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Be Kind to the Wood: 4 Ways to Prevent Damage to Your Hardwood Floors This Winter

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If you have hardwood floors, winter can be particularly troublesome. Ice, snow, rain, and cold temperatures will destroy your hardwood flooring if you're not careful. To reduce the risk of winter damage, here are four simple steps you need to follow.

Keep on Top of the Maintenance

With winter finally here, it's time to increase the care that you give your hardwood floors. The most important thing you can do is to keep on top of the daily maintenance. First, sweep your floors with a soft, microfiber dust mop at least once a day. That will remove the dirt and debris that can scratch your hardwood floors. Second, use a clean cloth to dry your floors as soon as you notice water on them—which can occur quite often during rain and snow storms. Finally, mop your hardwood floors at least once a week to keep the dirt and deicing agents away.

Monitor the Moisture and Temperature

During the winter, it's important that you monitor the moisture and temperature inside your home. The colder temperatures and reduced moisture levels inside your home will dry out your hardwood flooring, which will lead to gaps and shrinkage. You can prevent that from happening by installing a humidifier in your home and keeping your home a constant temperature throughout the winter. For maximum protection, try to avoid letting your home get too cold.

Store Supplies by the Door

If you have kids and pets, they're probably traveling in and out of the house all winter long. All that foot traffic will wreak havoc on your hardwood floors. The best way to combat the problem is to store your supplies next to the door. First, leave a mat by the door for all your winter shoes. Next, keep a supply of paper towels available to wipe off dirty feet and paws.

Change the Way You Deice Your Pathway

If you use road salt to keep your pathways clear, you could be damaging your hardwood floors. You do need to keep your pathways free of ice, but you don't need to use harsh road salt to get the job done. Instead of the road salt, install heated pathway runners. These runners are placed directly over your pathways and heat up to melt the ice and snow. The result is a safe pathway for you, your family, and your guests, and maximum protection for your hardwood floors.

Contact a hardwood flooring professional for more information.