The holiday season is upon us, and with that brings loads of food, family, and festive fun. However, this hustle and bustle of activity can take a toll on your hardwood floors if you’re not careful! Your floors can suffer from scratches, dents, and spills.

Here are five precautionary steps you should take to keep your hardwood floors in great shape this holiday season:

Understand the Threats

Knowledge is power! The best way to combat threats against your hardwood floors during the holiday season is to know exactly what you are defending your floors against. Some of the biggest threats to your hardwood floors this holiday season are snow, salt, grit, drink spills, and high heels.

The Welcome Mat: Your First Defense

If your home is going to be the center of gatherings and holiday fun this season, it is imperative that you get a sturdy welcome mat to place at the entrance of your home. This mat is going to be the first line of defense against dirt, snow, gravel, and salt. This allows your guests to clean their shoes before they enter your home, making it less likely that your floors will come into contact with dirt and gravel.

The best option to protect your floors is to ask your guests to remove their shoes altogether upon coming into the home. You could politely suggest this by placing shoes on a second mat near the door.

You want to make absolutely certain that anyone wearing high heels removes their shoes upon entering the home, as these could leave permanent dents in your floors, especially if your floors are a softer species like American Cherry.

Use Rugs To Your Advantage

Hardwood floors always bring an amazing look and feel to any home. However, during the holiday season, they are in great peril that will make them look not as great as they good be. If the look and quality of your hardwood floors is something you are deeply passionate about, consider investing in Synthetic or decorative rugs to place around your home where foot traffic is most like. For example, if you tend to entertain in your living room, consider getting a large area rug to cover some surface of the hardwood floors. This allows dirt and grime to be stopped by carpet fibers and it allows for less area of floors to be subjected to damage. Not only will these rugs protect your floors, it will add a decorative quality to you space and atmosphere.

Spillage

Accept it now, it’s inevitable. Whenever food, drinks, and multiple guests are around, you are bound to have some spills.  The best way to combat spills on your hardwood floors is to be prepared. If a spill does occur, make sure to soak as much of the liquid from the spill as soon as possible. Make sure any liquid is cleaned up properly to avoid moisture. Once your guests have left, make sure to run a dry mop around your floors to clean off any excess dirt and moisture that might remain.

The method you’ll want to use in order to tackle 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 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, you may have to get floors refinished in order to fully get rid of it. 

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

As lovely as Christmas Trees are, they are abrasive and as such, could scratch the finish. However, there are way to help your floors all while having a tree. Try not to drag it into your home––carry it instead. Dragging it across the floor may lead to deep scratches in the finish.

Next, make sure to purchase a proper tree stand. This stand should be sturdy enough to hole the tree in place while keeping the water where it should be––off of your floors. If water seeps through the stand and sits on the floorboards, it can create a stain on your floors. A proper tree stand will ensure that there will be no leaks or spills.

Finally, invest in a tree skirt. This skirt will help you protect the floors from fallen tree needles. Tree needles kept on your floor too long can scratch your floor. Even with a tree skirt, make sure to vacuum the tree needles as often as you can you to prevent any damage. Sweeping up the needles is not ideal because this can lead to scratches in the finish, so stick to vacuuming.

Battle Indoor Heat with Humidity

This one isn’t holiday specific, but it’s relevant this time of year! With living in cold whether, houses often turn up their thermostats and fireplaces, making their places toasty and warm.

Often warm houses, lead to less humidity and a dry atmosphere. Excessive dryness in the air can lead to your floors contracting and forming gaps in between the planks. Some gapping in wood floors is normal during the winter, but investing in a humidifier may help to keep them under control.

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