May 18, 2023
Winter can bring beautiful landscapes, much needed snow days, and holiday cheer for many people. Unfortunately for your floors, the winter months can be a high stress time.
Damage caused by snow melting material and flooring gaps caused by excess moisture being tracked in under boots are good reasons to look into extra protection for your beautiful hardwood floors. And as one of the top flooring companies in the area, one of our biggest concerns is the needs of our customers. We want you to enjoy your flooring for years to come.
Part of making that possible is helping you care for your flooring and protect it from damage. We understand just how much stress different types of flooring can take. Here’s how to prevent flooring disasters and keep your carpets, tile, wood, and other flooring safe and clean all winter long.
Carpet Protection & Care
- Place doormats/rugs at all entrances into your home so your family and visitors can wipe their feet right away. Be sure to clean them off regularly so they actually get the job done!
- Maintain a regular vacuuming schedule to avoid letting dirt and dust find a permanent home in your carpets.
- Invest in waterproof carpet or apply a stain protectant coating to your existing carpets. These will help minimize normal wear and tear while protecting your carpets from liquids that might get spilled on them.
- If you have pets that go outdoors, keep a towel or wipes by the door to clean off their paws before letting them back in the house.
Tile Protection & Care
- Maintain a regular cleaning schedule to keep your flooring looking its best all season long. This should include sweeping and mopping as needed.
- For tiles, some ceramic and porcelain tiles are rated for outdoor use in freezing temperatures and make great surfaces for your outdoor living area as well as your indoor area. Become familiar with the specifications of your tile in wet and cold conditions and follow manufacturer directions for proper installation.
- Tile does a great job repelling damage. It resists etching from harsh chemicals and is easy to clean up when those chemicals do make their way in. Your grout is more susceptible to damage from chemicals than your tile is. Simply apply a sealer or wax to your grout and/or tile to protect your floor and you shouldn’t have to worry about it all winter.
Hardwood/Cork/Laminate Protection & Care
Snow melting salt products can leave a white, abrasive residue that can seriously damage your hardwood floors. Using traditional mops and buckets will pick up some of the salty residue, but never really get the floors dry. Ensure that you use the correct floor cleaner that is recommended for your type of flooring.
- Wipe up spills, drips, and other messes as quickly as possible to avoid letting the liquids soak into the wood.
- Place rugs down in hallways or other frequently trafficked areas (if you don’t already have them out). This will help reduce the stress put on your flooring. Plus, should any liquids get tracked in or spilled on your floors, rugs will help reduce the risk of slips and falls (as tile and laminate can be very slippery at times!)
- Maintain the proper humidity levels in your home. Hardwood can shrink or expand depending on the humidity in your home—making it more likely to warp or be damaged in another way. As we turn up heaters more prominently in the winters, this can dry out the air in your home even further. It’s especially important to control the humidity during the winter.
- Do you see gaps between your floorboards? Cooler temperatures and lower humidity in winter reduce the moisture in your home, which causes wood to shrink. To avoid shrinkage, run a humidifier to maintain the right level of humidity and keep your thermostat set at a temperature your floors can withstand.
- Consider a no-shoes policy to protect your floors from not just dirt and winter elements, but from scratches and excess wear and tear from heels, skid marks, and heavy winter soles.
Vinyl (Sheet Vinyl/LVT) Protection & Care
- Vinyl flooring, especially luxury vinyl plank, is the best choice for winter defense. Luxury vinyl flooring is extremely water-resistant and it has a hard, durable wear layer. The tough wear layer will resist scratching and scuffing and gives you more time to remove harmful chemicals. While it is not 100% impervious to winter stresses, luxury vinyl planks and tiles will do their job holding up under physical stress and wet conditions, which gives you time to clean up moisture and prevent damage.
Overall, the best advice? Sweep and clean your floors regularly.
Sweeping your floors frequently during winter is your best defense against scratches from small particles and debris. Those leftover bits of snow from the most recent snowball fight may look cute now, but as soon as they melt they make puddles. Puddles are a problem for many different types of flooring. They warp wood, get absorbed by stone, and can cause a hazard. Clean puddles of water from melting snow or ice immediately to avoid permanent damage to your floors. Use a towel to absorb the moisture, mop the area, and then dry it completely. Be careful not to scratch the floors if you see salt in the water.