The holiday season is in full swing. And with that come parties and gatherings and weather… all over the floors of your home. It really is the toughest time of year to keep your floors clean. Here I’ll address the top 3 seasonal issues for 3 types of floors we commonly see in the Saint Louis region.
Don’t let ice and snow melt or party spills sit on your hardwood floors. Excessive moisture, even from just a few ice cubes, can damage the wood underneath over time. I keep an old bath towel by the door to wipe up rain/snow/ice that my kids or guests track inside. Also, invest in a hard plastic shoe tray for wet boots to dry.
- Heel damage
Parties bring in stiletto heels, which are particularly damaging to wood flooring. While it is hard to dictate other people’s footwear, you can control your own. Wait to put on high-heeled shoes until you are out of the home, or limit wear to just inside the door. High heels exert more psi on a wood floor than an elephant!
- Moisture (again)
Okay, I know I already said this one, but this time I am talking about too little moisture in your home. Wood floors in our St. Louis region are very susceptible to shrinkage in the winter. The dry air can be combated with a whole-home humidifier. Interestingly, having a party with a bunch of people breathing out moistened air is good for the floor, too! #science
- Foot traffic
Dirty shoes tracking in the mud and snow from outside is hard on carpeting; especially if the fibers aren’t treated to resist staining. But the answer isn’t to go barefoot. Wearing clean socks around the house is the best way to keep carpets clear of dirt from our shoes and oil from our skin (skin oils on your carpet actually attract more dirt!).
With the holidays come acidic spills like red wine and coffee. Acid is part of the carpet color dying process, making these spills hardest to remove. No matter the fiber, the goal is to clean up spills ASAP. While some fibers and/or fiber treatments are more forgiving than others, all carpets will need to be blotted, not scrubbed. Due to wicking, you may have to come back to it again later. My go-to carpet cleaning solution is 2–3 tablespoons of powdered Tide (not HD) to 1 gallon of water. Mix it up and spray it on the spill. Be sure to test any new cleaning solution in a hidden place before applying.
- Moisture (again!)
I know, I know, MOISTURE!!! But, you have to be careful about letting too much moisture sit on your carpet. Carpet padding without a moisture barrier can soak up odors and even wick stains back into the carpet fibers from below.
Extra holiday traffic can bring to life problems that have been lurking below. Cracked tile is almost ALWAYS a sign of improper installation from the beginning. There is no easy fix here, call a professional in to take a look.
Spills can dry onto the tile and be tough to remove. Try a drop of Dawn soap with warm water for spot control. They are also products on the market for removing scuff marks.
- Dirty grout
The biggest issue in tile is dirty grout, especially in high traffic areas. I like to make a paste of Dawn soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide and put it in a squeeze bottle. You can just squeeze it out onto the grout, scrub it with an old toothbrush and wipe it away.
Hopefully these tips will get you through the holidays with your floors intact. If you still need help getting or keeping your floors in tiptop condition, call Champion Floor Company in Saint Louis.
Read More About Hardwood Flooring: How to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking New | Hardwood Vs Other Flooring | Hardwood Flooring & Home Value | What You Need to Know About Hardwood Flooring Installation | Carpet Tiles St. Louis