The holidays are a time for relaxation and fun, but they can also spell disaster for your hardwood floors if you don’t take proper precautions.

Stay focused on the good times this holiday season! Here are three holiday-related dangers that you should keep watch for to keep your hardwood floors looking great.

Danger #1: Guests and foot traffic

Protecting hardwood floors from foot trafficIf you’re having guests over during the holidays, take precautions to protect your hardwood floors from heavy foot traffic.

Ask your guests to take off their shoes near the door and leave them in a dedicated area on top of a rug, mat, or bin. Excess moisture from melting snow can damage the finish. High heels are also dangerous––they can leave dents in your hardwood floor.

Put down extra rugs in areas that get a lot of traffic, like hallways and entryways. It’s also a good idea to affix chair glides on your chairs to prevent them from marring or scratching your finish when people slide them out.

Danger #2: Christmas trees

Protecting hardwood floors from Christmas tree needlesThe needles are abrasive and can scratch your finish if dragged across the floor, so vacuum them up frequently.

You should also put down a skirt around your tree to protect the finish from the needles, and some extra padding underneath the stand to protect the floor from the weight of the tree itself.

When bringing the tree into your house, put something down like kraft paper along the path you’re going to take to prevent as much contact between the needles and the floor as possible.

Danger #3: Snow and salt

Protecting hardwood floors from snowMelting snow can leave puddles on your hardwood floors, and water can damage your finish. Make sure to promptly clean up any snow and leftover moisture with a microfiber cloth or mop.

Salt particles are rugged and when dragged across the floor, they can damage the finish. Taking off your shoes at any entryway, or at least kicking the snow and salt off of your shoes before you enter, is a good way to prevent these particles from being dragged in from outside.

Any shoes taken off at entryways should be placed on top of mats, rugs, or in bins to prevent any snow from melting onto the floor.