Monthly Archives: April 2017

5 Floors that Can Handle Water (& spring cleaning tips that keep them looking great!)

one muddy boot and spring mudApril showers bring May flowers—and puddles, mud, and all the other messiness that comes with spring.  If you’re in the market for a floor that can handle all the spring messes (plus spills, wet paws, muddy footprints, etc.) our rainy weather can dish out, we’ve compiled a list of floors that are easy-to-clean (especially for muddy foot and paw prints), durable, and look great—no matter what kind of water gets tracked in.

luxury vinyl_showroomLuxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl is the perfect floor for a high traffic area that gets a lot of muddy footprints.  Many of these floors look like wood, but do not have the traditional wood floor problem of water damage from sitting water.  If you do get muddy footprints or water tracked in, just use a cloth or dry mop to clean up the mess.  Luxury vinyl planks floors can also be installed as a do-it-yourself project if you’re handy.

Tile

tile flooring in entryway with front table and lampPorcelain tile is water, odor, and mildew resistant; the perfect recipe for a flooring that can withstand water.  Tile floors are also a great buffer for your wood floors.  Install tile floors in your entryways and mudrooms so you can “catch” all the water and mud that gets tracked in before it hits your wood floors. As an added perk, radiant heating can be installed under floors which keeps them warm to the toes and dries out any water tracked in.

Laminate floors

installing luxury vinyl plank in a basmentLaminate floors are incredibly durable and easy-to-clean, which is why they are ideal for spaces where the mud and rain is tracked in.  There is one note of caution: while laminate floors can take the mud and wet footprints, be careful with standing water.  Standing water on laminate floors can warp the floors, so make sure you clean it up promptly.

Sheet Vinyl

Sheet vinyl can handle water, even a foot of water.  That’s right we’ve seen sheet vinyl floors that have survived a flood and still look great.  Because there no seams, homeowners with sheet vinyl floors don’t have to worry about water damage from moisture seeping in between the planks.  Today’s sheet vinyl floors also come in a variety of styles that look great.

 

Tips to keep your floors looking great during spring

Use rugs for décor and a catch-all for mud and water.

If you don’t want water and mud tracked in, use rugs to catch all the water, gravel, and debris that gets tracked in.  Place a wide rug or long runner by each door to give your guests (and pets) a place to clean off their feet before they come in.

Leave your shoes at the door.

Once you (and your guests) walk in, take off your shoes and ask your guests to remove their shoes as well.  If you do leave your shoes on when you come in, clean your shoes off as well as you can.  Train your pets to stop at the door so you can clean their paws off before they leave muddy footprints across the floor.

Regularly sweep or dry mop your floor.

To prevent scratches and keep your floor looking great, regularly sweep or dry mop your floor.  A regular sweep picks up small debris that can scratch your floor and keeps stains from setting in.

Ask before you clean.

When you have new floors installed, don’t assume that you can use the same cleaners on the new floor as you did on the old one.  Some cleaners can damage your new floor and void your warranty.  If you have any questions about cleaners, ask the experts at your local flooring store to make sure you use approved cleaners that remove the spring messes and remove the stains.

Deep clean (or schedule) a deep cleaning periodically.

A regular sweeping isn’t enough; give your floor a regular deep clean (or schedule an appointment to get your floors deep cleaned) to keep your floor looking like the mud of spring never was (or at least never was in your house).

7 Ways to Find Relief from Spring Allergies in Your Home

Woman With Allergy sneezing From Flowers and winter indoor allergiesIt’s the time of year that allergy sufferers dread: spring (and summer!).  While everyone else looks forward to spending time outside in the warm temperatures, allergy sufferers look forward to all the symptoms that come with seasonal allergies: sneezing, wheezing, runny noses, and congestion.  There is hope for relief from those annoying symptoms: use these tips to make your home as much of a “hay allergy free” zone as possible.

Designate an area where you can remove the allergens.

Allergens stick to your clothes; that’s why pet-free homes inevitably have pet dander in the ducts.  To keep seasonal allergens out of your home, choose a room where you can leave your clothes (a mud room or laundry room) as soon as you walk in the house.  Launder your clothes as soon as possible to keep yourself from sneezing and wheezing.

