It’s autumn and everything is gold. From the leaves in the trees to the brisk pleasant breezes, fall is a time to enjoy – but also a time to prepare. After all, winter is coming.
For us flooring connoisseurs, winter time brings an extra layer of complexity into our lives. Cold weather can mean serious changes for your hardwood floors. So, tuck away the scarves for now and put on some sweatpants, you’ve got work to do.
- Clean, clean, clean.
Everyone’s heard of spring cleaning – turns out fall cleaning is just as important. The summertime can get rowdy and messy, leaving undesired dust and other matter sticking within the gaps of your hardwood floors.
During the seasonal shift, hardwood floors either expand or shrink, making any kind of dust fall through the cracks where you won’t be able to get it out easily and could cause major harm to your floors later on.
Give your floors the clean slate they deserve and doo a deep cleaning. Hire some extra help if you need to so that all those planks are as good as new.
2. Update your heating system.
Cold weather affects your hardwood floors in a mostly indirect way. It isn’t the cold air or temperature per se, but rather how you react to them by turning on the heater.
Hardwood floors need a little bit of moisture to keep their structural integrity, which means a dry heater will cause some changes. For starters, your hardwood floors will dry out and shrink, leaving larger gaps for dust to penetrate and build up on your foundation.
In extreme cases, your floors will actually begin to crack from the stress. This mostly only occurs with poorly-installed flooring, but it can happen with even the best installations if the conditions are extreme.
In addition, the freezing temperatures outside pull even more moisture out of the air by turning water into frost. While you may notice the most shrinking/cracking near your heating vents, the process will be taking place all over your home.
A very easy fix to this is installing a humidifier to your heating system. That way, moisture is still pumped in to your home and your floors will be minimally affected by the winter season.
This comes with a note of caution, however. Whenever you leave home for an extended period of time, let your home de-humidify just a bit. If the temperature within your home reaches below freezing, the moisture inside may cause other serious problems in the form of frost and ice, so be aware of that as well.
While this may only seem like a two-step solution, rest assured that the seasonal shift can sneak up on you. Even in the early autumn, sudden cold temperatures can still affect your floors. Therefore, it is crucial to remain vigilant all year-round.
The best way to make sure you’re always prepared is to keep those floors clean. Also, keep in mind a humidifier can just easily make your home cozier on dry summer days, so it’s worth an early investment as well!