[This is a guest post.]
One thing residents of Boston quickly come to realize is that temperature extremes are the norm. From the brutal cold of winter to the sticky warmth of summer, the climate in Boston is not always ideal for hardwood floors. Because of the weather extremes that occur with the Boston climate, you need to take steps to care for your hardwood floors properly to prolong their lifespan and keep them in good condition.
Proper care for hardwood floors starts with daily cleaning. You should sweep your floors or go over them with a dust mop every day to prevent dirt from building up. If you leave dirt and grit on your hardwood floors, they will quickly become scuffed and scratched up.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors
You should give your hardwood floors a thorough cleaning at least a couple times a week. Never use water when cleaning hardwood floors. You should only use cleaning products that are recommended by the manufacturer of your flooring or speak with knowledgeable local vendor. If in doubt, a general hardwood floor cleaner will work just fine, but don’t overdo it.
Keeping Your Floors Clean
The feel of hardwood floors on bare or sock clad feet is delightful, but only when the floors are clean. You may want to ban wearing shoes in your house to protect your hardwood floors and keep them clean. If you do wear shoes inside, make sure that you have rugs at your entryways so that people can clean their shoes off before they walk on your hardwood floors.
Turn on the Air Conditioning
Even if you are someone who takes pride in toughing out the summer heat without an air conditioner, you should run one during hot weather for the sake of your hardwood floors. The Boston summer humidity is no joke. Humidity is one of the greatest enemies of hardwood floors. If you do not run the air conditioning when the Boston summer heat and humidity rise, your hardwood floors will swell. This can even lead to cracking of your floors if the humidity is extreme. Make sure to protect your wood floors by running your central AC when the summer heat arrives. The AC will help cool temperatures and dehumidify your home. If you find this isn’t enough and still have issues with swelling, buckling and so on, look into an actual dehumidifier for your home.
Humidify Your Home in Winter
Just as the summer heat and humidity can brutalize your hardwood floors, winter weather can also wreak havoc on your wood floors. When you run your central heating unit tirelessly during the winter, you will notice that your skin dries out. The same thing happens to hardwood floors when they are exposed to a constant blast of heated, bone-dry air all winter. Too little humidity combined with heat can lead to cracking and damaged wood just like too much humidity can. To prevent this, it is important that you run a humidifier in your home during the winter to prevent the air from drying out too much.
Don’t Let Your Wood Feel Extremes
If you do not keep your home properly climate-controlled, it will rapidly damage your hardwood floors in Boston. The extremes of weather experienced here will alternately cause the wood to swell and then dry out. This will lead to cracks and structural damage in no time at all. Good hardwood floor care in Boston starts with creating a constantly climate-controlled environment in your home.
Protecting the Finish
As mentioned before, not wearing shoes inside is the best way to protect your hardwood floors. High heels, work shoes and other forms of footwear can be very destructive to hardwood. Shoes-off is the best policy in your home to protect your hardwood floors. You also should put casters on the feet of all your furniture to prevent scratches. If you have pets, make sure to keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching your floors.
If you follow the above tips, your hardwood floors will stay in good condition for decades to come. Remember the importance of keeping your home climate-controlled to protect your floors from the rough Boston climate in the summer and winter. With regular cleaning and careful protection, your hardwood floors will stay beautiful and will not need to be refinished all that often.
This guest post contribution was made by MacDonald Hardwoods, a hardwood flooring company in Denver, CO that specializes in a variety of wood flooring, including exotic hardwood flooring like Australian Cypress, Merbau, Burmese Teak and Santos Mahogany.