Most homeowners are aware that floors require extra care during the winter season. A variety of weather issues complicate the process of keeping homes clean, including rain, mud, snow, slush, and just the fact that when it's cold outside, people want to hurry to get inside! All of this brings in extra dirt that can actually cause floor damage, especially to your tile and grout. Tile and Grout are the easiest to maintain but there are still simple maintenance steps you can do to extend your floor’s beauty.
Even though tile and grout is the most durable of the floor surfaces, we need to keep in mind that grout can react to road salt used in the winter and certain cleaning processes not recommended by the Tile Council of North American. These simple four steps will help extend the life of any flooring in your home during the winter.
- Put an extra floor mat outside each door and inside. These mats can trap much of the moisture and dirt before it gets tracked around the home. All mats will continue to be effective if they are cleaned and emptied regularly.
- Pets can be trained to have their paws wiped and dried before they are allowed to run into the home. On some floors, muddy or wet paw prints can be seen; on floors where they can't be seen, they are still present. All paw prints can be avoided by keeping a towel nearby to the door they enter.
- Many people in various climates develop a pattern of removing shoes when they enter the house. This prevents the outside from being brought in on expensive floors. If this is not preferred, plan to clean as you go. If water or melted snow is tracked in, blot it up with the right cleaner. Once moisture has dried, dirt or sand is usually left behind and should be wiped up as soon as possible.
- When cleaning your floors check which type of cleaner is best for your floor type. Use the proper floor care that is recommended for you floor type. Throughout many homes, there is a wide variety of floor types that benefit best from varying floor cleaners. Carpets should be blotted when wet; vacuum at least once a week in high traffic areas, more during times when weather has presented extra messes. Wood floors are very resilient to traffic but can be scratched or dulled if left messy. Dirt and grit that enters on shoes and boots can act like sandpaper if it is allowed to build up on the floor. Most problems can be averted with simple cleaning habits. Tile floors have grout lines between each tile. When tile floors are first installed, the grout is supposed to be sealed. Not all home builders to this on new homes. If you have a new home a Grout Medic of Denver Technician can inspect your grout to see if it has been properly sealed. Over years of use, grout should be resealed for protection. Grout should only be cleaned with a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water. All other cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can erode your grout. Winter weather introduces water and salt into the home that can damage the grout between tiles. Sealants on the grout lines and cleaners for tile floors will help protect the beauty and durability of the floor.
Proper care and cleaning of your floors will extend the life and attractiveness of the entire home. Be careful to read all labels of cleaning products to use the best cleaner for the floor type.