While we all detest Old Man Winter, he will return every single year, wreaking havoc on our lives with bitter cold, cloudy days, and snow – lots and lots of snow.
But do you know what he also does between December and March? He makes a lot of mess.
In our quest to enjoy the outdoors, we will embark upon a wintery journey, bringing back snow, mud, salt, and ice to our humble abodes. And that’s bad news for your interior décor..
Simply put: Be prepared to destroy your hardwood floors in the wintertime. Is it an inevitability? It doesn’t have to be!
Here are five tips to protect your hardwood floor this winter:
1. Don’t Walk Inside with Shoes On
Obviously, when you go out in the winter with your shoes on, you will be tracking snow, ice, mud, and everything else in between. Indeed, walking during the first snowfall is spectacular, but once Old Man Winter lingers on, those ventures outside are not as fun.
And you don’t want to bring that misery inside your home.
Many households don’t have this rule, and if you have yet to adopt it, then you should right now: Don’t walk inside with your shoes on.
If you do, then be prepared for the damage and mess that will inflict your hardwood flooring.
2. Lay Down Mats in Popular Areas
One of the best ways to shield your hardwood floors from the treacherous conditions of winter is lay down mats in popular areas. While you have already instituted the No Shoe Rule, you still need a place where someone can come in and take their boots off.
Moreover, by laying down various mats across popular areas of the home, you protect your floors from a whole host of problems, ranging from cat paw scratches to your babies ruining the floors with toys.
3. Clean Your Floors Regularly
Let’s face it: Our lives are too busy to spend time cleaning our floors. From dropping off and picking up kids from school to playing a game of gin rummy with the boys, reality suggests we can’t do the simple things in life, like sweep and mop the floor.
Well, if you have invested in new floors, then you better make time, otherwise your investment will be flushed down the toilet.
Ultimately, every couple of days or so, you should sweep the floor. Then, once or twice a week, you should mop the floor. Then, once a year, you should wax the floors.
That’s how you keep your investment in pristine condition.
4. Mind the Gaps
It is typical during the winter months to crank up the heat and see the humidity in the air decline. As a result, floors will react to these conditions, which typically means there will be cracks or gaps between the planks.
When the heat is blasting throughout the winter and the air is dry, there will be a contraction and expansion in the wood. There’s nothing you can really do for it, except accept it and move on.
5. Wipe Down Fido’s Paws
Your dog will attract a lot of dirt from his or walk and journey through creeks. The results? Messy floors. This is the reality of having pets in your home.
Before your little fido returns home, heads to the bowl, and stuffs his face full of kibble, you need to do one thing: wipe down the animal’s paws. This is a simple task that doesn’t require a lot of effort, and it will pay dividends with hardwood floors in mint condition. Or, you know, as mint as they could be with three kids, two dogs, a cat, and in-laws constantly over.
A huge investment you will make in your home every decade or so is your hardwood floor, which is far more attractive than carpets installed all over the home that are engulfed in bacteria.
So, don’t let your $10,000 go to waste by not cleaning your floors, by allowing your dog to run wild after burying itself in mud, and by not employing preventative measures like mats. You might not have the energy at this point, but it’s a worthwhile pursuit.