If you have hardwood floors in your home, it’s important to protect them from the perils of water damage. Exposure to moisture can cause long-term issues that affect the longevity and integrity of the material. In addition to everyday spills, you also need to be mindful of rain water during the winter. Here’s what you should know about protecting the surface.
How Moisture Damages Hardwood
Hardwood is unique in that it responds dramatically to moisture and changes in temperature. During winter, the material contracts, and when it’s humid, it expands. Whenever the material is exposed to water, it’s immediately at risk of getting damaged. The material immediately starts to absorb the liquid. That’s why it’s so crucial to wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.
When the liquid lingers and soaks through, the wood may eventually develop stains and mold, as well as become discolored. In severe cases, it may be necessary to consider installing new flooring in affected areas. Also, if there are any gaps in old wood flooring, then even the slightest amount of moisture can easily seep through and cause extensive damage to the layer underneath.
How to Prevent Damage
Take special precautions to protect your hardwood floors during the winter months. First, keep a doormat outside all entry doors so that people who come inside can dry off their shoes and scrape away any excess debris, water, and mud before entering. Place another mat directly inside to protect exposure to the surface. Opt for something without rubber on the bottom, as that material can cause damage to the wood.
If any water ends up on the surface, clean it up right away to prevent rapid absorption. You can even keep a small stack of towels near entryways so that people who walk inside can quickly handle it on their own if they notice moisture on the surface. If you have a dog, be mindful of his tracks when he comes back inside. Tackle those spills promptly to prevent widespread winter damage. At the end of the day, make it a point to sweep the flooring.
If you’re thinking about installing hardwood floors in your home or business, turn to the team at Carolina Wood Floors in Winston-Salem, NC. The company carries an extensive range of beautiful materials, including red oak, maple, and walnut. In addition to new flooring installations, they also refinish floors to ensure that they look their best. Visit the website for more details, or call them at (336) 765-0680 to request a quote.