Nov 21

How to Look After Wooden Flooring in Winter

Wooden flooring is attractive and practical but you should always remember that it’s a natural material that is affected by environmental changes. Winter is harsh on people, drying out our skin, causing colds and other unpleasant health problems. So too, wood develops health problems in winter. Below is a guide to maintaining the health of your wooden floor throughout winter.

Floor Treatments

All hardwood flooring must be treated to protect it from wear and tear. Old floors were traditionally treated with wax which has to be regularly reapplied (as frequently as once a week). Nowadays floors are generally either treated with HardWaxOil or covered with lacquer.

Lacquer should be professionally applied either before or after the floor boards are laid down. Lacquer doesn’t need reapplying to maintain it. In fact you can’t top up the lacquer or treat small areas. If the lacquer is worn or damaged the floor has to be completely stripped and a new coat of lacquer applied.

However if you opted for HardWaxOil you can up the defences of your wood floor by applying maintenance oil to the boards on anticipation of winter. This is a very easy process that anyone can do. HardWaxOil soaks into the wood and protects it from moisture damage which can cause the wood to swell and rot.

Central Heating

Hardwoods such as oak will never be 100% dry nor can a floor treatment make it 100% waterproof. As the temperature in your home fluctuates so too does the humidity. The humidity levels with influence the amount of water in the wood of your floor. You need to control this as best you can, keeping the moisture levels at a similar level. As the temperature drops outside most people switch on their central heating. This has the effect of drying the air out. When wood becomes too dry it’s prone to warping and cracking, ruining your floor.

The only way to combat this and stay warm is to use a humidifier. You’ll then be able to control the humidity levels. We recommend maintaining around 40% humidity in the air. What’s great is that this also benefits you and your family. Dry air can cause skin and health problems which you’ll avoid by maintaining the right humidity.

Winter Habits

You already know how sensitive wooden flooring is to moisture. We’ve talked about the danger of wood drying out but you also need to ensure that water isn’t allowed to sit on the wood.

One of the most common ways wooden flooring becomes damaged is from wet shoes. In wet and snowy periods you need to be especially vigilant that everyone removes their shoes at the door. Put mats inside and outside the door to collect as much moisture as possible and provide a place to leave shoes that keeps them off the floor.

Created on 21st November 2013
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