Every year residents in southeastern Wisconsin optimistically throw open their doors when the snow melts and green shoots start to emerge, somewhat forgetful of the undesirable outdoor elements that are quickly tracked inside. Families with children and/or pets are particularly at risk for massive indoor mud deposits, virtually impossible to avoid in the home’s main living spaces and corridors. The best way to minimize the dirt and mud that is spread throughout your home is to plan ahead for the annual spring assault.
Snow melt on compacted ground, which is slowly thawing as the grass awakens from its winter slumber, means pooling water mixed with loose top soil, or mud puddles. Even the most diligently manicured luxury custom home in the Lake Country area is host to muddy grounds; large or small grounds make no difference, as they will instantly coat shoes and paws. Be prepared for Mud Season (which seems to have dragged out since January) by arming the entry-points with tricks & tools that will keep the mud from further invading your home:
- Have cleaning tools handy by each entrance: a simple bottle of all-purpose cleaner, some rags and towels and maybe a stiff brush, stashed strategically in a closet, drawer or bench, can tackle wet and dirty feet, coats, etc.
- Umbrella stands: to have and to hold, wet and dry
- Stiff bristle/ textured doormats on the stoop, washable doormats, a rug inside the door; have them regularly cleaned for maximum effect and visual appeal.
- Ornamental foot scraper mounted by door: there are many types of attractive and practical foot and boot scrapers, some antiquated in design, adding a unique decorative element, but all very effective in their job.
- Roll up or cover delicate and valuable rugs and runners when not entertaining; the less valuable carpets are exposed to cleaning agents, the better. Plus, that’s not to mention the less time & effort expended by the homeowner…
- Dog owners should always have one or two spare pet gates (adjustable, portable, not permanent) that are kept handy. While muddy paws can get wiped, soggy dogs freely roaming the house immediately add smell, dampness and dirt to upholstery. An erected gate to create a smaller area for pets while they dry keeps them away from furniture and carpeting and simultaneously happier than being locked in the garage.
- A shoe receptacle: there are many ways to store shoes near the entrance, either hidden or in plain view. There are many attractive shoe racks that can be subtly placed under a bench or elsewhere; the advantage of it being in sight is that it encourages guests to take their shoes off rather than track in dirt! For family, keep a bin of house-only shoes handy to slip on.
The most important thing to do when tracking in mud, along with all the tricks above, is to clean it up as quick as possible. Keeping your custom home and floors clean during these wet, muddy months is a challenge. Staying on top of it can keep the mess to a minimum.