Wood flooring is, without a doubt, one of the most common floorings across many homes in the country. It is elegant and comfortable and offers plenty of patterns to choose from. The flooring industry is diversifying the way our homes look and feel. Installed wood flooring makes the house look natural and composed, but this comes with its own challenges. Not only does extreme weather have an effect, but also the floor needs constant care and maintenance. Wood is a natural material that is affected by humidity and temperature variations even when processed and installed, and knowing how to minimize and protect the wood against the intensity of these variations is paramount to the homeowner.
Wood belongs to the category of hygroscopic materials, that is, it absorbs and loses water to the air to maintain equilibrium with the humidity as well as temperature levels of the surrounding environment. When wood absorbs moisture, swelling occurs and when it loses moisture to the atmosphere, shrinking will occur. Thus, protecting your floor against these extreme changes is vital towards maintaining a good looking and safe floor. Let’s discuss how you can protect your wood flooring from the two extreme seasons of the year.
Summer Time Protection
Summer presents us with a time when fun and outdoor activities are at peak. Mountain hikes, beach trips, and numerous days spent by the poolside are all hallmarks of the summer. Sadly, these months present homeowners who have wood tile flooring with unprecedented headaches if the floor is not equipped to withstand the high humidity, sunlight and hot temperatures. These tips may be helpful in protecting your wood floor during the summer.
? Maintain a safe range of humidity level
Keep the dehumidifiers or air conditioner running to keep the levels of humidity in the house between 40-60 percent. Even hardwood floors do not enjoy the high humidity levels during the summer. Keeping the humidity at bay may increase the energy bills for your home, but the long-term benefit far outweighs the few dollars added to maintaining the necessary humidity level.
? Keep the room out of reach of direct sun rays
The same way we get burned during the summer is the same way wood floors are destroyed by direct sunlight. Overexposure results in fast aging of the floors. You do not want your mahogany or that Brazilian cherry plank being discolored by the sun. To avoid this, add colored curtains to your windows so that they blend with the lively summer while protecting your floor from direct sun rays.
Winter Wood Floor Protection
In the winter, even the seamlessly strong wood floors are susceptible to shrinkage due to dryness. Gaps between the boards will begin appearing in no time unless good care is maintained throughout the winter. To control these unpleasant shrinkages, a few helpful tips can make the difference for your home.
? Utilize a Humidifier
Moisture is the number one enemy of wood floors; however, when low moisture levels experienced in the winter are not addressed, the floor might also experience damages. You will need to have a humidifier running nearly the entire winter and save yourself the hustle of conducting repairs on your floor.
? Reduce Ventilation
Winter is a tricky season. Increased ventilation will make the house drier than you probably think. Besides utilizing a humidifier, you will need to take extra steps to ensure the house remains warm and somewhat humid. Ventilation is responsible for bringing dry, less moist air into the room, coupled with the possible moisture from melted snow near entry ways (be sure to utilize rugs and dry these areas up quickly) can make this difficult to maintain times.
These methods are employable when the homeowner is not in a position to change the house design. House design changes can be costly, long-term projects, but that does not mean you cannot take care of your wood flooring. Follow the steps outlined above to maintain an elegant floor for decades to come.
This guest post contribution is courtesy of MacDonald Hardwoods, a Denver Hardwood Flooring company with a wide selection of woods to choose from including exotic hardwood flooring, oak flooring and bamboo flooring.
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