Choose your vacuum carefully.

To pick up any allergens that make it into your home, buy an allergy sensitive vacuum.  Choose a vacuum with a HEPA filter or double bag to ensure that you can vacuum the allergens that do come into your house away.

Thoroughly clean all your hard floors.

Allergens are everywhere, even on your hardwood and tile floors.  Use these tips to get your wood floors deep cleaned (or hire the pros to give you a thorough clean without causing any damage).

Clean your ducts.

As the old saying goes, “what comes around, goes around.”  If you have a forced air system, any allergens that come in continually re-circulate though your home’s air ducts every time your heat or air conditioner runs. Contact a professional duct cleaning company to rid your ducts, and your indoor air, of all those annoyingly common indoor allergens.

Select your furnace filter carefully.

Your furnace filter should be replaced every few months.  Cheaper air filters trap dust, a common allergen, but not much beyond that.  If you have allergies, purchase a furnace filter with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) next time you shop.  Furnace filters with high MERVs do not allow finer particles to pass, effectively removing allergens from the air. If you choose a filter with a high MERV (the max is 16), contact a HVAC professional because these filters can put too much pressure on your furnace fan and possibly damage your furnace.

Give your carpets a professional deep clean.

It’s incredibly tempting to head to your local store and rent a carpet cleaner to rid your home of any outdoor allergens. If you want to completely purge your home of allergens, take your carpet cleaning a step farther: contact a professional carpet cleaner. A professional carpet cleaning goes above and beyond a regular vacuum or a rental carpet cleaner.  A professional carpet cleaner removes allergens and dirt from your carpets.  To make sure you’re regularly removing the allergens, set a regular carpet cleaning schedule annually or biannually.

Keep your home’s humidity low.

Rooms with a humidity level above 50 percent can breed mold, mildew and dust mites, making you sneeze inside—adding to your misery after sneezing outside from your hay allergies.  Use a humidistat to monitor your room’s humidity level.  If your humidity level is above 50%, use a dehumidifier to lower your home’s humidity.

Your Top-to-Bottom Home Spring Cleaning Checklist

kitchen after using spring cleaning checklistThe weather in Wisconsin can finally be classified as spring, which means it’s time to give your home the deep clean that comes with warmer temperatures.  It’s finally time for a good spring cleaning.  To help you get your home completely cleaned before spring turns into summer, we’ve given you a complete spring cleaning checklist that ensures your home gets cleaned from top to bottom (if you do have any questions when you get to the bottom—the floor—ask us or use these tips to make sure your floors are cleaned well).

Every room

___Remove spider webs.

___Clean duct and air return covers.

___Dust ceiling fans and wash light fixture coverings.

___Clean the windows.

___Clean the tracks, screens, and interior parts of windows.

___Dust trim and crown moldings.

___Have your carpets professionally cleaned.

___Deep clean hardwood floors (make it an appointment to have your wood floors professionally cleaned or use these tips on how to clean your wood floors here).

___Clean blinds and curtains.

___Shake out all rugs.

___Have your area rugs professionally cleaned.

Kitchen

___Clean the top of cabinets.

___Wash the top & front of your refrigerator.

___Remove & clean shelves in your refrigerator.

___Clean and vacuum behind the refrigerator.

___Wipe down your vent hood and clean any screens.

___Clean the backsplash.

___Wash your kitchen walls.

___Wipe down exterior of appliances.

___Clean behind your stove.

___Clean your oven.

___Mop the floors.

___Clean grout (if you have tile floors).

Bathroom

___Clean light fixtures and fans.

___Scrub tile grout around shower and on floor.

___Wash the walls.

Bedroom

___Wash all bed linens.

___Flip mattress.

___Dust bed frame and all furniture.

___Vacuum behind furniture.

___Have carpets professionally cleaned.

___Deep clean hardwood floors (make it an appointment to have your wood floors professionally cleaned or use these tips on how to clean your wood floors here).