Written by Scott McClay
On December 17, 2019
We love the winter holiday season: the twinkling colored lights, tinsel and ornaments gleaming from fragrant evergreen boughs, elaborate bows and the crunch of wrapping paper, and most especially: the holiday get togethers. Family time, dinners, gift exchanges, parties, and all the wonderful food. It just makes the holiday season worth waiting for, year after year.
But for those of us with hardwood floors, the one thing we don’t look forward to is all that extra holiday foot traffic. All it takes is one long, ill-prepared party gathering to really make a mess: causing scratch and scuff damage to your precious wood planks, and dampening your spirit for the rest of the season.
Fortunately, we have you covered. We’ve put together a list of the most common hardwood, holiday-season hazards. And then given you some remedies to keep you prepared and smiling, all through the New Year.
Christmas Trees: The number one enemy of hardwood is water. A puddle of standing water can do a lot of damage in a very short time. So you really have to be careful where you place your live Christmas tree, and how you water it. Always put some plastic sheeting under your tree’s base first, beneath a mat or folded blanket, before you begin to decorate. That will give you an extra layer of protection from splashes and droplets. And always clean up spills immediately.
Pets and Accidents: In addition to keeping your pets’ nails clipped regularly to prevent floor scratches, you must also be vigilant for accidents. Pet stains can be a real problem for hardwood. Pet urine and bacteria begin to eat away wood within just a day or two, staining your hardwood permanently. Keep an eye on your pets, especially around Christmas trees where pets love to explore. And always clean up pet accidents immediately. It’s also important to remember that pets get over-stimulated with new people in the house. So consider boarding your pets during parties and gatherings, especially if your pet is nervous around guests.
Extra Foot Traffic: All of the holiday parties and family gatherings bring extra foot traffic, and increased chances for spills. This is a great time to break out the hallway and area rugs, door mats, and extra towels. As usual, always clean up spills immediately, and you may want to consider using a “no shoes” rule during parties to save your hardwood floors. This is a bit harder to do during the cold weather season, but you can always set aside a space inside the house for guests to first remove their shoes while they’re visiting. You can even make it fun, by supplying holiday-themed, non-slip slippers or socks for guests to wear while inside.
Rock Salt and Debris: Snow and slush is just a part of the winter season, and we often battle frozen surfaces with hard rock salts and other melting agents. Unfortunately, it’s likely that your guests will be tromping through all that mess before they reach your front door. Rock salts, sand, dirt, and other debris act like sandpaper on your hardwood, causing real problems — especially to your floor’s finish. The best defense is to have people remove their shoes immediately upon entering, before tracking debris into the house. But if that’s not possible, consider putting out area mats, boot trays, or extra towels for wiping off shoes and boots.
Cleaning: Frequent sweeping of debris, and dry-mopping your hardwood floors is a great way to help prevent damage before it happens. Set a schedule for yourself during gatherings and stick with it, as much as you can. Check your floors once an hour or so, and sweep/dry-mop as necessary.
Contact the SMART Carpet and Flooring Expert
If you’ve got a flooring renovation job planned before the holidays, hardwood or not, it’s a great idea to call an expert before you get started; especially if you have any questions. We have years of experience, and we can offer tips to save you extra time and money.
If you’re in the Tri-State area, call SMART Carpet and Flooring at 1-800-526-RUGS (7847) for more information or advice. Our highly qualified specialists can bring our mobile showroom right to your house, at a time that is most convenient for you.
Call now to schedule an appointment!