Unusually cold temperatures and blizzard-like conditions have been felt throughout the nation this winter. And since Rochester is one of the coldest regions in the U.S., people have been becoming increasingly concerned about the cold weathers’ effects on their homes. In the flooring industry, we oftentimes see this impact is felt most on hardwood floors.
So, here’s a quick guide of tips and tricks to help maintain your hardwood flooring this winter.
Before You Install…
The good news about hardwood floors is that they don’t need to be pretreated for cold weather. The bad news, on the other hand, is that if you’re planning to have hardwood flooring installed during this time, it may be best to wait.
Generally speaking, the summer is the best time to install hardwood panels. When you install hardwood flooring during the winter, panels will expand when the temperature rises during warmer months. This expansion has been known to warp and/or crack the wood.
Monitoring Humidity Levels
Although hardwood floors are extremely versatile, they typically maintain their composure best with the proper levels of humidity. In general, 35 percent is considered the minimum.
If you’re a native of Rochester, you’re aware of how easy it is for the snow to pack onto our shoes. But simply wiping your snowy boots on a doormat isn’t enough. Snow also picks up other debris like dirt, pebbles and other small particles that can scratch and otherwise damage your hardwood floors.
Regularly cleaning your hardwood floors is important, but sometimes during these cold winter months, they require extra care. Refer back to clean footwear…
Fireplaces and Hardwood Flooring
It’s understandable that a homeowner would be hesitant about having wooden panels installed near a fireplace. But before you panic, know that hardwood flooring can be safely placed nearby as long as you are aware of the following considerations:
The International Building Code recommends (and for compliance, requires) at least one foot of space for any flammable items or materials. Fortunately, this distance doesn’t necessarily have to be measured in a straight line. The fireplace can actually be raised above the floor to help offset the distance requirement. Still, it’s typically best to allow a professional to install the flooring around a fireplace.
To learn more about proper care for hardwood flooring – or to find the perfect match for your home’s style – be sure to stop by The Rug Market in Rochester today!