Timber Flooring Tips
Summer can cause lasting damage to timber floors. Heat can cause the boards to expand and even buckle. While wooden floors are laid with a gap around the edge to allow some expansion, there is a limit to how much even the best-laid floor can take. While it will contract again once the weather cools, it’s likely to be permanently damaged.
Sunlight can also cause significant damage, leading to permanent discolouration of your floors, especially after months of strong sunlight. And the dust and grime that tends to find its way indoors over the summer can also wear down and damage the wood.
Here are five ways you can protect your timber floors in Perth this summer:
Keep the windows open and the fans on
While aircon can be helpful in keeping your home or business cool, it can also be very drying, which carries a risk of cracking and shrinking. Where possible, encourage air to flow through the building to keep your floors cool naturally. Electric fans can also help keep temperatures down without aircon.
Dust and dirt works its way into small cracks in the wood and leads to discolouration over time. If you have kids or dogs running in and out all summer long, or you have a shop with lots of feet treading in dust every day, then it’s particularly important to keep on top of cleaning. A quick sweep might be enough in winter, but sweeping tends to miss smaller dust particles. In summer, get your vacuum out instead and keep your floors dust-free.
Use mats and take off shoes
This may not work for businesses, but at home, make sure everyone takes off their shoes when they come in. It can be hard to enforce with kids, but a no shoes indoors rule can really help keep the dust and grime that damages boards away. Dust mats by the doors will also help absorb a lot of the summer dirt.
Install blinds and keep them closed
Direct sunlight quickly heats up and fades wooden floors. No-one really wants to keep their curtains closed all day throughout the summer, but Venetian blinds or plantation shutters can keep out excess sun and heat without blocking your view. They also look stylish and can work in both modern and period properties.
It can be tempting to mop frequently, especially if you do find you get a lot of summer dust being trodden on to your floors, despite your efforts to avoid it. But mopping can cause an increase in humidity which, combined with excess heat, raises the risk of the wood expanding and becoming irreparably damaged. Though Perth summers are generally dry with low humidity levels, mopping alone can be enough to raise the humidity levels inside a building. Instead of mopping, vacuum and use a dry dust mop.