Holiday Hardwood Preservation: Tips For Protecting Your Floors

There’s no doubt about it: harsh, winter weather can take its toll on your home. On average, a homeowner spends between 1-4% on their house’s total value on maintenance and repairs each year, and this number only increases as a house ages. When you live in a location that’s prone to freezing temperatures, snow, and ice, those conditions will have a noticeable impact on your home, both inside and out.

The elements can inflict harm on your house, but so can your house guests. If you don’t take the proper steps to protect the features of your home, the increase in holiday traffic can often result in significant damage. And although 60% of homeowners say they have plans to remodel major spaces like the master bathroom, none of us like the thought of unexpected repairs.

Avoiding damage is especially important with unique features that add both beauty and function, like hardwood flooring. Both buyers and owners are drawn to hardwoods and would generally go to great lengths to obtain them. In fact, 54% of future buyers are willing to pay more for a home that has hardwood flooring. If you have beautiful hardwood floors, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect them all year long — but particularly during this season. If you want to safeguard your hardwoods this holiday, make sure to follow these flooring tips:

Keep your thermostat consistent

Although hardwood floors last a long time, they’ll do so only if you maintain them properly. Lower levels of humidity in the air can actually cause your floor boards to shrink. This can result in gaps, which will eventually require repairs. When you frequently raise and lower your home’s temperature, you may be making your flooring more vulnerable to these separations. But if you keep the temperature and humidity consistent in your home, you’ll be able to protect your floors — plus, your heating system will work more efficiently, which often results in a lower bill.

Remove your shoes

The most obvious preventative solution? Remove your shoes and boots when entering your home. Ice, snow, dirt, and debris will undoubtedly cause a mess, but they can be damaging, too. To avoid the endless need for a mop, ask family members and guests to wipe their shoes on a welcome mat and remove them promptly upon entering your home. That way, you won’t have to worry about constant cleaning or the threat of damage.

Rugs are your friend

While you should want to show off your beautiful floors, you can complement their shine with well-placed decorative rugs. These are particularly helpful in areas of high traffic like hallways, entrances, and living spaces. Think of these rugs as your floor’s defense against the elements. Not only can they add visual interest to your home, but they’ll keep your floors looking brand new for much longer.

Consider protection from furniture

Of course, you’ll want to protect your floor from slush or scratchy high heels. But what about table and chair legs? Friction from furniture can result in instantaneous damage. It’s a good idea to use felt pads on the bottom of your table and chair legs; they tend to glide more smoothly. But because they tend to collect dust and pet hair, you’ll need to clean or replace them regularly. They’re a generally inexpensive method for preventing damage, so don’t skip these.

Have your cleaning method ready

The reality is that you won’t catch every spill or bit of dirt. Fortunately, hardwood floors are much easier to clean than carpeting! But you’ll still need to keep a sharp eye out for water, slush, and other debris. Always use a soft towel to clean up spills; make sure that it’s free of colored dyes. To clean up significant spills, you can use use transparent dish detergent, white distilled vinegar, undiluted ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide to clean your floors. For regular maintenance, sweep or vacuum regularly and use wax polish for shine.

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