Winter can be especially tough on hardwood flooring.  The added moisture, dirt and salt tracked into buildings because of snowy conditions can scratch, buckle and warp hardwood floorboards.  However, with a bit of forethought and preventative maintenance, you can protect your hardwood flooring from the harsh conditions.

Outdoor Doormats

Having a thick, bristled doormat outside your front door will allow people to give their shoes and boots a quick wipe and prevent them from tracking dirt and water into the building and over your hardwood.

Indoor Doormats

Similarly, a second thick and absorptive doormat inside the front door will give visitors another chance to dry their footwear before venturing on.  You might also want to consider a longer floormat leading from the door into the first few feet of the foyer.

Shoe Racks

Having a shoe rack near the front door will encourage people to take off their shoes in the first place. And once they do, any moisture or dirt will end up on the shoe rack rather than on your hardwood floors.

Clean And Maintain

Cleaning your floors regularly will prevent any dirt, salt, or moisture from settling and damaging your floors.  If you end up with any puddles on the floor, make sure to clean them up immediately.  The same goes with any small pebbles as they can lead to scratching.  Patches of salt need to be removed quickly to prevent staining or damage to the varnish.

Educate Your Family And Guests

Letting everyone know the type of shoe policy you have will help prevent floor damage in the first place.  If your family and guests know that you don’t allow shoes in the house, you will have less worry about damaging elements ending up on your hardwood floors.  At the same time, you can train your pets to wait until their paws are wiped before they enter the house.

Provide Indoor Slippers

It’s easy enough to provide slippers or floor socks for your family, but you might also want to consider placing a basket of guest slippers at your front door to allow visitors the same level of comfort when visiting.