Are Salt and Snow Damaging Your Hardwood Floors?

snow covered boots
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During winter, salt and snow are common elements that may come into contact with your prized hardwood floors. As harmless as they may seem, these two substances can negatively affect the appearance and longevity of hardwood. Understanding the composition of de-icing salt and how it affects your floors, along with knowing some preventive measures and cleaning tips, is vital to keep your hardwood in tip-top shape for a long time.

Why Are Snow and Salt Bad for Hardwood Floors?

When salt and snow enter your home by means of shoes or a pet’s paws, these substances can affect the appearance and life span of your hardwood floors. Ice melt salt damages hardwood due to the following features:

  • Rough, sharp texture: Winter salts have jagged textures that can easily scratch the floor and taint the wood’s appearance.
  • Corrosive chemicals: Salts used on roads have harsh chemicals that may act as floor strippers, removing the wood’s protective finish.

Snow can also affect your floors by staining them and causing them to warp.

What Chemicals Are in Ice Melt Salt?

Most de-icing salt products contain a combination of sodium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and urea. These chemicals create significant pH levels that are on par with other harmful chemicals used in most floor-stripping products. As a result, this salt can damage your wood floors.

How to Clean Snow and Get Salt Off Hardwood Floors

When salt breaks down, it leaves a white film residue upon drying. You can neutralize the residue in several ways, including:

  • Dampen a soft cloth and wipe off the residue in a circular motion.
  • Dilute a cup of vinegar in a gallon of warm water and use it to clean the floor if the white film remains visible. Buff the area softly and dry the section immediately.
  • Pick a floor-cleaning product. Before you clean the entire area, test a small section first.

While it’s relatively easy to clean snow and salt off hardwood, prevention is still the key to your floor’s longevity. Protect your hardwood floors by placing mats at your home’s entrance. Keep boots and other footwear away from the floor and store them in a designated section instead.

District Floor Depot Can Help With Your Flooring Needs

As your one-stop shop for all flooring requirements, District Floor Depot offers premium hardwood replacements for salt-damaged wood floors. We provide a variety of styles that we can tailor to your demands. Enjoy our in-home consultation, fast delivery and seamless installation for your next project when you contact our flooring experts today.

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