How Does Cleveland's Winter Impact Hardwood Floors?

Read time: 3 mins

As Cleveland braces for the chill of winter, homeowners with hardwood floors face unique challenges. 

The cold weather, along with fluctuating indoor humidity and the abrasive effects of salt from snow, can take a toll on these elegant surfaces. 

This article delves into the specifics of how Cleveland's winter affects hardwood floors and provides practical tips for their maintenance and cleaning. By understanding these challenges and taking the right preventive measures, you can keep your hardwood floors in pristine condition throughout the winter months.

Understanding the Challenges

Cleveland's winter brings with it a set of conditions that can be harsh on hardwood floors:

  • Firstly, the drop in temperature often leads to reduced indoor humidity, which can cause wood to contract and lead to gaps or cracks. 
  • Secondly, the increased use of heating systems can strip away the natural moisture of the wood, making it brittle and more susceptible to damage. 
  • Lastly, the inevitable tracking in of snow and salt can leave unsightly stains and potentially damage the finish of your hardwood floors.

Regular Care and Maintenance

To combat these winter-induced challenges, regular care and maintenance of your hardwood floors are crucial. This includes:

Maintaining Indoor Humidity

Use a humidifier to keep the indoor humidity levels balanced. This helps prevent the wood from contracting and developing gaps.

Frequent Cleaning 

Regular sweeping or vacuuming of your hardwood floors is vital to remove abrasive particles like salt and sand, which can scratch the wood surface. Read Coit’s guide to cleaning and protecting your wood flooring

Immediate Spill Cleanup

Quickly addressing any spills or wet spots from snow or slush is essential to prevent water damage or staining

Contact COIT for a professional cleaning!

Preventing Salt Damage

Salt, commonly used to melt snow on sidewalks and driveways, can be particularly damaging to hardwood floors. To prevent salt damage:

  • Use Floor Mats: Place mats both outside and inside your entrances to catch as much salt and moisture as possible.
  • Promptly Remove Shoes: Encourage family members and guests to remove their shoes upon entering to prevent tracking in salt.
  • Routine Mopping: Regularly mop the floors with a damp (not wet) mop to remove any salt residue.

Managing Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature fluctuations during winter can be detrimental to hardwood floors. Here are some ways to manage this:

Consistent Heating

Avoid sudden temperature changes in your home. Gradually increasing the heat helps in maintaining the wood’s natural moisture.


Proper home insulation ensures stable indoor temperatures, which is beneficial for your hardwood floors.

Professional Cleaning and Restoration

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, hardwood floors might require professional attention. This is where Coit's professional cleaning and restoration services come into play, particularly in the winter months. These services include:

Deep Cleaning

Professional cleaning can remove deeply embedded dirt and salt residues that regular home cleaning might miss.

Restoration Services

For floors already showing signs of winter damage, restoration services can refinish and repair them, bringing back their original luster.

Final Thoughts 

Cleveland winters can be demanding on hardwood floors, but with the right care and maintenance, these challenges can be effectively managed. 

Regular cleaning, maintaining indoor humidity, and managing temperature fluctuations are key. Additionally, professional cleaning and restoration services offer an extra layer of protection and rejuvenation for your hardwood floors. 

By following these tips, you can enjoy the beauty and durability of your hardwood floors, even through the harshest Cleveland winters.

Contact COIT for a professional cleaning!


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