Hardwood is a beautiful, natural material, but it can expand and contract when exposed to moisture, which can ultimately result in problems like cupping, buckling, and distortion.
Summer is a favourite season for many, and there are all kinds of reasons to look forward to the longer days and hot weather. However, if your home in Toronto has hardwood flooring, you may have noticed that the heat and humidity can impact what you see and feel underfoot. There’s good news: just as you take precautions and preventive measures to protect yourself from summer’s heat and sun, you can prevent issues with your floors by following these summer maintenance tips.
Protect From UV Rays
Moisture is the single most influential factor in the lifespan of your hardwood flooring in Toronto, and high levels of humidity will affect your comfort level at home as well. The professional who handles your installation can provide a recommended humidity range for your home to protect the floors you’ve chosen, and you can invest in an air conditioner or dehumidifier to control the moisture level in the air.
Most people know that too much time in the sun can result in sunburns and long-term damage to our skin, but many people fail to think about the impact of regular exposure to UV rays on their floors! Summer is a wonderful time to soak up the sunoutdoors, but consider keeping your curtains drawn or angling horizontal blinds upwards to deflect sunlight and prevent floors from fading or bleaching over time. Specialized windows in your home can protect the investment you’ve made in choosing hardwood by blocking some UV rays, and they help you save on energy costs as well!
Leave sand at the beach
Unlike some synthetic flooring materials, hardwood is susceptible to being scratched and damaged, particularly if the finish has been compromised. Sweeping regularly is a good practice all year round, but during the summer it’s more likely that you’ll have grit and sand tracked into the house, which can cause scratches or gouges if they are ground in.
Use a microfibre mop or soft-bristle broom to gently sweep up sand and other debris after coming home from the beach or park. Mats can also protect your floors by trapping dirt and sand, and you can shake them outside while the weather is warm.
Different types of wood and finishes may require different care for mopping, so be sure that you consult with a flooring professional if you have any doubt about what products or techniques to use when cleaning your hardwood flooring in Toronto.
The Right Cleaning Product
Changes will happen
By following these tips, you’ll be able to minimize the impact that summer heat and moisture have on your floors, but ultimately some degree of expansion in the wood is expected. Engineered planks will be less susceptible than traditional solid hardwood, and narrower boards will expand and contract on a smaller scale than wide planks. These are helpful considerations when you’re planning an installation and choosing what to purchase, but even if your floors are already laid, knowledge is power as you keep them looking flawless for years to come.
If you have any doubts, consult with our flooring experts to assess whether your hardwood has already been impacted by sun or moisture and how to best protect it moving forward.