Few things in your home– if any – get used more than your floors. We put our flooring through the wringer, and quality floors are durable enough to withstand the vast majority of it. Still, there are plenty of day-to-day things that can cause unfortunate damage to your flooring if steps aren’t taken to prevent it. We’ve pulled together some of the most common culprits and offer a few tips to stop them in their tracks (pun intended).
Furniture is one of the biggest causes of damage to hard flooring. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to head it off before it starts. Start with felt or other soft pads on the legs of your furniture. Even furniture meant to be stationary moves around a bit and padding protects the floor from scratching. Avoid dragging furniture even when it has softened feet. The weight combined with friction can still cause dents or grooves in your floor. Recruit a helper and lift it completely instead.
Moisture can be a big problem for many types of flooring. Hardwood, laminate, and even some types of tile can fall victim to water damage if it’s not properly addressed. Spills should be absorbed right away, and any remaining stain should be cleaned with a non-abrasive cleanser. Absorbent mats both outside and in entryways will prevent outside moisture from making its way inside. It’s also a good idea to use mats inside your home in areas most likely to be exposed to water, like bathrooms and kitchens.
- Shoes and Other Sharp Objects:
Any hard-soled shoes can cause scratches and dents. High-heeled shoes especially pose a threat to your flooring. Even rubber soled shoes can cause damage due to debris they track inside. The best way to avoid this is to have a no-shoes or indoor-shoes only policy. As far as other sharp objects, kitchens and craft areas are generally places you’re likely to use them. Placing protective pads under craft tables and mats in kitchen prep areas will go a long way to prevent damage.
- Sun Damage
UV rays can cause as much damage to your flooring through prolonged exposure as it can to your skin. Putting sunscreen on your floors isn’t really an option, but you can still protect them. Traditional window treatments like curtains and blinds are a good start. Window films with UV protection can also prevent sun damage with the added benefit of reducing heat while still letting light in. It’s also a good idea to rearrange furniture from time to time to help avoid fading in both your flooring and your furniture.
- Abrasive Cleansers
Using gentle cleaning tools and products keeps you from accidentally damaging your new flooring while cleaning up. Brooms and brushes should have soft bristles – soft cloths and dust mops are also good options. Consult your manufacturer’s recommendations to find the right kind of chemical cleansers – the wrong type could strip your floor’s finish away or cause discoloration. In general, pH neutral products are a safe bet.
Being proactive about avoiding damage can keep your floors looking great for many years. The pros at Flohr can answer questions about what will best serve the needs of your existing flooring as well as anything you want to know about new flooring options. We’re here to help.