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How to Use Surface Protection Products

The Dos and Don’ts of Protecting a Home

Whether you’re a contractor on a job site, a DIYer remodeling an existing space like a bathroom or kitchen, or a mover hired to safely transport furniture and other belongings, surface protection is crucial. 

From hardwood floors, tile, and carpet, to windows, doors, and countertops, the surfaces in a home or office building are at risk of dents, stains, and scratches. Fortunately, there are a variety of surface protection products you can utilize to safeguard these surfaces.

How to Protect Floors and Carpets with Temporary Surface Protection

Do: Cover floors with a protective floor guard 

neoprene runner surface protection product on stairs in a home

One of the most effective ways to protect floors during construction or moving is to cover them. Depending on the project, you can protect hardwood floors, tile, concrete, and other flooring with a number of floor protection products. 

Drop cloths are efficient at protecting floors from paint spills and drywall dust. Builder’s paper and kraft paper are great for lighter applications, while neoprene runners, paperboard protection, and plastic sheets are designed to withstand drops from tools and heavy foot traffic.

Protect carpets from dirt, debris, and paint with carpet protection film. It’s easy to apply, and resists punctures, so dirt and liquids have nowhere to go.

Do: Cover your shoes

An easy way to prevent dirt and other contaminants from damaging your floors is to cover your shoes with easy, reusable, slip-on shoe covers. You can put them on before entering a house and remove them each time you leave, so you’re never tracking in any dirt or debris. 

Sticky mats are also a great way to prevent tracked-in dirt. Place a tacky mat at an entryway, and it will grab dirt from the bottom of your shoes before you enter.

Don’t: Lay floor protection down before cleaning 

It’s important to clean the floors before laying floor protection down. Dirt and debris trapped under the surface protection can cause scratches to the floor’s surface. Make sure to vacuum or sweep up any dirt before placing a surface protection product. Mop the surface if necessary and let it completely dry before installing your surface protection.

Tips for Window and Door Protection

Do: Remove the door

The best way to avoid damaging a door during construction or a move is to remove it from the hinges. Once removed, you no longer have to worry about scratching the door while moving bulky furniture or hitting it accidentally with a ladder. Place the door in a safe place, away from the activity, and cover it with a drop cloth or blanket.

Do: Cover the window with a window protection film

Man smoothing a window protection film over a window inside a house

Replacing a window is the last thing you want to do during a construction or remodel project. Not only is it time and money wasted (windows are NOT cheap), but that damage can be easily avoided. Using a self-adhesive window film can reduce the risk of scratches, paint drips, and overspray. If you’re working outside, window protection film can protect from stucco, mortar stains, and more.

Using a blue masking tape, you can also tape an “x” over large sliding glass or french doors. This will make them more visible to people working, which means they will be less likely to be walked into while carrying tools and accidentally broken. 

Do: Use door jamb protection

Door jamb protectors are specially designed to protect the door frames from damage during construction. They are an effective way to protect door jambs from scratches and dents. Many door frame protectors are made out of a flexible paper material that can easily pop on and off the door jamb as needed.

Don’t: Leave a door uncovered

Sometimes, removing the door from the hinge just isn’t possible. If you can’t take the door off, make sure to cover it with cardboard to protect it from dents and scratches or kraft paper to protect it from paint overspray.

How to Protect Countertops and Cabinets

Do: Cover countertops with a protective material

Countertops can see a lot of action during construction and remodeling projects. They can be used as a place to set tools and equipment or as a platform to stand on to reach the ceiling. Avoid chips, scratches, and spilled paint by using a drapable, slip-resistant drop cloth, poly sheet, or countertop film surface protection product.

a close up of a person with work boots standing on a green, self adhesive surface protection film on a granite countertop.

Do: Cover cabinets and protect corners

Protect your cabinets from paint and dust by taping a lightweight plastic sheet over them. You can go a step further and use a protective corner guard on the corners of your cabinets to protect them from accidental damage from tools and equipment.

Don’t: Leave the protective film on too long

Manufacturers often have a recommended duration that protective films can be left on without leaving a residue. Make sure to follow instructions, remove the film, and reapply if necessary. This goes for carpet and window film, too!

Don’t Let Damage Derail Your Project

Using the right surface protection products can mean the difference between a successful move, construction, or remodeling project and a growing list of repairs and expenses. Don’t let easily avoidable damage derail you. Proactively protect surfaces before you begin your project. For a full list of surface protection products Surface Shields offers, view our catalog.

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