Here’s your annual reminder to tell your clients to protect their floors during the holidays! There are unique challenges that come with maintaining hardwood floors during this time of the year, but as long as your clients are prepared, you can prevent unnecessary callbacks!
Here are three holiday-specific threats that hardwood floors face during this time of the year:
Spilled wine on a hardwood floor
If someone spills wine on a hardwood floor, the key is to wipe up the spill as soon as possible and get the floor as dry as possible. You can achieve this with paper towels and/or a microfiber cloth.
Hopefully the floor is stain-free, but if not, the way to tackle wine/alcohol spills will depend entirely on the type of finish coating the floor.
If there is a penetrating oil finish on the floor, oftentimes you (or your client, with proper instructions) can lightly abrade the surface with sandpaper and apply the same exact oil to the area where the stain occurred to see if it helps.
If the floor is coated with a film-forming finish, including varnish, oil-modified urethane, water-based urethane, moisture-cured urethane, or UV-cured finish, then use a cleaning product recommended by the finish manufacturer. If the stain does not go away after cleaning with the proper products, the customer may need to have the floors refinished in order to get rid of it.
It’s good practice to leave specific maintenance instructions for your clients when you are done at a given jobsite, with details about the finish with which their floor is coated, and details about how to maintain that type of finish.
Beware Christmas tree needles
Make sure your clients know not to drag their tree when bringing it into their house! Instead, they could put something down to serve as a barrier between the floor and the tree, like kraft paper. This will help to prevent too much contact between the needles and the floor.
Once the tree is in place, however, your clients’ work isn’t over! It’s important to stay vigilant because the needles from Christmas trees are abrasive and can scratch your finish if dragged across the floor, so vacuum them up frequently. Sweeping them up might make it worse. Make sure your clients know to use a vacuum instead––particularly one that has a special setting for hard surfaces or, at the very least, allows you to turn off the brushes/beater bars (if present).
Put down a tree skirt can also continue to minimize the amount of contact that the needles have with the floor.
Be vigilant against high heels and foot traffic
Dents in hardwood floors are usually irreparable (or at the very least, hard to repair to the point where they are no longer obvious), and high heels are the biggest culprit of these dents.
If you’re throwing holiday parties, it’s more than likely that many of your guests will wear high heels. If this is the case, kindly ask your guests to take their shoes off at the door. Not just regarding high heels – you can ask all of your guests take off their shoes by the door. Or, rather than saying it directly, make a polite suggestion by putting other shoes at the door so it’s clear what you want guests to do once they arrive.
According to Hardwood Floors Magazine, “a 125-pound woman in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch!”
Even high foot traffic alone, even if the guests aren’t necessarily wearing high heels, can create problems for your floors. Make sure to put down mats in entryways, hallways, and other areas that get a lot of foot traffic, especially if you are throwing holiday parties.
Click here for a guide to crafting a hardwood floor maintenance guide to give your clients, which you could tailor to talk about the specific concerns that come with the holidays.