We don’t mean to squash any residual cheer you may be feeling from the holidays, but with Christmas and other year-end happenings behind us, spring is actually not just around the corner. While many of us may be dreaming of getting outdoors and enjoying warm weather activities, the truth is that winter is just getting underway.
Here in the Four Corners, the chilly season can be tough on floors. We’ve researched some chores you may want to take care of right now to give all your underfoot surfaces the maintenance they currently need, as well as a head start toward looking great when warmer weather does arrive.
Whether you have wood, laminate, or vinyl flooring, it’s sure to take a beating this season. Mud, snowmelt, fireplace soot, and dust trapped indoors all end up on the floor. Your plan of action should include as much protection as possible and an aggressive cleaning routine.
- Protection: Southwest Colorado floors benefit from floor mats at every door—that much is obvious. But do you have boot scrapers outside and shoe trays inside too? And clean slippers or shoes by the door to change into? Remember, along with dirt and moisture, winter footgear may track in chemicals from snow melt crystals. According to the National Capital Poison Center, the ingredients don’t usually cause problems, but children and pets who spend time on the floor can experience skin or mouth irritation and worse if contact is extensive.
- Cleaning: Vacuum hard surfaces frequently in winter to eliminate dirt and chemicals and help stop marring. Damp mop often, and use a gentle cleaner that’s made for the type of flooring you have at least once a month.
Carpeting really needs your attention in winter. Everything that lands on hard surfaces also ends up on your carpets and rugs. Here, unwanted debris can get trapped for much longer. It’s a good idea to vacuum often, and you can also sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, wait a few minutes, then vacuum it up to refresh your home. The more hours your family spends indoors, the more you’ll want your carpeting to contribute to a healthy environment.
Tile and Stone
Tile, slate, stone, and marble can be great choices for entry areas and mud rooms, but when dirt and snow are tracked in, they can easily take on a dull appearance. Frequent cleaning will keep them looking bright and help them last longer too.
Sweep or vacuum these surfaces often. When more cleaning is needed, a solution of warm water mixed with a mild detergent, vinegar, or lemon juice works well. HGTV cautions you not to use a sponge mop that can push dirty water into grout and discolor it. A rag mop or chamois is a better choice, the network says.
If you have extra time on your hands, you might want to put grout cleaning on your to-do list this winter. HGTV has suggestions you can read up on, whether your grout has deep, stubborn stains or just looks grimy.
New Flooring for Spring
If you’ve had it with your existing flooring, winter is an ideal time to choose new materials and schedule installation. Let one of our HBASC members help you out!
Visit our membership directory and connect with member companies listed under Floor Laying and Floor Coverings. These Southwest Colorado professionals can steer you through the many options and assist you in making good choices for your home. And, because these companies are members of the HBASC community, you can be sure they are respected for their work by other building industry leaders in the Durango area.
Questions? Suggestions? Contact us and we’ll get back to you.