Hardwood Revival
Wood Floor Maintenance and Care

Wood Floor Maintenance and Care

Take a moment and look at your wood floors. Do they look amazing or a little the worse for wear? Whether your floors are in great shape or could use a little love, Hardwood Revival wants you to know how to properly care for your wood floor. Wood floor maintenance isn't difficult, and a little bit of care and planning goes a long way.

A Surprising Fact About Wood Floor Maintenance

You'd think that products designed for cleaning wood floors are formulated for wood, but they are actually made to take the best care of the protective polyurethane finish on the wood. The truth about wood is that it can get scratched, dented and gouged pretty easily, and it really needs the protective coating to last. Just be careful. Not all products that say they are for wood floor use are actually appropriate for wood floors.

Some popular floor products promise to add a shine to your wood floors, but instead cause a build up of waxy acrylic that will cloud the finish and leave behind a sticky, visible residue that is difficult to remove. When in doubt as to what to use for your floor, check with the manufacturer of your pre-finished flooring or just give Hardwood Revival a call.

The Biggest Threat to Your Hardwood Floor

Water and wood floors don't mix. If wood is exposed to too much water (and that includes high humidity), the wood fibers can swell, and the boards can show cupping, buckling and cracking. So wet mopping is never recommended, and damp mopping is also frowned upon. Ignore the advertisements for steam cleaners that show its use on hardwood - that is a recipe for real damage. Instead, use a product designed especially for wood floor cleaning, and follow the directions.

Many of these products instruct you to spray the product lightly on the floor, and wipe away with a cloth floor sweeper or microfiber mop. Spills should be cleaned up immediately. Sticky spills can be wiped up with a well squeezed out sponge or cloth. If your floor is damaged by a pipe leak or flooding, contact a water damage restoration firm specializing in wood floors immediately so that the boards can be dried as soon as possible, before mold starts to grow. The boards may require sanding and refinishing, but you can hopefully avoid having to replace the floor.

Maintaining Your Floor's Finish

Sweep your floor often. That is the best advice Hardwood Revival can give you to help preserve your floor's finish. When people walk over dirt and grit on the floor, the soles of their shoes scrape it along the finish, literally scratching it. So the less dirt on the floor, the better. If you prefer to vacuum the floor, just make sure that the beater bar is off, or that you use the brush attachment on your canister vacuum.

It is a good idea to place mats at both sides of each entrance to the room containing the hardwood floor, to reduce the amount of dirt that enters in the first place. Area rugs can also be helpful to cushion your floor from damage. Just make sure that all mats or area rugs used have a backing made of natural materials. Unfortunately, plastic or rubber backing materials can react chemically with the polyurethane finishes, marking up and discoloring the floor. While this can probably be corrected with sanding and refinishing, it is a better idea to avoid the problem from the start.

How to Prevent Wood Floor Damage

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some common things that can ding, dent, scratch, and otherwise damage hardwood flooring, and tips on how to prevent that damage before it happens.

Pets - Your pet's claws can ruthlessly scratch your wood floor, so keep them clipped short. For pet friendly wood floors, choose a matte or satin finish, rather than a glossy or semi-glossy. It will hide more scratches. A textured hand-scraped floor or a weathered look can also help disguise a lot of this kind of damage.

Furniture - Cover the bottom of furniture legs with felt so they don't scrape across the floor. Don't slide heavy furniture or appliances at all - use sliders to help you move it instead. Replace the plastic casters on rolling furniture, like office chairs, with rubber, non-marking wheels. It is possible to address small scratches yourself. Stain pens are available at your local hardware store, to help make scratches less noticeable.

High heels - High heels can pepper a floor with numerous small dents in a very short time. The smaller the bottom of the heel, the greater the amount of pressure is concentrated on the floor under the point of the heel with each step. No wood can sustain that kind of pressure without denting, so keep high heels off hardwood flooring. There are also heel caps available for purchase, which are placed over the heel to help distribute your weight over a slightly larger surface area to reduce denting.

With a little bit of care, your wood floors can last a lifetime. And if there is ever a little damage or concern, call the experts at Hardwood Revival. We'll help them look great again.

 

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