For many San Diegans, weather in the low 60s is simply too cold, and come fall, homeowners throughout the county start cranking up their heaters to create a toasty warm environment inside. Although we’re all about cozy comfort at home, have you ever wondered how the cold weather and your heating system could be damaging your stunning hardwood floors?

The cold weather brings along dry air which can cause hardwood floors to shrink, gap and even crack. Plus, turning up your heat removes additional moisture from the floors, further aggravating the problem. In many parts of the country, this type of seasonal shrinking is normal and expected; however sometimes the size change of your floorboards can be so severe that they start to creak loudly.

What can you do to prevent your hardwoods from creaking? A quick flooring fix is to sprinkle baby powder, baking soda or powdered graphite over the floorboard that is creaking. You can then work the powder into the seams, allowing it to lubricate the wood. It may take a few applications, but the powder should create a barrier between the floorboards so they do not rub against each other and creak.

Another option that helps prevent hardwoods from creaking is a humidifier, an investment that many homeowners find well worth it. Humidifiers monitor the relative humidity levels of your home and reintroduce moisture when humidity drops below a certain point. They can be directly installed into your central or existing heating and cooling system, resulting in an easy and convenient way to maintain your hardwoods.

Whole house humidifiers are preferred by an overwhelming majority of homeowners with hardwood floors because they not only helps protect floors, they offer health benefits! Dry air from the cold can result in dry noses, cracked and itchy skin, as well as sore throats. For some San Diegans, allergies, asthma and cold symptoms can also become aggravated. A humidifier will help remove the home of dry air, making it more comfortable for those living inside.

Looking for other fall floor maintenance tips? Contact us today! As the experts in hardwood, tile, laminate, vinyl and carpet in San Diego, you can rest assured we’ll be able to help you with any of your flooring needs. If you’re thinking about installing new floors, we can also help guide you through the process and determine when the best season to install will be. For a free estimate, call us at 760-945-0010 and speak with a flooring specialist.