When it comes to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many see a significant increase in foot traffic. Both commercial and residential spaces alike experience an increase in holiday visitors and with them bring wear, tear, and damage to your floors. To protect your floors from the guests and visitors that are bound to bring with them snow, sleet, water, and salt under their shoes, you’ll want to be prepared. By doing so, you can prevent scratches, stains, and other mishaps.
In fact, making these simple preparations could save you money in the long run by not having to overhaul your floors. According to HomeAdvisor, national average estimates show a homeowner could pay more than $1,000 to refinish their hardwood floors while a carpet repair could cost around $200. It’s important to protect, maintain, and clean your floors to avoid having to make these unnecessary costs.
Different types of flooring need different types of care so it’s valuable to learn which types of cleaning materials and products are best suited for your flooring needs. Whether the majority of your space is covered with carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, or a mixture of different types, it’s important to learn the best treatment methods to use for each. Let’s begin by learning how to do the protection prep work to get your floors ready for this holiday season during times of high traction in your home or work-space.
According to HomeAdvisor, national average estimates show a homeowner could pay more than $1,000 to refinish their hardwood floors while a carpet repair could cost around $200.
How To Protect Your Floors
It’s best to begin by protecting the highest traffic areas in your personal or working space. To keep your floors looking great after the holiday rush is over, you’ll want to give your floors a deep clean. This can protect your flooring from scratches. Dirt and debris can build up on the floors and can cause scrapes when furniture is dragged across your hardwoods. By deep cleaning your floors, you will be removing that damage-causing layer of dirt.
One of the primary areas that will likely see the most foot traffic is right behind the front door. If you live in a climate that experiences harsh weather conditions such as heavy amounts of snow and ice, chances are you use a mixture of sand and rock salt to make your entryway less slippery for your family and guests. By doing so, your visitors are likely to catch that mixture on the bottom of their shoes as they enter inside and bring along with them snow and dirt, which can then be spread onto your floors. In particular, rock salt can leave a white residue that can dull the finish of your floors and create scratches in the floor’s material. If possible, you may want to consider using less salt when you winter-proof your walkway. This will still allow for you and your visitors a safe space to walk while minimizing the potential damage to your floors. Or you may even choose to use a more environmentally friendly alternative to salt.
To avoid your guests from tracking in the dirt, snow, sand, and salt from outside, consider implementing a no-shoes-in-the-house rule. By doing so, you decrease the chances that your hardwood floors will be scratched or stained. However, if you feel uncomfortable requesting this of your guests in your home or this is not a practical solution to your situation given that you are a store owner, add heavy-duty floor mats to the front and backsides of your entryways.
This easy and affordable proactive measure will prevent moisture from staining your wood, tile, or carpet. Mats will also capture sand, dirt, and other soils and prevent them from dirtying your floors, so add them to your hallways and around the kitchen where your guests will likely spend a lot of their time. Visitors can easily wipe off the excess dirt and snow they have collected on the bottom of their shoes, ensuring that your floors will be better protected. Even adding entryway mats to carpeted floors is a good idea to keep them in better condition for a longer period of time.
In addition to mats, adding felt pads under your furniture is a good way to keep your floors safe from scratches caused by the sliding of your table chairs and bar stools. Your guests may be moving around back and forth during the excitement of the holiday and your floors will likely show wear and tear if the bottoms of your moveable furniture pieces are not properly protected.
As an extra preventative measure, for refinished floors like hardwoods, wash down the floorboards and apply a fresh coat of floor finish or hardwood floor polish before they endure heavy foot traffic. This will prevent any stains, scuffs, and scratches that may be the result of shoe marks. Keep in mind that small scratches and scuffs may show after your guests have left, but if they do, these marks can be easily hid with a color-matched pen or a repair kit.
As an extra preventative measure, for refinished floors like hardwoods, wash down the floorboards and apply a fresh coat of floor finish or hardwood floor polish before they endure heavy foot traffic.
How To Maintain And Clean Your Floors
Cleaning quickly and frequently is the best way to maintain the look of your floors. While hosting holiday parties, particularly when entertaining a large guest list, keep cleaning supplies nearby. Sometimes people refuse to take off their shoes, forget to wipe their feet, or accidentally spill something on your floors. In these situations, keeping a bottle of floor or carpet cleaner on hand is always a good idea.
Even when your guests are careful, outside debris can still make its way inside. Be prepared to clean your hardwoods and laminates frequently with a neutral floor cleaner. Laminate flooring is durable, but it is still at risk for damage during times of heavy foot traffic. Consider creating your own natural mixture of water and vinegar. This will help protect against salt buildup that, overtime and left untreated, will cause damage to your floors. Likewise, because the dirt that gets tracked indoors is brought in from outside, sweep up any leaves, mud, and debris and shovel snow from your property’s entrance to keep it from coming inside in the first place.
In other high traffic areas throughout your home or office space, following a routine cleaning schedule is essential. Consider sweeping daily, mopping once or twice a week, and vacuuming carpets regularly. Although cleaning carpets can be a hassle, it is a crucial step to prevent wear and tear during the holiday season. By scheduling carpets to be professionally cleaned, you are helping to prevent contaminants from saturating the carpet fibers and ultimately ensuring a more healthy living space for you and your guests.
Hire A Professional To Inspect Your Flooring
After you’ve done your deep cleaning on your floors, be sure to hire a professional floor cleaner to come and inspect the condition of your floors before the arrival of your holiday guests. Routine floor maintenance will help identify any cracks, divots, or other defects in your flooring, ensuring these problem areas don’t get worse or cause physical harm to someone walking on them. Make it a priority to address and resolve these issues right away. This will help avoid injuries to your guests and damages to your property.
By following these tips on how to protect, maintain, and clean your floors during times of heavy foot traffic, you and your guests can enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer. You’ll be relaxed knowing that your floors will come out looking like new.