It’s time to gear up for the holidays! At the same time, it’s important to start thinking about protecting your hardwood floors for the holidays. Let your customers know that there are certain things they should be doing to protect their floors during this season, especially if their floors were recently installed or finished. Beware the following holiday dangers to hardwood floors:
Christmas trees. Christmas trees are one of the most obvious inflictors of damage to hardwood floors during the holiday season. The needles can damage the finish if they fall on the ground and are dragged across the floor by foot traffic, and overwatering can lead to spills on the floor. Even fake Christmas trees can do some damage––if it’s dragged across the floor when it is first brought into the house, or as it’s being pulled into or out of storage. So make sure that it’s carried rather than dragging it. Glass ornaments falling and breaking can scratch the finish. If you have pets or small children and are particularly worried about this happening, they can opt for plastic/unbreakable ornaments instead. Make sure to also place a tree skirt underneath your (real) Christmas tree to protect against some needle drops and water spillage.
Parties. If you’re hosting people for the holidays, all of that added foot traffic can really scratch up the finish if you’re not careful. Make sure your guests leave their shoes at the door, and/or have welcome mats at all entryways. You can also place runners in your hallways. Their shoes can drag in grit and debris from outside, and salt if there’s snow on the ground, as well as water from melted snow. Water is extremely damaging to finish––one of finish’s worst enemies. Make sure any puddles from melted snow are cleaned up as quickly as possible.
Wine and drink spills. If someone spills a drink or wine––especially red wine––on a hardwood floor, it can stain or otherwise damage the finish. The best thing to do is to soak it up with a rag or absorbent microfiber cloth as soon as possible, and clean up the spill with a wood-friendly cleaner. If the finish is a European oil-style finish or natural oil finish, you can repair any lasting damage, in most cases, by essentially spot-treating the area with the product that was used to finish the floor. However, if you have a polyurethane finish, you’ll often have to have the floor refinished to repair any lasting damage. Also make sure to clean up any glass shards that were created if the glass broke when it fell, which can scratch the finish.
Clean up extra frequently. Make sure your clients are using hardwood floor-friendly cleaners. We typically recommend the Bona Pro Hardwood Floor Care Kit because it contains everything they need to effectively clean their floors. During the holidays, it’s important to clean up more frequently than normal because of additional foot traffic, and especially if you have a Christmas tree in your home.
With these tips and tricks in mind, you and your clients can now rest and enjoy the holidays!