How to Help Your Tenants Care for Their Rental's Hardwood Floors
Your rental property is newly finished, pristine, and ready to appeal to the market of hungry renters. After spending so much time on the installation of stunning hardwood flooring, it can be nerve-wracking to think about someone else treating it thoughtlessly for years to come.
As the population grows and the current 36% of Americans that rent are slowly increasing, you’ll be met with first-time renters that don’t know how to properly care for a new space.
Use these tips and tricks to advise them on how they should be treating your newly finished rental property.
Common Hardwood Flooring Damages
There are a fair few issues that you’ll run into with hardwood floors and problems that tenants will cause if they aren’t careful.
- Buckling floorboards
- Pet stains (just don’t allow pets on the lease)
- Floorboard gaps
- Crowning floorboards
- Fading from UV light damage over time
- Peeling floor finish
Add an Area Rug
Your careless tenant can’t scratch the flooring if it’s covered (well, mostly). Either leave an area rug in the main living space or discuss it with your tenants to see if they will be moving in with one. Many landlords discuss carpeting within the lease, especially if pets will be involved, and many will include clauses about area rugs too.
In heavy foot traffic areas, this is one of the most effective ways to protect your hardwood floors.
These life-savers are something that every tenant should have, but sadly, most of them just don’t know about them.
Furniture pads help prevent scratches. If you sit on the couch too hard and the unprotected wooden legs scrape across the floor, it’s likely that it’s going to scratch the wood.
While touring the space with potential new tenants, mention this to them as a move-in tool. They’ll be worried about damaging the floors while moving furniture in and may listen to this. Many landlords will provide furniture pads for tenants, seeing it as a long-term investment in the health of their property.
Rearrange the Room
It sounds silly, but regular furniture rearrangement can prevent wearing down hardwood flooring. Most of us tread in the same spot every single time we walk through a room, whether it’s coming in from the front door or getting to the couch.
Moving the furniture and changing the paths you walk on the floor can prevent wearing down wood and creating low points or sags in the flooring.
Use Special Hardwood Floor Cleaners
Some chemicals are extremely rough on hardwood flooring. Discount store floor cleaners often have abrasive chemicals that can cause serious damage by removing the finishing/coating.
Instruct your tenants to only use specific hardwood floor cleaners that are designed to protect finishes like polyurethane. The selling point here is to mention that a compromised floor will sustain more damage with less effort (…which will hopefully make them think about that security deposit).
Advise Them on Temperature and Humidity Control
Depending on what climate or zone you live in, the humidity will either be the destroyer of floors, or it won’t even be an issue on your radar.
Talk to your tenants about keeping humidity out of the house as best they can by either purchasing a dehumidifier or using synthetic means of cooling (fans and ACs) instead of opening up the windows and letting that humidity creep in. Some landlords will provide tenants with a dehumidifier and instructions on when and how to use it.
Even if humidity isn’t an issue, temperatures can also have a negative effect. High levels of heat can cause your lovely hardwood to shrink, creating gaps in between the planks and exposing subflooring. This opens up your floor to more potential damage.
Hopefully, you’ll have a clean tenant moving into your property because a dirty tenant can do incredible amounts of damage in a short amount of time.
While it’s hard to tell what type of tenant you’ll have beforehand, when you and your future tenant walk through the property before signing the lease, mention that the finish on the floor will protect it from a good amount of wear and tear. However, they must keep the floor as clear of debris and clutter as possible in order to minimize any chance of damaging it.
Is It Time to Refinish Those Hardwood Floors?
Proper care and maintenance can help prolong the life of your hardwood floors, but nothing lasts forever. Eventually, you’ll feel the need to sand and refinish your Philadelphia apartment complex’s hardwood floors or replace them (depending on how careful your tenants are). To get a quote today: fill out a quote request, or call (215) 515-7355 and ask for Steve!