If you’ve walked around your house barefoot and wondered where all the debris you keep stepping on came from, the answer might be from you. It is normal, and quite common for families to take their shoes off at the door upon entering their home for the sake of hygiene and cleanliness, but there are many families who do not follow this custom and those who don’t are likely dealing with the consequences. There are more than just a few reasons why you should be taking your shoes off at the door, and we will go through them today. 

If you are at the stage where you feel like your home could use new flooring, then it is well worth your while to reach out to the flooring professionals at Floor Country. Specializing in a number of services like flooring installation and general contracting, we are Winnipeg’s floor professionals. Contact our team to get started.

Do You Know Where Your Shoes Have Been?

Okay, well, you probably know where your shoes have been because you’re the one wearing them when you go places. What you likely don’t know is all of the bacteria that live on the soles of your shoes. A study done by Charles Gerba, a professor and microbiologist at the University of Arizona identified the transfer of bacteria from the shoes to your home’s flooring. 

The study found a large number of bacteria both on the bottom and inside of shoes; averaging 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe and 2,887 on the inside. Some bacteria found on the shoes included Escherichia coli, known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, meningitis, and diarrheal disease; Klebsiella pneumonia, a common source for wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia; and Serratia ficaria, a rare cause of infections in the respiratory tract and wounds.   

 

Bacteria Live On Shoes Longer Than Almost Anywhere Else

In the same study, the University of Arizona found that bacteria live a very long time on shoes, longer than in most other places. This could be because there is a continuous build-up of new bacteria that feeds the growth of the existing bacteria. Not only are you constantly feeding the bacteria that are on the bottom of your feet every time you wear them, you are tracking the same bacteria around your house if you are kicking your shoes off at the door. 

This might not seem like too big of an issue, after all, your feet are so far away from the rest of your body, there can’t possibly be a chance that you will be exposed to these bacteria, right? Well, it is possible to transmit germs from your footwear if you touch your shoes and then touch your face or mouth, or if you eat food that’s been dropped on the floor. It can also be a massive problem if you have children that crawl on the floor, because they pass these germs onto themselves and to you. 

 

But It’s Unlikely That You Will Get Sick

Yes, despite the fact that you do spread germs throughout your home when you wear your shoes around the house, the germs from your shoes fall pretty low on the hierarchy of potential health hazards. There are usually more important considerations, like food not being stored properly, reptiles that are potentially carrying salmonella, or other people in your home that are sick. 

 

Where Do Your Floors Come In?

Finally, we’re talking about your floors, because that’s what you were most concerned about, right? Wearing your shoes inside your home tracks the bacteria we were just talking about, but equally as important, wearing shoes around your house tracks dirt, dust, debris, leaves, and anything else that decides to stick to your shoes during your walks. 

 

Wearing Shoes Indoors Can Degrade Your Floors

If you have carpeted floors, this means more stains on your carpet, more dirt caught in your carpet, and a higher level of maintenance and upkeep to keep them clean. Furthermore, wearing shoes on your carpet can break down the carpet fibers and wear them down prematurely. Over time, you may notice that you’ve worn paths into your floors in frequently walked areas. 

Hardwood floors are particularly susceptible to shoe damage, especially when it comes to high heels and heavy shoes. The pressure of a pointed heel can create dents in wood that would need to be repaired by sanding and refinishing your floors. Softer soles, like the soles on sandals and sneakers, probably won’t dent the floor, but they can cause scratches and scuff marks if you’re not careful.

Because floors directly deal with the bottom of our feet on a daily basis, they are already on a fast track for wear and tear. Wearing shoes around your home degrades your floors at a much faster pace. Wearing soft-soled slippers or socks around your home can keep your floors cleaner and can preserve their integrity for years to come

 

Call Floor Country For High-Quality Flooring

When you invest in quality flooring, you want to do everything you can to maintain the integrity of your flooring. Whether you have laminate flooring, hardwood floors, carpet, vinyl, or cork flooring, a well-maintained floor can transform the entire look and feel of your home. If you want floors that are installed with an unbeatable level of professionalism, then contact the flooring professionals at Floor Country. Our floor store in Winnipeg provides customers with a range of flooring options to upgrade your home. Plus, we complete every project with transparency, care, and excellent customer service. Visit our site to get a free estimate, or contact our team to get started.