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Dealing With Three Common Winter Hazards For Your Hardwood Floors

by Sara Cook

With winter weather upon us, the myriad of threats to your hardwood flooring can be baffling. Everyone seeks refuge indoors, which brings all of the outdoor threats in to wreak havoc on your hardwood. Here's a look at a few things that you'll want to watch out for as you take care of your floors this winter.

Pets

Since household pets typically spend more time indoors than out during the winter, it increases the chances of accidents in the house. Animal urine can develop damaging bacteria that will ruin the finish on the flooring and potentially discolor the wood. Clean up any animal accidents immediately for the best chance of protecting the floor from damage.

Party Guests

The winter season is a time for gatherings, but while you're celebrating the holidays with your friends and family, you'll also be putting your floors at risk of damage. The increased traffic on the floors can bring dirt, dust and other threats that will scratch and wear the surface of the wood. Reduce the risk of this by placing large mats at the door to catch dirt and other debris. Encourage guests to wipe their shoes before coming in.

You'll also want to watch out for spills, which are nearly an inevitability when you have a gathering. Wipe spills up with a damp cloth, then use a dry mop on the whole surface immediately after the party. The dry mop will clean up any residual debris or moisture.

Rock Salt

Rock salt is commonly used during the winter months to melt ice and keep the roadways safe. Even if you don't use it on your driveway and walkways, it's likely been used on the sidewalks and other common areas by the city utility personnel. That rock salt can be devastating on your wood floors.

Rock salt granules can leave a hazy film and spotty finish on your floors, and over time the salt will erode the finish of the wood. Make sure that you check your shoes carefully before coming inside to avoid tracking salt into the house at all.

With the right care and attention, you can get your hardwood floors through the winter without suffering much major damage. The tips presented here will help you to protect them from some of the most common hazards, but you can also reach out to your hardwood flooring sales and service specialist (such as one from Montana Carpet Brokers) for more information about preserving that finish. 

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