How to Protect Your Floors in the Winter

wood floorsI love my apartment. It’s cozy, warm, and full of character. The molding around the walls is beautifully intricate and antique and the dark oak details and hand painted tiles in the kitchen make me smile just thinking about them. But, most of all, I love my hardwood floors. I have hardwood floors in every room and they are in amazing condition, especially considering the age of my building. However, with this winter’s “polar vortex”, my beautiful floors are suffering through the snow, ice and salt my dog and I drag in.

So, outside of covering my floors entirely and cleaning constantly, how can I protect my beautiful floors from winter damage? I was curious, so I looked up some tips. If you’re having the same issue as I am, keep reading because this post is for you.

Water is a wood floor’s worst enemy. Not only will it leave water stains and diminish the beauty, but it can actually warp the wood which can lead to mold which is a nightmare.  So, your first priority is to minimize the amount of moisture you are bringing in from outside.

The easiest thing to do is to remove your shoes before entering your home. This is easy to do when you’re alone, but it can be difficult when you have guests over and impossible when you have service men and women (or movers!) coming to do a job. Sidenote: Movers should be well-equipped with materials to protect your floors.

Seeing as how you won’t be able to control everyone’s shoes, keep a bristly mat outside your front door to help pull the mud, salt and stones from the grooves in shoes. Then, inside, have a plush mat that can absorb moisture to keep your guests shoes as dry as possible before walking into your home.

Though it would be great to train your dog to wipe its paws before entering the house, it’s unlikely. Keep a towel by your front door to wipe your pet’s feet after each walk. If your floors do get wet, try and wipe up the moisture as soon as possible to prevent damage.

Depending on your budget and or homeowner status, you may want to take this a step further. You can hire a professional to lay a protective coat sealant over your floors that will minimize the damage that winter weather can cause.

I know this seems like common sense, but I’m willing to bet there are tons of people out there who are as unaware of water damage as I was. I used to mop my floors regularly not taking the extra time to dry up any dampness left behind. Little did I know that I was causing more harm than good!

When you love your home, you want to take exceptional care of it. A little extra time goes a long way to preserving your floors.