Ohio winters are unpredictable. In the past, we’ve had springtime temperatures on Christmas and snowstorms on baseball opening day, and the extended six-month freeze-thaw cycle can wreak havoc on the flooring in your home. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity leaves gaps in hardwood floors and can even cause concrete to warp and crack. While many homeowners are quick to clean the gutters and tape plastic over the windows when temperatures drop, we sometimes forget the important role that flooring plays in keeping us cozy and warm through the winter. Keep reading for our tips to winterize your floors so they’ll stay warm and dry even when the weather outside is frightful.
Show ‘Em the Door
Nothing puts the damper on your winter wonderland quite like mud-caked snowy boot prints on a clean floor. Tracking dirt and moisture around the house is a recipe for scratched-up floors, mildew, and mold. You can prevent dirty, wet floors before they happen with an entryway boot station. Keep dirt where it belongs with a heavy-duty floor mat on each side of your exterior doors. Outside, choose a thick, waterproof rubber or cork mat to wipe away debris before it’s tracked in. Inside, consider a thinner and softer mat that’s comfy on your bare feet. To keep the cold air outside, consider a “door snake” or rolled-up towel at the base of your door to keep freezing air where it belongs.
For allergy sufferers, winter is the worst. Closed windows, low humidity, and forced-air heating causes allergens to build-up and recirculate throughout your home until you can’t hardly catch your breath. If you have carpet, it’s even worse, as fibers will hold onto these particles, making the problem worse. Experts recommend deep steam cleaning your carpet in the wintertime to reduce these particles and help you breathe easier.
If you have hardwood or concrete floors prone to warping or cracking with changes in temperature and humidity, installing a home humidifier can ease your pain. With consistent humidity levels you can prevent the destructive expansion and contraction that creates ugly, uneven floors.
Pay Attention to Concrete
If you have concrete floors and they’re cracked, the clock is ticking. It’s a race against time as cracked concrete floors take on excess moisture, which freezes, expands, and contracts, causing more cracks, more stress, and foundation problems. If your concrete floors are showing signs of cracking but are still level, you can fix it yourself with acrylic sealant. If the floor is warped or there are cracks bigger than ¼”, professional leveling and resealing is required.
Radiant In-Floor Heating
If you have tile, laminate, or hardwood floors, radiant in-floor heating systems are a luxurious way to keep your toes warm with comfortable convection heat. Check out our blog post to learn more about radiant in-floor heating.
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