Parties, visitors and quality time with family members are just some of the reasons why the holidays are such an enjoyable time of year. But with all of these wonderful events and guests come increased foot traffic – and deterioration – of your hardwood floors. Now that the guests have gone home, here are some tips for repairing the scuffs, scratches and other minor damage that your floor incurred over the holidays.
Removing Scuff Marks
Scuff marks are typically the result of abrasion and friction on the surface of your hardwood floor. The black mark left behind is usually rubber residue from the bottom of shoes, chairs or furniture that sticks to the wood flooring. Simple abrasion will take most scuff marks right out.
A number of household items can be used to remove scuff marks – a rubber eraser, an old tennis ball or a ‘magic eraser’ sponge. Rubber erasers are best used for small marks, and caution should be used on lighter woods, as pink residue may be left behind. The tennis ball trick works well on larger scuffs, while ‘magic eraser’ sponges will easily lift a scuff of any size, and on any type of wood.
For particularly stubborn scuffs, a paste can be made from water and baking soda, or even toothpaste and baking soda. Rub the paste onto the scuff mark using a soft cloth or sponge. Be sure to follow it up with a clean, damp cloth to remove any white residue that remains. This method should be effective on any lingering scuffs.
Scuff marks should be addressed as soon as you notice them. The longer they are allowed to sit on the surface of your hardwood floor, the more stubborn grime and dirt will collect on top of the mark. In addition, be sure to avoid going over the scuff mark with hot-steam mops, as the heat tends to set stains onto the wood.
When abrasive particles, such as dirt, gravel or sand, collect on the surface of your wood floors, they can create scratches. Using mats and area rugs near entryways can help cut down on tracking this debris into your home. Once a scratch appears in the finish, it can be troublesome to remove. Deep scratches, gouges or pockmarks from heels may require sanding the floor down to the raw wood and refinishing it. A hardwood floor professional can direct you in dealing with questions about scratches, as the wrong approach can wreak further havoc on your floor’s finish.
Contact a Professional for Repairing Serious Damage
Winter months can be a tough time of year for your flooring. The holidays bring parties, family fun and visitors, but they also welcome increased foot traffic and a higher propensity for damage to your floors. Most minor scuffs that occur can be removed with household items. If you find your hardwood floors have been seriously scratched, it is best to consult a hardwood flooring professional.