Environment friendly and classy, hardwood floors have been in popular demand for centuries to add a certain style and value to a home and are widely known for their durability. However, they are not indestructible and require maintenance. It is fortunate that with very little effort, it is possible to retain the gorgeous beauty of your valuable floor for decades without being sanded or needing a fresh coat of varnish. Here are 7 easy ways to maintain your hardwood floor.
1. Clear out the dust.
Strange as it seems, the easiest way to keep your floor clean is to simply dust it or run a vacuum over it. Dust is known to seep through the wood and it is important to clear out all the dirt from the surface of the floor. Run a dust mop or a vacuum with a brush which has a felt surface tip to avoid scratching the floor with hard bristles. This should be done almost daily especially in areas where more treading occurs. For best results, use a rubber broom as it will not only attract all the hair your pets shed all over, but will also not leave any dirt behind.
2. Steer clear of liquids.
Unlike normal floors which need regular mopping to shine and sparkle, hardwood floors actually become dull with repeated contact with moisture. Instead of moping, use a broom to clean it periodically. While mopping of hardwood floors is not unheard of, it is advisable to not let any liquid touch the surface at all. Also avoid bleach, oil, furniture spray, ammonia or wax so as to not damage your beautiful flooring. In case of accidental spillage, use a damp cloth to wipe it off immediately to prevent staining. Always use water-based acidic cleaners like diluted white vinegar instead of alkaline soaps and cleaners since the latter tends to dull the polished finish of the wood over time. Keep your windows or any other vents closed during rains so that the water cannot seep through.
3. No scratches please.
Even the best hardwood floors are prone to scratching with the slightest provocation. The easiest way to prevent this is to use extra large and long cotton rugs. It is important that you use only cotton rugs to avoid scratches. However, if you do not want to hide away the glorious floor, simply put tiny soft pads on the bottom of those pieces of furniture, like chairs and tea-tables which are susceptible to movement even at the littlest bumps. Avoid wearing shoes with pointy heels over the surface and do not drag or slide heavy furniture, even the ones on wheels, to prevent denting and grazing the surface. If you have a pet, remember to trim their nails.
4. Prevent discoloration.
It is possible for hardwood floors to discolor in areas which receive comparatively more or less exposure than the other areas. If you are using area rugs, remember to roll them up and move them around periodically so as to prevent this. Also, keep in mind that direct exposure to sunlight will result in discoloring and in case only a particular area of the floor is exposed to constant sunlight, either block the sunlight or place a rug in the area during the day.
5. Use the right cleaning products.
Just because your furniture and your floor are both made of wood doesn’t mean your furniture polish will work on your exquisite and precious hardwood floor. These polishes usually contain ammonia which is alkaline and can affect your floor’s shine and finish. Also, refrain from using harsh steel wool pads or any other kind of scouring pads as these leave scars and scratches too permanent to get rid of easily. Always use cleaners which are water based acids with an almost neutral pH. If your floor is wax-finished, use wax finishes which are specifically made for wax finished hardwood flooring. If your floor is not wax-finished, use a regular hardwood floor cleaning agent. Please note that these products should only be used once a week or less.
6. Cover up areas of high traffic.
No matter how much you try, there will always be instances where someone might stroll up your precious hardwood floor in their swanky stilettos or drag their feet from one end of the room to another. To prevent harm as a result, place cotton rugs or cotton mats in areas which are prone to be accessed more, like the areas near entrances and exits and where your furniture is placed. It is important to move these coverings occasionally in order to maintain the uniform coloring of the floor.
7. Repair and refinish.
The key to any product lasting for a long period of time is periodic scrutinizing and repairing by a professional. Remember to hire a flooring specialist at least once a year to give a thorough look and repair and refinish the surface if needed. Postponing it because the damage seems minimal might just aggravate the problem and cost you ten times more than regular servicing might have.
● Learn your wood type and educate yourself with its specifications.
● Use soft cotton cloth to clean spillages instead of a mop.
● If you absolutely have to wipe your floor, remember to wring your mop as much as you can to avoid excess of water seeping through the wood, thereby damaging it. Avoid liquid cleaners as much as you can.
● Keep a handy kit for wood repair. In case of scratching, don’t panic! Instead, use the paint in the kit to carefully cover the scratch and let the area dry properly.
● Use doormats at all entrances to absorb as much dirt you can before your guest (s) walk inside. Full length cotton rugs are also highly useful. Avoid rubber backed rugs to prevent scratching.
Maintaining pristine beauty comes at a price. Fortunately, hardwood floors follow the “Prevention is better than cure” policy which makes them twice as durable with half the maintenance. If you would like to know more about hardwood floors send us your contact information and one of our specialist will assist you.