The weather has taken the spotlight in headlines across America due to the unusually cold temperatures and blizzard-like conditions felt throughout the nation. Since Rochester is in one of the coldest regions of the continental U.S., it’s no surprise that some of our neighbors feel a little concerned about the affect that the frigid temperatures are having on their home. In the flooring industry, we often see this impact felt most on hardwood floors. So, here’s a quick guide to help maintain your hardwood floors for the chilly days to come.
Ready To Install? Read This First
The good news is that hardwood floors don’t need to be pretreated for cold weather. The bad news is that if you are planning to have hardwood flooring installed now, you may need to wait.
It’s typically best to install hardwood panels during summer. If you install during winter, your panels will expand when temperatures rise during the warmer months. As they expand against each other within an area that is no longer a sufficient size, warping and cracks are among the many problems that will likely result, and damage to your home’s construction is also possible. Needless to see, you may find yourself installing new flooring yet again much sooner than expected.
Monitoring Humidity Levels
Although hardwood floors are versatile, they typically maintain their composure best with proper levels of humidity. While there is some debate on the ideal levels, 35% is generally considered the minimum.
We all know that snow packs on to our shoes pretty easily, but what you may not realize is that wiping them on a mat may not be enough. That’s because snow also picks up dirt, pebbles and other small particles that can scratch and otherwise damage your hardwood flooring. And if local roads were treated with rock salt, a small buildup along your floor’s surface may cause more damage over time.
Although it’s important to continue cleaning your floors regularly, no special techniques or cleaning agents are necessary. Yes, some areas experiencing the coldest of weather patterns do call for special care; but while it may seem cold here, Rochester’s climate certainly doesn’t reach or sustain those extremes.
Fireplaces And Hardwood Flooring
It’s understandable that homeowners are hesitant about having panels installed near a fireplace, considering the nearby flooring is composed of the same materials burning inside. Usually, hardwood flooring can be safely placed nearby, though there are a few important considerations. The International Building Code recommends (and, for compliance, requires) at least a 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 install 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!