Properly cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors will provide you with a lifetime of beautiful flooring. But, what’s the best way to keep them well maintained?
Here are some tips that will help you accomplish the task.
Have internal and exterior mats at every entry door. This will allow you to knock any abrasive dirt from your shoes, keeping it from scratching your floors. Have mats at your kitchen sink, dishwasher and any prep areas. You will protect your floor from spills, food, detergents, and dropped utensils. Breathable rugs with a non stick backing will help maintain it in high traffic areas.
You will also need to sweep your floors frequently. A dust mop or broom with exploded tips will do a good job of removing abrasive dirt. Sweeping weekly to daily, depending on the traffic that your floor gets will help keep the finish from getting scratched.
After dust mopping, vacuum the entire area, but remember to turn off the beater bar and take advantage of the special hardwood floor attachments that come with most top rated hardwood floor vacuums.
- Do not wet mop wood floors. Too much moisture can damage the wood.
- If you have pets at home, keep their nails trimmed.
- Your floors worst enemies are high heels and cleats, as they can scratch the floor or even leave dents all over.
- You will need to know the relative humidity in your home, and you can buy a hygrometer for that. It is important that a relative humidity between 35% and 55% be maintained.
- You will need to protect your floors from direct sunlight, as sunlight can change its color.
- If there is a spill anywhere, wipe it up immediately. Start at the edge of the spill and move inwards as you wipe. This will keep the spill contained, and keep it from spreading out.
- Professional cleaning products can be used to remove tough stains or spills without dulling the finish.
Acknowledging The Finish
It will be important for you to know which type of finish was applied to your floor in order to take care of it properly. The major types of flooring for residential homes are:
- Surface finishes: Urethane or polyurethane – These finishes are practical and therefore, very popular. They form a protective coating on the surface of the wood that is durable and water-resistant, requiring very little maintenance.
- Wax – A wax finish soaks into the wood, hardening to form a protective seal. This can be maintained with additional thin applications of wax.
Use a water-based polish to restore the shine and luster every two to three months. They won’t leave a residue and have no harmful toxins. Durable, urethane-based polishes have no waxy buildup. They have a protective wear layer that fills in any micro-scratches, along with fast dry times. This is perfect for evening out the wear on your floor.
When your floor starts to look really beat up all over, hire a professional to sand it down, and refinish it. Your floors will look like new, and last a lifetime.
These are the most basic, everyday cleaning tasks that you can use to care for your hardwood floors. Taking the proper steps, knowing how to care for your floors, and calling a professional years down the road, when needed, will keep your floors looking exactly as you like them to look, beautiful.
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