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Five flooring horrors and how to prevent them

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we’d share some flooring horror stories. If you’ve spent time and hard-earning money fitting beautiful floors for your home, it’s likely you’ll want to keep them that way. Unfortunately sometimes freak accidents do happen.

Although not all of these situations are avoidable, forewarned is forearmed and this way nothing will be able to scare the wits out of you this autumn.

1. Sinister stilettos vs shiny floor

With Halloween parties on the cards, the high heels will definitely be coming out of the closet, especially if there’s a Rocky Horror theme on the agenda. A house-proud host’s worst nightmare is lovely laminate or engineered wood floors being damaged by spiky stiletto shoes. While quality flooring is hardier than many might think, it can still be scratched by particularly pointy heeled shoes.

To avoid this, try and discourage guests from wearing them in the first place, but if this horror does happen then do not run screaming.  It is possible to repair scratches in wood or even laminate floor. Minor scratches in laminate can be filled with a matching-coloured wax pencil while larger scrapes can be filled with repair putty. Single damaged boards can be easily replaced without needing to refit a whole floor.

2. Dreaded washing machine of horror

…flooding your lovely hardwood/laminate/vinyl kitchen flooring. There are no words.

Keeping your washing machine in good working order can prevent a ghoulish disaster such as this from occurring in the first place. Check your intake hose for damage, make sure your sink does not become blocked or consider installing a valve shut off kit designed for washing machines – this will detect puddles and shut off the water.

Of course if you’re staring at two inches of water on the floor right now this won’t help you.

Firstly, you need to make sure all electricals are switched off, and then deal with the water as quickly as possible. If you have an external door then begin by sweeping the water out with a stiff broom if. If this isn’t feasible then bail out as much as you can with a bucket and trowel, then use mops or large sponges to soak up the remainder. Once you’ve cleared the water a dehumidifier will help dry out the area. After this you’ll be able to see if there is any damage to your flooring.

3. Too much trick or treating

It’s a familiar situation; too many Halloween goodies, scoffed far too quickly, combined with the excitement of being dressed up as a zombie/skeleton/princess and before too long you’ve got a poorly child and a mess on your lovely carpet. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.

Unfortunately this is truly a ghastly job. Get some fresh air first and then dive in quick before it soaks in. Use a dust pan and scraper to remove as much of the vomit as possible, then blot the affected area with paper towels or old rags. Baking soda can come to the rescue to absorb the remainder. Leave this to work for 10-15 minutes and get some more air. Next vacuum and spray with an enzyme based stain remover and blot with paper towel or a clean cloth. Vinegar and dish soap can also be effective!

As for preventing this horror – perhaps suggest a Halloween sleepover at their friend’s house instead next year?

4. Hellhounds and little terrors who don’t wipe their feet

Yes, children and pets can cause equal fright when they come bounding in joyfully from a lovely autumnal stroll, bringing all the joys of nature with them. Wet leaves, mud and more…

Children can be trained to wipe their feet more easily than Scooby Doo, but in the mean-time, a nice large and absorbent pad inside the door, along with a big bristly mud-catching mat on the exterior can go a long way.

5. Talon decoration go wrong

You’re rushing to get ready for the party; freshly painted witch-tastic nails are glistening and then the unimaginable happens. Your open bottle of green nail polish slips and in slow motion falls towards the ground, spilling its contents, before it comes to rest – on your lovely cream carpet.

First off – soak up as much of the excess polish as you can with a paper towel, but do not scrub the stain. Next use either hairspray, carpet stain remover or a small amount of nail polish remover to dab at the stain. If you opt for hair

spray then dribble cold water on as you work it and add a few drops of rubbing alcohol. Keep rubbing until the stain is gone. Be wary of using too much acetone or nail polish remover as this can further damage your carpet. If you have a stain-resistant coating on your carpet then the marks should lift much easier.

Next time, avoid painting your nails near carpet – or indeed other fabrics. Stick to the bathroom or other wipe-able surfaces! 

Don’t be floored by any household terrors this October, be prepared and most importantly don’t panic. Your floors can withstand more than you might think!