While your hardwood floors are highly durable, the heat, humidity and activities of summer can have a detrimental effect on your hardwood floors. Make sure summer is kind to your undeniably beautiful floors with these smart, but simple maintenance tips.
Vacuum your floors regularly using a soft-bristled attachment to trap dirt, particles, and other household allergens – especially in high-traffic areas. Don’t use vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head. Using a broom can be effective as well. Vacuuming regularly (at least once or twice a week) is your best defense against scratches and surface damage.
Manage Humidity Levels
Wood reacts to its environment. In humid environments, wood gains moisture, causing it to warp and expand. In dry environments, the opposite is true of wood; it loses moisture and contracts. This is normal. Problems, such as cupping or gapping, occur when there’s too much moisture gain or loss. Prevent problems by maintaining an environment that is consistently between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and 30-50% humidity [Source: National Wood Flooring Association].
Take Your Shoes Off … Please
In many countries, taking your shoes off before entering someone’s home is not only common courtesy, it’s expected. If you choose not to take off your shoes, you can be considered rude or disrespectful, depending on the culture. Despite countless benefits to home and health, many parts of the US have not yet adopted a “shoes off” policy.
Fact Check: We walk across surfaces that have been contaminated by bacteria and toxins daily. Aside from this, shoes are also really good at tracking in small bits of sand, dirt and rocks. Those small particles can have a sandpaper effect on your hardwood floors.
If you are still hesitant to go bare indoors, purchase a good quality doormat to help trap mud, soil and dirt from coming inside. We recommend placing a doormat at every entrance to your home. Whether you decide to take your shoes off or purchase a doormat, this will help to keep your house neat and beautiful.
Use Protective Window Coverings
When we forget to liberally apply sunscreen during the summer months, we feel the burn. Those same UV rays are no friend of hardwood floors. If your floors are overexposed to sunlight, they can fade, become discolored and even warp over time. Not something you want after investing a lot of money in hardwood. Use protective window coverings to block fade-causing UV rays.