Winters are rough here in upstate New York, and with those winters comes snow, slush and salt. Tracking in those wintry elements can dull the finish on wooden floors and even lead to warping. Luckily damage to your hardwood floors can be avoided with some preventative measures and proper cleaning.
Ideally everyone would take the time to knock off as much snow and ice from their shoes before entering the home. Even if that actually happened there will still be some snow and salt tracked inside. First, you want to create a space at the entryways to your home where people can come in and change out of wet clothing and shoes.
As you enter your home you should have a floor mat inside of the doorway as your first defense against tracked in snow and slush. Have an extra mat on hand so you can always have a dry mat ready, and an extra towel near the doorway to clean up any water that is not caught by the floor mat. Do not let a wet floor mat stay on your floor as it will most definitely damage your hardwood floor over time.
Right next to your floor mat have a tray for wet footwear to go. You can pick up trays that are specially made for footwear, but you can always improvise with a dish drain with an absorbent towel placed underneath. Consider adding a coat rack for guest coats or extra snowy gear.
Now that you have a dedicated area for your winter gear, make sure that everyone in your household makes it a habit to use it when entering the home. Even the family dog can be trained to wait at the door to have their paws wiped down, just make sure to reward their patience with a treat and some ear scratches.
During the winter season make sure to sweep and clean the the entrance way to remove salt particles and residues.The salt we use on roadways has a high PH level which can eat away at your floor’s finish. You’ll want to clean your entrance areas with a floor cleaner that has been formulated to remove salt from your floors safely and effectively. Sweeping your entrance way on a daily basis will prevent loose pieces of rock salt from scratching up hard floors.
We hope this has been helpful and informative, check back for more winter home care tips in the weeks to come.