly cleaning to keep them free from harsh chemicals and grit, your wood floors should look beautiful for years and years to come.
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