Leave Frosty Outside
Ask family and guests to leave their show covered shoes at the door. Sorry, Frosty! Having a place for shoes by the door on a waterproof mat or in a designated storage place helps to minimize the amount of snow, salt and other debris that is tracked in during winter months. Using rugs and runners throughout the house also helps to protect hardwood, carpet, tile and more from water and salt damage.
Say No to Salt and Snow
For those that forget to take off their boots (and the furry friends that don’t wear them), sweeping your floors frequently is your best defense to clean up salt and snow to prevent damage to your flooring. Not only does no one like wet socks, no one likes water-damaged floors – all the more reason to make sure puddles of water from melting snow or ice are cleaned up to avoid permanent damage like buckling to your flooring or pesky stains in your carpeting. Absorb the puddles with a clean towel, mop or vacuum the area, and then dry your floors completely. Salt from outdoors and other particles can scratch floorings like hardwood and tile and cause carpet discoloration, so make sure to sweep up any debris tracked into your home this season.
Lay Off the Thermostat
Keep the family cozy, but try to resist cranking up your home’s temperature to 90 degrees. For hardwood flooring, high temperatures in the home causes moisture which makes wood shrink, which is when unappealing gaps between floorboards form. Even though hardwood floorboards are installed to accommodate minor temperature and humidity fluctuations (typically 60-80 degrees with a relative humidity range of 35-55 percent), dramatic changes can cause irreversible damage. Keep your thermostat set at a temperature your floors can withstand. Gaps, splits and cracks are all products of dramatic changes if heat or humidity. A humidifier is also great for decreasing humidity in your home.
Don’t Bring Stains into the New Year
You will be the guardian of your floors in 2018, so leave 2017’s stains behind. For wood floors, professional cleaning products can be used to remove tough stains and spills without dulling the finish. Different manufacturers recommend their own specific products for routine maintenance. For carpet stains, use a spot removal solvent approved by The Carpet and Rug Institute of America. Learn more about how to keep your carpet’s color and texture looking fresh, and about the ways to keep all of the different flooring types clean and great looking.
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