Tis the season for holiday festivities! With these festivities can come a few threats to the integrity of your hardwood floors, but taking a few preventative measures can go a long way to protecting them. If you’re a hardwood floor contractor, give this guide to your customers to help them prep their floors for the holidays and the festivities that come with them.
Shoe free zone: High heels pose a particularly significant threat to hardwood floors because they can create dents in your floors, which can oftentimes be fixed only through board replacement. However, any shoes coming in from the outside world are a threat––not just high heels. To make the process easier, put a shoe rack near the front door. This will give your guests the idea to remove their shoes while providing them with a designated space for their shoes.
Use welcome mats: Welcome mats should be your best friend this holiday season. Invest in some festive themed mats for extra holiday flair. These will help to prevent people from tracking dirt and debris into your home, therefore giving your floors an extra safeguard. Make sure to put at least one in front of every door which leads outside, preferably one mat inside and one outside.
Put felt pads or glides underneath furniture: Dragging furniture, such as tables and chairs, across the floor can cause damage. Felt pads or glides will help prevent scratching or other damage and are a great tool to implement not only during the holiday season, but all year long.
Clean up: Clean your hardwood floors before your guests arrive and again after they leave, as promptly as possible. Cleaning your floors before will ensure that there’s no grit/dirt/etc, or other problematic particles which will get dragged around by your guests, which can end up damaging your finish. Cleaning up after will ensure that there’s nothing left behind by your guests which can also scratch your finish. The best way to clean is to vacuum and use a microfiber cleaning pad along with a hardwood floor-friendly cleaning solution like the Bona Pro Hardwood Floor Care Kit.
Beware of spills: Promptly wipe up any spills, preferably with a microfiber cloth and hardwood floor cleaner, before it has a chance to soak into the finish and cause a stain. The sooner you clean it up, the better chance you have of preserving the integrity of your finish. Red wine is one especially prominent danger, because it’s at risk of permanently staining your finish if it sits for too long. Make sure to wipe it up immediately in the event of a spill. Have paper towels, microfiber cloths, etc. at the ready, possibly stationed throughout your home specifically for situations like this.
Use a tree skirt: Putting a tree skirt around your Christmas tree can help prevent the needles from being dragged around under the feet of your guests, which could result in small scratches in your floor finish.
Use a proper hardwood floor cleaner: Avoid using popular store-bought cleaning chemicals on your floors, which can do more harm than good by actually damaging your finish. White vinegar and excessive amounts of water should also be avoided, each of which can also damage your finish. Use only hardwood floor-specific cleaners such as Basic Coatings Squeaky Hardwood Floor Cleaner, which are specifically formulated for use on hardwood floors.
It’s extremely important to protect your floors, and dangers are particularly prevalent during the holiday season when gatherings abound. The choices you have are either taking steps to prevent damage now, or deal with possibly having to refinish them later on down the road. Taking a few simple preventative measures now can save you a significant amount of money.