There’s an old saying in some circles: hardwood floors and pets do not mix. We understand why people believe that, but we respectfully disagree. While it’s true that cats and dogs may damage hardwood flooring, there are many steps that you can take to protect your floor and keep it stronger for longer. Some are simple DIY processes that anyone can handle, while others are more in-depth.
At May River Flooring, we have collected several tips and suggestions that you can use to keep your floor protected from animals. These techniques focus on preventing damage but also cover repairing it as well. In this way, you can keep your floors as strong as possible and avoid long-term complications. We can also fix any mistakes you make when repairing flooring yourself.
How Pets Damage Hardwood Flooring
Your cats and dogs love you and don’t mean to cause you any trouble. However, their claws can damage hardwood floors, particularly if you don’t trim them regularly. Furthermore, pet hair may collect in the corners of your floor and attract mold, mildew, and other growth.
Your pets may also drag in dirt, mud, and other debris from outside and spread it all over your floor. Even worse, urine or fecal matter stains on your hardwood can cause severe issues. As a result, some homeowners take drastic measures to protect flooring, including banishing pets from rooms with hardwood.
You don’t have to lock your pet out of your bedroom or living room if you follow simple preventative steps. These valuable methods will prevent damage to your hardwood flooring and keep it strong. We at May River Flooring strongly suggest trying these before limiting your pet’s movements.
Ways to Keep Your Hardwood Safe From Pets
Have you ever heard the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? While this old chestnut refers specifically to a person’s health maintenance, it applies equally to your hardwood floor protection. So, rather than dealing with pet-related damage after the fact, you can prevent it using several steps. Just a few of the most useful methods that you may use to minimize pet damage to your hardwood floors include:
- Installing Small Rugs: Do your pets have spots on your hardwood flooring where they like to hang out? Installing small rugs here can help by not only giving them more traction to leap onto their favorite furniture but also minimizing nail-related damage when they try to leap.
- Putting Up Water-Resistant Mats: Water-resistant mats will protect your hardwood floors by keeping your pet’s water and food off the floor. Typically, this option is best for messy eaters who may drag water and food into other areas. Keep your pets’ feeding areas away from your hardwood floors as much as possible.
- Trimming Your Pets’ Nails Regularly: You must cut your pets’ nails regularly to keep them shorter. This step not only minimizes hardwood damage but protects their feet. You can either trim them yourself or work with a groomer or vet, an action that is often easier for many pet owners.
- Letting Your Pets Out Regularly: If you own dogs, make sure you attend to their bathroom needs when they indicate they need to go out. Keep cat litter boxes far from your hardwood floors to minimize urination risks. Clean your litter boxes regularly to stop your cat from “going” on your floors in frustration.
- Giving Your Pets Little Claw Boots: Many manufacturers produce pet boots, shoes that fit comfortably over their feet and prevent nail-related damage to hardwood floors. We only suggest this step if your pet is mild-mannered and doesn’t mind things like sweaters or Halloween costumes.
In most situations, these steps should stop your pets from scratching or damaging your hardwood floors. But what if you haven’t taken these steps already, or your clever fur babies have found a way of scratching your protected flooring? Well, maintenance and repair are critical to keeping your floors strong. The following steps can help keep your floors strong against the worst pet damage, including nail scratches, fur-related mold, and animal waste stains.
Maintaining and Repairing Pet-Related Hardwood Damage
If your preventative steps weren’t enough to stop pet-related hardwood flooring damage, you’re not alone, as many deal with severe scratches and urine stains on their floors every year, even after being very careful. Pets are unpredictable and may counteract the best intentions without meaning to do any harm. Thankfully, you can fix these common pet-related hardwood flooring issues by:
- Waxing Your Floor Regularly: Hardwood floor wax helps to protect your floorboards from animal damage by increasing traction and minimizing their need to “dig” into the floor while walking or jumping. Wax can also buff out minor scratches, particularly when you add a second layer or coat.
- Using Spot Scratch Repair Kits: Did you know that hardwood installation experts like May River Flooring can provide you with repair kits for your home? These patch repair kits can help you carefully remove scratches and stains and protect your floor. They’re a good option for minor issues.
- Removing Stains Properly: If your floor has mold, mildew, urine, or fecal matter stains, you must remove them immediately to prevent damage. Various floor cleaners can break apart these buildups and keep your hardwood safe. Note that some minor repairs may be necessary on these damaged sections.
- Adding New Floor Boards: If your hardwood floorboards get too damaged, you may need to replace them entirely. This step is only suggested if the wood is seriously compromised or rotting, including if the wood is breaking apart or is too damaged to fix with wax or other techniques.
Complete hardwood flooring replacement is only necessary if your floor is completely damaged. Replacing a few boards is good enough to manage most pet-related issues. When it’s not, our team at May River Flooring is here to schedule an all-new flooring installation for your home. We’ll do whatever we can to ensure your floor is strong.
We Can Protect Your Floors
Following these steps should protect your flooring and minimize pet-related issues. However, if you need help with any of these maintenance and repair steps, please don’t hesitate to contact us at May River Flooring today. Our team of professionals will repair scratches, urine damage, and other problems. Call us at (843) 815-6297 for a free assessment for hardwood repairs or installation from our team of professionals. You won’t regret reaching out to us to learn more.