Caring For Hardwood Floors – Protecting Your Investment

Hardwood floor enhances the look of your home and adds value to your home, but involves investing a considerable amount of money. To ensure that your investment lasts longer caring for the hardwood is essential. Hardwood floor preservation includes many things like maintaining the right room temperature. Read below to know more about the factors that can affect your hardwood flooring and how to care for it.

Change in Color

As the floor ages, it is natural to see some change in color due to exposure to heat, light, etc. The part of the floor which is covered by furniture or area rugs tends to retain their normal color than those that are exposed. It is not a defect of the flooring but is a normal process. To prevent that, change the position of the furniture or the rugs so that there is an even color throughout your flooring.

Snags and Grains

Floor finishes that have wire brushed texture, often have some snags and raised grains on some planks. These textured surfaces should be cleaned with lint-free cotton mops so that the fibers don’t get caught in the gaps. A good way to keep the snags is to maintain a minimum humidity range at 30 to 50% all year long.

Surface Cracks and Gaps

There can be minor cracks on the surface, especially during the winter due to low humidity and these close during summer when the humidity rises. This is by no means a defect but the natural property of wood and hence there is no need to worry.
This is commonly known as seasonal gapping. The wood expands in wet seasons and contracts in the dry season and hence gaps can occur in wider planks. The trick to ensuring there are no changes in the dimensions is to maintain the humidity using humidifiers.

Preventive Maintenance of Hardwood Floors

Prevention is any day better, hence taking some precautionary measures can help prevent any short or long term damage to hardwood flooring. This can also ensure that it sustains its original sheen and poise even after years of use.

Daily Schedule-Cleaning/Dusting

One of the main reasons for the popularity of hardwood floors is they are easy to maintain and quick to clean. Regular cleaning by using a mop or a vacuum cleaner is recommended say DistrictFloorDepot.com experts as it helps remove dirt from the floor. Avoid mopping the floor with a wet cloth as the finish gets dull over time. If you need to deep clean, it is recommended to use a cleaning product that’s best-suited for hardwood.

Use Doormats and Area Rugs

Place doormats at every entrance so that any dirt is caught in them and prevents damage to the floor. Additionally, doormats prevent fine dust from being tracked to the floor which can cause scratches. Apart from doormats, placing area rugs in areas of high traffic helps to prevent dust and also discoloration of the floor.

Beware of Pet’s Nails

If you have pets at home, you should trim their sharp nails from time to time. The sharp nails of the pets can cause scratches on the floor. Especially when they are excited, they tend to run hard and scratch the floor.

Use Felt Pads

Moving the furniture around can cause scratches if you have not used felt pads. Some furniture like the dining table must have these felt pads as it is frequently used and can leave scratches when the chair is pulled out or in.

Beware of Water Damage

Wood and water do not go together so be careful of spills. Clean it as soon as possible to ensure that the finish on the floor remains intact. Also, if you have a swimming pool in your house, ensure that people dry off the water before entering the house to keep the hardwood floor intact.

Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

  • Clean the floor regularly using a mop or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions and use the recommended floor cleaner.
  • Use cotton mops so that the fibers don’t get caught in the textures.
  • Clean spills immediately.
  • Use blinds or curtains to prevent exposure to sunlight and rotate the location of rugs to maintain even color.
  • Use humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain a temperature between 60 to 80° F and 30-50% humidity levels.
  • Use felt pads and protective mats under furniture to prevent scratches.
  • Use area rugs and doormats to catch water and dirt.

Don’ts

  • Do not drag the furniture as it can scratch or dent the floors.
  • Do not use wax or oil-based cleaners.
  • To clean the floor do not use steam cleaners or even a wet mop.
  • Do not allow the water to stand on the hardwood floor as it can lead to discoloration.
  • Do not place porous vases, flower pots or use scourers made of steel.
  • Avoid exposing the floor to direct sunlight.
  • Walking in high-heels, cleats, etc can leave a dent on the floor hence should be avoided.

Following the above-mentioned tips and preventive maintenance care will ensure that your hardwood floors look fabulous for many years to come.

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