The holidays are right around corner again, and that means colder temperatures, snow, dirt mixed with snow, etc., are all rounding that same corner too.
Now, while some people dread this time of the year and others love it, there are some aspects of the season that everyone needs to prepare for, whether you like it or not.
We’ve seen all kinds of winters and have tried all sorts of ways to better prepare floor surfaces for the season, so we compiled these tips to help you ready your flooring for the coming winter months.
1. Keep the climate consistent.
Whether it’s a hot and humid summer or a dry, cold winter, drastic climate changes present a multitude of flooring problems, particularly commercial and residential hardwood flooring problems.
Hardwood floors are in a constant state of adaptation depending on the changing humidity levels in the space. In sticky summers, hardwood floor planks will expand and in cold winters, they’ll contract, which could eventually lead to gaps appearing between them.
For more on preventing cupping and crowning issues, check out this previous post, Hardwood Flooring Tips: How to Handle Cupping and Crowning Issues, but the point is, you need to take control of the climate in your home or workspace during the cold months and make sure it’s regulated in some way.
2. Lay down the rules and clean up FAST!
Another aspect of the winter months to consider in terms of your flooring is the mess the season typically creates. Whether it’s snow, snow and mud, snow and leaves, etc., a lot of dirt and debris could find its way onto your floor surface in the winter.
So, lay down some winter rules, especially if you’ll be having company for the holidays. You can put up signs telling guests to remove their shoes at the door, strategically lay down some extra mats in high-traffic areas, etc.
From there, when the inevitable muddy footprint with a sprinkle of rock salt—which is particularly lethal to hardwood surfaces—appears, or the customary holiday party spill occurs, have all the necessary cleaning materials nearby so that you can get to the spot as quickly as possible.
On that note, make sure you keep up with your regular cleaning during the winter months as well. Whether it’s sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, etc., you don’t want to let anything sink in nor allow any debris to cause scuffs or scratches simply because you didn’t act fast enough.
3. Consider your pet situation.
Another huge flooring issue in the winter months is the potential damage that household pets can cause. After all, you can come up with some ground rules and put signs up for guests, co-workers, etc., but they won’t do much good when it comes to your pets.
We don’t claim to be animal experts, so there’s not much we can offer you as far as how to go about training your pets, but the point is, some training is usually in order to protect your floor surfaces.
The best best is usually to come up with some type of treat system for training pets to remain at the entrance-way when they enter so that you can clean their feet or paws before they rush in, dragging snow, mud, and salt with them.
The bottom line is that, whether you love the winter months or dread their arrival every year and need to prepare yourself for the season, you need to take measures to prepare your flooring as well. We hope these tips get you pointed in the right direction.