There are numerous aspects of the holiday season that most homeowners look forward to experiencing. Many people enjoy freshly baked treats, the sounds of holiday songs and the smell of a real Christmas tree. Those with hard wood floors and carpet understand that the latter may not always be an easy feature to pull off. Real Christmas trees can lead to scratches, a mess of pine needles and hideous water damage on the floor. While scratches and fallen needles can be fixed easily, water damage is a more serious issue. There are ways to treat the problem, but it is best to prevent water damage before it even happens.
How the Damage Occurs
People often keep water pans filled to hydrate the tree during its time in the home. Sometimes these containers leak, and this is a quick way for floors to suffer moisture damage. These leaks usually happen when the tree seems to absorbs more water than normal, and it must be refilled more frequently. The water may eventually overflow, or the loss of water could be evidence of an existing hole.
Spilled water may not seem like much, but if it happens on a frequent basis the moisture adds up. Most trees stay up for around a month, so the cumulative water dripped onto the floor can cause significant damage over time. It doesn’t take much water to cause severe damage, and wood floors eventually warp and buckle while carpet can develop mold. Both types of flooring are often left with unsightly staining. Whether a home has carpet or wood, the best way to save the flooring is to notice the issue quickly.
The methods for treating a water damaged floor vary depending on the situation. The level of water damage as well as any remaining moisture will be factors in how it is treated. The flooring material will also affect the treatment option. Equipment is usually used to help analyze the severity of the damage, and sometimes flooring needs to be removed completely. Wooden floors with less damage can be sanded down and refinished to improve esthetic flaws. If carpets get wet, any excess water is extracted. The carpet may be removed and replaced, or it may be dried well enough to avoid damage.
Solutions to Prevent the Problem
Luckily, there are ways to prevent water damage before it becomes serious. The trunk of the tree should be cut before it is placed in the stand. This ensures that the tree can absorb the water efficiently without the need for constant refills and subsequent spills. If a spill is noticed, it may be dried up with quick intervention. Wet areas can be dried with a towel then blown with a hair dryer or other device that emits warm air.
A barrier can be made from an old blanket by folding it to fit under the tree and placing a plastic tablecloth or other material over the blanket. The barrier can be covered with a tree skirt once the tree is placed in the stand. Ready-made absorbent tree mats are also available. Once it’s time for the tree to come down, the water should be carefully drained out, and the tree can be dragged out the door on the waterproof barrier.
For more information on how to prevent water damage this holiday season contact your local SERVPRO.