Wood floor owners need a preservation plan when it comes to keeping their floors in the best condition during the winter months. The plan can start in the spring and summer to transition into fall and winter.
The removal of dust and dirt is an essential step during all seasons. However, during the late summer, dust mites are at their peak. These leave behind buildups of bacteria that, although soft, can scratch hardwood floors. The first step is to vacuum or sweep dirt and dust every week. Use a dust mop or a vacuum with a floor-brush attachment to prevent damage to your floors and furniture as you clean it.
Rugs don't just make a room feel warmer and cozier; they can also help protect your floors from wear and tear. Place mats and runners at entrances and in high-traffic areas to prevent scratches and to keep wet footwear from warping the wood especially in colder months when snow is tracked in and most time is spent indoors. Avoid rugs with rubber or vinyl backing, as they can trap moisture and damage the floor's finish. Place a mat outside your home, as well as inside the entryway, where guests can wipe off their shoes. Add a shoe rack in your entry area to keep dirt, rock salt, and moisture from heavy boots from contact with your floors to protect hardwood floors and leave less mess for you to clean.
Sweeping and mopping aren't always enough to keep your wood floors free of grime. A thorough cleaning just before the winter can help maintain hardwood and keep it resistant to the elements that inevitably find their way inside. Wood floor owners can start by going over the finished wood floors with a damp mop and natural oil soap to refresh floors and preserve their shine without irritating the wood in the process. Be careful not to leave any standing water on the floor which can cause damage.