Is Winter Bad for Hardwood Flooring in Your Mississauga Home?


Many Mississauga homeowners prefer hardwood flooring. This is because it is highly durable and offers beauty and warmth. It also withstands daily wear and tear and increases your home’s resale value.

Flooring stores in Mississauga sell many species of hardwood flooring, including oak, hickory, and cherry. If you have recently installed hardwood flooring or are planning to do so this winter, it is important to understand how seasonal changes will affect it. In fact, among the four seasons, winter can cause the most damage.

With winter knocking at the door, let’s look at how the season can affect the hardwood flooring in your Mississauga home.

Damages Caused by Winter to Hardwood Flooring (And How to Avoid Them)

Here’s how winter can damage the hardwood flooring in your Mississauga home.

1. Gaps Between Boards


Even if you have carefully installed your hardwood flooring, it tends to dry out and shrink in winter. This is when you start noticing gaps between boards.

During winter, the moisture content and relative humidity in the air are low. When the wood comes in contact with the air, it loses its moisture and shrinks as a result.

These gaps between boards often disappear when winter ends. However, when they occur, they make your hardwood flooring look somewhat unsightly. It also lets out a squeaking sound every time anyone steps on it.

How to Avoid It: The best way to avoid hardwood flooring from shrinking in winter is by controlling temperature and humidity fluctuations. For this, you should install a humidifier and set it between 35% and 55%. This will provide adequate moisture to the entire house while maintaining the humidity level.

2. Ice Melt and Salt

Winter in Mississauga comes with tons of rock salt that enters our houses on cold winds or our footwear. Salt on hardwood floors can scratch and ruin their finish, leading to permanent damage.

Ice melts also land on your hardwood floors the same way as salt granules. These contain a blend of many components, including calcium chloride, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride. When your hardwood floor comes into contact with ice melt, it often leaves a white residue behind. If not treated immediately, it will leave permanent stains on your flooring.

How to Avoid It: To avoid permanent damage from ice melt and salt, you need to follow a cleaning routine and some important tips.

  • Sweep your hardwood floors every day with a broom or vacuum them to keep dirt, debris, and salt away from them.
  • Keep clean rags or microfiber cloths handy so you can immediately clean up any puddles on your floor. The faster you clean, the less moisture and fewer chemicals will soak into the wood.
  • In case the ice melt leaves a white residue on your floor, take a microfiber cloth and slightly wet it with warm water. Use the cloth to gently wipe the affected area in a circular motion. If it is still visible, consider diluting a cup of white vinegar in one gallon of warm water and wipe the area again in a similar manner.
  • Lay down welcome mats at the entryway of each room and make it a habit of wiping your shoes/boots on them before entering. This will allow for the least moisture coming into contact with your hardwood floor.
  • Remember to remove your footwear before you enter a room. Install a shoe rack in the entryway. You can wear a pair of indoor sandals if you want. This will help keep dirt, debris, and salt away from your hardwood floor.

3. Holiday Decorations


While wintertime means holidays and fun, it can sometimes be a problem for your hardwood floor. Many families like having a live Christmas tree in their living rooms, which means regularly watering them to keep them fresh. This often leads to the spilling of water which causes stains or other damage to the flooring if not attended to immediately.

Also, shedding pine needles can be tracked into every room, especially if you have children or pets. This can cause small scratches on your floors which may lose their shine over time.

How to Avoid It: Before setting up your Christmas tree, remember to put down a tree mat. It helps in holding water, thus protecting your floors against spills. It also traps and collects fallen pine needles, allowing you to clean the floor more easily.

Winter can cause considerable damage to the hardwood flooring in your Mississauga home. Now that you know about winter damage and how to avoid it, you will be able to protect your hardwood flooring and maintains its shine and beauty for years to come. If your hardwood flooring is already damaged or its gloss is fading, make sure you contact Super Choice. Our flooring experts will attend to your concerns immediately and find out the best solutions to maintain the shine and durability of your hardwood flooring.

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