Teach Your Renters How to Care for Their Wood Floors
There’s no denying that renters are generally harder on homes than property owners. Most renters know they’ll eventually move, and many hope to own their own homes one day. As a result, they aren’t as invested in the property as the property owner is.
That’s why one of the key challenges property owners face is protecting their investment from damage caused by renters.
When you’re dealing with beautiful and costly hardwood floors, it can become even more challenging to keep your investment intact. How can you protect your property and hardwood floors from tenants?
Wood Floors Are a Common Feature in Many Homes, But They Need to Be Cared for Properly
Wooden floors are beautiful, classic, and a huge draw for potential tenants. However, most long-term renters have never had any experience with wooden floors. Many times, they’re unaware of how to care for the hardwood at all, so the damage isn’t intentional; it simply comes from a lack of knowledge.
As you’re probably aware, hardwood floors require quite a bit of maintenance to keep them in top shape. They’re susceptible to moisture and temperature damage and can be ruined if they aren’t maintained properly.
That’s why having a good maintenance plan and a cleaning technique is paramount to making hardwood floors last. In the case of renters, it’s important to teach them what they need to do to keep the floors looking great. Teaching your tenants how to care for hardwood can go a long way towards protecting your property.
The Most Important Thing Is to Keep Wood Floors Clean
The most essential lesson you want to impart to your tenants is to keep the wooden floors clean. Hardwood requires regular cleaning to stay in good shape. Here are three cleaning tips you’ll want to pass along:
Use a Vacuum Cleaner with a Brush Attachment
There are vacuum cleaners specifically created to vacuum hardwood. Encourage your renters to use one of those on the floors. Vacuuming can actually be better for the hardwood than sweeping because it cleans deeper, and you don’t have to worry about the broom scratching up the face of the hardwood. Encourage your tenants to use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment at least once a week.
Clean Spills as Soon as Possible
Moisture is like kryptonite to wooden floors. Explain the importance of promptly cleaning up spills to your tenants. If liquid hits the floor, it should be cleaned immediately.
Use a Damp Mop or Cloth
Due to the potential for water damage, you never want to use a wet mop on wooden floors. Mops can dull the hardwood’s finish, and the water can get in between the boards, causing warping and mold. Instead, urge your tenants to only use a damp mop or cloth to get rid of stains.
Provide Tips to Prevent Scratches
Hardwood floors are also susceptible to scratches. So, you want to employ several strategies for avoiding them.
Recommend the Use of Furniture Pads
Tell your tenants to avoid dragging or pushing their furniture. Instead, they should consider using furniture pads. Go for felt or fabric pads because rubber pads can actually leave scuff marks. You might even consider giving your tenants a few furniture pads as a move-in gift.
Tell Your Tenants to Consider Area Rugs for High-Traffic Areas
Encourage your tenants to use area rugs in high-traffic areas. This will help decrease the chance of scratches and reduce the amount of dirt and dust build-up on the floor.
Recommend Removing Shoes When Indoors
Another quick tip for keeping hardwood floors free of scratches and damage is to take your shoes off when you enter the home. Be sure to share this tip with your tenants, too, because it’s a simple way to keep the floors from getting scuffed up.
Let them Know About Polishing and Optimal Care
Regular cleaning and avoiding scratches are just part of what it takes to keep hardwood floors in the best shape.
Use a Wood Floor Cleaner Monthly
You also want to clean hardwood floors every month with a hardwood floor cleaner. Depending on the finish and type of hardwood you have, you might also need to regularly varnish or polish the hardwood as well. All hardwoods can only tolerate certain cleaners and polishes, so you need to be open with your tenants about which chemicals they can and cannot use on the floor.
By Helping Your Renters, You Help Your Property
Teaching your tenants how to care for hardwood is a terrific step for ensuring the floors stay in good shape for many years to come. Be sure to include a thorough how-to guide, including approved cleaners, directly in the lease agreement.
By putting them in the lease agreement, you have the opportunity to go over all these details with them before they move into the property. Additionally, if they fail to comply, you’ll be able to use their downpayment to fix the floor.
The great thing about hardwood is that it can be sanded and refinished if damages occur and can last for many, many years. Taking the time to help your renters understand the needs of hardwood floors will only help you in the long run.
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