Winter is upon us and unless you live in a place like Florida we shouldn’t need to remind you of that fact. What wintertime brings can do a great deal of damage to your beautiful reclaimed wood floor. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will hopefully help you keep your floor looking as good as new.

Winter means snow and chances are some of that snow will be brought into your home. Whether it is walking from your car to your front door or with kids out playing in the snow, it will get in. It is a good idea for everyone to wipe their feet thoroughly on a mat when they are coming into the house. Place one at all entrances into the home. Make sure the kids understand why they need to do this so hopefully it will be in the back of their mind when they come in from building a snowman or from the great snowball battle. And parents, make sure you set a good example for them and wipe your shoes off.

Water can be the greatest hazard to your floor. It can get into cracks and cause all kinds of damage. Cleaning it up can potentially damage the finish on the floor if not done correctly. There are also all kinds of pollutants and harmful substances that can potentially come along with it, so leaving it sit on the floor is not really a good option.

Harmful substances you say? Yes. Many states use a salt brine to treat roads and prevent ice from forming. It has been in use for over a decade in many places and is causing all kinds of damage to cars. The salt brine activates chemically when it comes into contact with water and begins eating away at metal and continues on as it becomes salt water. It has been shown to be harmful to vegetation along the sides of the roads where it has been used. And you could potentially be bringing it into your home on your shoes.

As an aside, some states are beginning to use other substances like beet brine or cheese brine (guess where, in Wisconsin) that are much less harmful to vegetation but work better at lower temperatures. Either way, you don’t want to bring this into your home.