“Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house…I looked under my tree and found my floor dowsed.” Unfortunately, this is a story we here at My Flooring Guy hear all too often throughout the holiday season.  Many homeowners find that their hardwoodfloors have been damaged by their Christmas tree and often times, by the timethey notice, the only solution to their problem is a refinish of the entirefloor or a costly removal, replacement, and refinish process.  We would like to give you some tips that mayhelp you avoid major damage to your floors during the holidays so you can get back to making your Christmas lists and checking them twice.

First, lets review some common Christmas Tree related damages and their causes:

  1. Water Damage –watering the tree or a leaky tree stand
  2. Sap Marks – dragging the tree through the house when bringing it in or tearing it down or failing to properly protect the area around the tree with a tree skirt or tree mat.
  3. Water spots, stains, cupping,or separation of planks – overflow from tree stands, spillage from watering, wet towels or other material on the floor around the tree.  In extreme cases, the wood can even turn black or begin to rot.
  4. Scratches – pine needles falling from the tree when bringing it into the house, while its up, and when removing the tree from the home, being swept with a broom or tracked through the house by children, pets, and guests.

If you want to avoid some or all of these not-so-merry mishaps, follow these guidelines throughout the process of enjoying your Christmas tree.  Preventing damage to your hardwoodfloors begins even before you bring your tree home so plan accordingly. 

What you will need:

  1. Hardwood Vacuum
  2. Microfiber mop or Swiffer
  3. Hardwood floor cleaner (Werecommend Bona)
  4. Old sheets
  5. Black lawn and garden trashbags
  6. Plastic drip pan (normally placed under washing machines)
  7. Tree mat or tree skirt

Before bringing your Christmas Tree inside your house:

  1. Clean your floors with a hardwood vacuum and then with your microfiber mop using Bona or any hardwood floor cleaner.
  2. Place the drip pan on the floor first, then cover it with your tree skirt or mat.
  3. Put together your Christmas Tree stand and make sure it is leak free and level and place it on top of your Christmas Tree mat or skirt.
  4. Place old sheets from the point of entry to the place where the tree will go.
  5. DO NOT use a regular broom on the floors at any time. This will help to avoid scratches.

When bringing your Christmas Tree inside your house:

  1. While the tree is still outside, give it a good shake to shed any loose or dead pine needles.
  2. Wrap the tree lightly as best you can in black lawn bags.  You can cut them open and tape them together to wrap loosely around the tree.  This prevents any extra pine needles that may fall and will also give protection to your walls and door frames.
  3. Carry the tree from the door to the tree stand only over the sheets you have laid out.
  4. Once you have the tree inthe stand, take the sheets and force all the pine needles to the middle and then throw them into the trash (preferably outside).
  5. Use the hardwood vacuum followed by the microfiber mop throughout the house.
  6. DO NOT EVER drag the tree across the floor.  This can result in major floor damage and sap marks.  Also, NEVER use towels to wrap around or go under your tree stand.  If they get wet, they will retain all moisture and quickly damage your floors.

While your Christmas Tree is up through the holidays:

  1. Use your hardwood vacuum and microfiber mop to give a quick run through of the house daily if possible.  If you notice any places that need to be cleaned, give the floor a spray of the hardwood floor cleaner before using the microfiber mop.
  2. Water your tree often to avoid pine needle drop as much as possible.
  3. If you notice water on your floor or around your tree, wipe or mop it up immediately.

When removing your Christmas Tree from the house:

  1. Repeat the steps used inthe “Bringing in the Christmas Tree” portion of this article. Loosely wrap thetree in lawn and garden bags and be sure to place the old sheets from the tree area to the door. REMEMBER to never drag the tree across the floor.
  2. Drain the water from the tree stand and the drip pan and wipe up any spilled water immediately.
  3. Clean your floors using your hardwood vacuum and then your microfiber mop with the hardwood cleaner.

If you follow the guidelines outlined in this article, you will be sure to have hardwood floors that last for many Christmas’s and holidays to come. Now that you’ve got the info to treat your floors right, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night”.