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Prevent Costly Wear and Tear With 3 Tips

The winter season brings more foot traffic, which can be risky on a home—holiday parties, family gatherings and even open houses in the winter can bring tears and marks on the floors. How do you prevent costly wear of scratches and stains that result in costly floor repairs?

After all, refinishing hardwood floors could cost more than $1,000. A carpet repair could cost about $200, according to HomeAdvisor, which provides average cost estimates of repair and remodeling projects nationwide.

Here are a few tips from a recent article at realtor.com®:

Take note of the front door.

Set a “No shoes in the house” rule to reduce scratches or stains to your flooring. The front door likely will see the most mix of dirt, snow, and mud as people enter. Add a mat near the front and back doors to the house to catch some of the grime. “Rock salt can leave white residue that, over time, can dull the finish of your floors,” Dave Murphy, director of training at N-Hance Wood Renewal and Refinishing in Nashville, told realtor.com®. “When it’s tracked into your house, it gets dragged across the floors, creating deep scratches in the wood.”

Protect the floor from the Christmas tree.

Watch the water if you have a real tree. Water can damage not only hardwood flooring but also carpeting and laminate flooring. “Place a plastic bag underneath the tree stand to catch any spilled water,” suggests Debra Johnson, a home cleaning expert with Merry Maids. “Don’t fret about the look: Your tree skirt will hide it.” A tree skirt can also catch fallen tree needles, which can scratch flooring, and prevent costly wear.

Turn down the heat.

When the weather turns cold, try to avoid turning the heat up too high—it can damage your floors, particularly your hardwoods. “Heaters in your home can really dry out hardwood, leading to problems like shrinkage and cracked floorboards,” Murphy cautions. Murphy suggests running a humidifier in your home to keep moisture in the air.