Potted plants offer more than just a nice way to add a little green to the interior of your home. Fresh vegetation can lift your mood and help oxygenate the air as well! But living plants need to be watered regularly, and that means there’s always a risk of over watering and a little leakage. Depending on the type of pot you use, discoloration and damage can occur under and around the base from:
- Mold or mildew growth due to excess moisture trapped underneath the pot, or even water leaking onto your rug, carpet, or hardwood flooring underneath. Over time, this can cause issues such as discoloration, damaged rug fibers or even discoloration of your hardwood floors. Unless you have stone or waterproof flooring, it’s only a matter of time before damage occurs.
- Color pigments being leached from the pot itself onto the floor or rug beneath. This is typically a bigger issue for lighter colored rugs such as cream or white, but even a dark floor will look a little darker if the color has transferred from the pot.
- Color bleeding of the rug fibers themselves. Over time excess moisture will cause the dyes in your rug to weaken, gradually migrating into the lighter colors surrounding it.
- Dirt spilled from the edges of the pot. As you’re watering your plant, excess topsoil can spill over with the water, making your rug dirty in addition to making it wet.
- Very heavy plants or pots. Rug fibers can become crushed under the weight of a heavy pot. Some fibers are more resilient than others, but even a nice wool rug can only take so much weight. Depending on how long the pot has been in that area, it may be possible to bring the pile back to normal, but there is a chance you’ll continue to see that indentation even a long time after the pot has been removed.
- Scratches from the potted plant being moved. Your hardwood floors underneath probably have a oil or water based polyurethane finish. Unfortunately, even the most durable natural wood can scratch, especially when something like a stone or ceramic pot shifts around. You may not notice it due to the small movements, but once you move that plant, it’ll be very clear.
Regularly Check Rugs and Hardwood under Each Potted Plant
Here are five simple ways to limit and prevent damage to rugs and wood floors:
- Get help lifting heavy pots instead of dragging them along the floor. If no help is available, use furniture movers or felt pads to keep the pot from making direct contact.
- Dry any moisture or spills and allow the wet areas to dry completely before replacing the pot.
- Sweep or vacuum the area around potted plants and use a crack/crevasse attachment to pick up any stray dirt or debris in hard-to-reach places.
- Rotate your rugs and regularly reposition any pots on them to prevent depressions in the fibers from becoming permanent.
- Place a protective felt mat between the base of the pot and your hardwood floor. Don’t use rubber, PVC, or a plastic pad since these materials may discolor your hardwood. On carpet and rugs, you may want to consider placing tray between the pot and the floorcovering so that any leaks or moisture don’t make direct contact.
If you do find flooring damage when you check under your potted plants, contact the professionals at Ayoub N&H right away to repair the flooring. With years of experience and trained professionals available to answer any of your questions, you can rest easy knowing that the damage you found won’t be there for long.