HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HARDWOOD FLOORS FROM THE COLD January 17, 2022 | Home Maintenance , Cleaning Tips | winter , kitchen , living room , floors Wood floors provide a classic look to your home that really makes it stand out. However, they require special care in order to maintain their uniqueness. As the cold rolls on, it can be the toughest time of the year for your hardwood floors. The good news is with some diligence, your floors will stay looking like new through wintertime. Changing Temperatures As the weather starts to cool off, it can cause your floors to change as well. Major differences in temperature make the wooden planks shrink and create gaps. Then when they warm back up, they can crack. If you like to crank the heat inside your home, consider dropping it back a few degrees. That way the difference in temperature won’t be as extreme. It also helps to use a humidifier to keep some moisture in the air that can be absorbed by your floor. Tracking Things Inside There’s a whole assortment of debris that you track in your home during winter. Sand, salt, and snow all make a mess of your floors and cause lasting damage. The tiny pieces caught in your boots can scratch up the surface, and if you don’t clean the water and de-icer right away, unsightly stains will start to appear. Using floor mats and placing some by entryways will help keep some of the mess under control. Staying on top of cleaning up after the foot traffic in your home by sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping with a mild cleaner will keep your floors fresh. Teach and Train If you have a full house of family, friends, or even pets, try to get everyone on board with taking care of your floors. Kindly ask when they remove their shoes to keep them on the mats you’ve placed down. For pets, it might be a little trickier to get them to cooperate. Training with treats to wait by the door until you’ve cleaned them off is one way to get them to follow the rules. If you have younger children, you can try making a game out of following the rules of staying off the floor with wet shoes. Preventative Care Getting ahead of winter problems is the best way to keep your floors in top shape. Polishing your floors will make them stand out more and protect the finish. Also, using a cleaner that’s a bit more eco-friendly will replenish some of the wood’s natural elements. A water-resistant clear coat will help preserve your floor’s look and make it easier to clean melted snow and sand. Repairing and replacing severely worn planks when needed will limit the number of those that have a chance to split or crack from the cold. If your floor was recently installed, it may even be covered by a warranty in case it starts to deteriorate. You and your wood floors don’t have to dread the cold this year. Just a little bit of work will keep them looking like new for years to come! Schedule your NPI home inspection today. Find an NPI inspector near you to schedule your full home inspection. Our inspectors are professionally trained to identify any issues or needed repairs on thousands of components of your home, including the roof, foundation, electrical system and more.