In temperate climates, there are a few weeks each year during the freeze and thaw cycle while winter turns to spring that turns terra firma into mud. Family, guests, and pets can’t avoid tracking sand, mud, road salt, and grit all over your floors. Denver hardwood floors suffer from the tramp of muddy shoes across their surfaces. Here’s how you can keep your floors clean without stripping them of their natural beauty.
Take off your shoes. Common in some cultures, some people can be a bit reserved when asked to remove their shoes before entering the house. A thoughtful host keeps boot trays, shelves, or racks where people can deposit their dirty shoes and a basket of clean, soft-soled slippers in a variety of sizes. Be forewarned that some folks with noxious foot odor may be very reluctant to comply. Pets, of course, can’t comply.
Put a rug on the entry floor. Lay down a large, sturdy door mat upon which people can wipe their dirty shoes--preferably before they take off their shoes. Depending on just how muddy it gets and the number of people tromping through your home, you may need more than one rug. That way, one can be cleaned while the other is in use. Since dogs (and some people) find wiping their feet to be a foreign concept, it might also help to keep a stash of old towels or microfiber cloths near the door to wipe off muddy paws (and shoes).
Use a different entry. If you have another entry that’s floored with tile (e.g., ceramic or vinyl) or opens into a mudroom, designate that as the main entry during mud season. Tile can take the grit and traffic during mud season better than wood.
Wax the floors. If you didn’t apply a protective finish to your floors before winter, then you’ll have to wait until after mud season. If you did, then you’re ahead of the game and keeping those lovely hardwood floors clean will be easier.
But it is mud season and your hardwood floors will suffer for it. That means you’ll have to apply some extra elbow grease to keep those floors in good shape.
Because dried mud, sand, and road salt are abrasive, you’ll need to sweep frequently to protect the finish of your hardwood floors. It may be best to use a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth to lift the grit from the surface rather than a broom to avoid further damage from the sandpaper effect of sweeping. If you use a cleaning agent other than water to dampen that cloth, be sure it’s appropriate for your floors to avoid stripping the finish.
If your hardwood floors weren’t waxed before winter or you haven’t been diligent in caring for them, mud season may leave dirt ingrained into the surface. Ground-in dirt oftentimes cannot be swept, vacuumed, mopped, or scrubbed clean: your floor will require refinishing. Luckily, there’s a professional Denver hardwood refinishing contractor who will take care of that for you.The professionals at TBG Flooring will restore your hardwood floor to gleaming beauty, which will surely be a wonderful change from the dirt and mess of mud season. Call TGB Flooring at (303) 738-9910 or contact us to schedule a consultation and get a free estimate.