How to Care for Hardwood Floors

Wood floors are simply too stunning to skip and every season can bring a different set of challenges. Therefore, knowing how to care for hardwood floors is very important to keep them looking great for many years. If you have recently had hardwood put in, or moved to a home with existing hardwood you may be wondering what the best way to care for your floors is. Read on….

There are a lot of different things you can do for your floors, prevention is definitely the best strategy. Hardwood floors are generally revered as delicate but they are surprisingly resistant to damage. If you want to keep your floors in pristine condition there are some important aspects you should know about.

The Environment

The environment in your home is something you will need to take note of. The hygroscopic nature of your floor means it will expand and contract with the changes in moisture inside your home. This process can have adverse effects on your floor, under drastic circumstances excess moisture can cause buckling, cupping, or crowning.

A common concern is that you will ruin your wood. While there are some things that may ruin your wood it’s not as common as you may think. Most often hardwood can be repaired with sanding. If the damage is to a larger extend, boards can be replaced and refinished to match the rest.  Temperatures too cold and dryness can cause the wood to gape, crack, and even split. Alternatively, if the floor is too wet and heat can also buckle the wood. Therefore, it is important to keep humidity levels down and clean up spills as soon as they occur. A good recommendation is to keep your home’s temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a 30 to 50 percent humidity level. The relative humidity of your home can be monitored with a hygrometer and whole-house humidifiers can be used to keep the relative humidity consistent even in the winter.

Usage

Taking off your shoes in your home is another big way to protect your floors. Adding doormats to gather dirt and debris are also important. Felt pads under your chair legs and furniture legs is another step in prevention that you will want to take. Near the sink is an area that tends to wear more quickly than other areas so adding a mat to this part of your home can help protect your floor.

Caring for Hardwood Floors Tips

  • Routinely sweep with a soft broom, dust mop, or vacuuming using the bare floor setting to remove dust and dirt.
  • Do not let puddles sit. Use a dry or slightly damp cloth to immediately wipe up anything you spill.  A mop and bucket are not ideal cleaning items for hardwood flooring and should be avoided.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals on your floor, including vinegar, and use only non-abrasive cleaning pads when mopping the floor.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaning pads will scratch the surface of your floor and cause damage over time. A dry Swiffer pad is a great option for quick cleanings but make sure to change the pad regularly especially if the floor has a lot of debris.
  • Ban street shoes. Train your family to leave their shoes at the door. This will avoid rock pebbles grinding into the wood leaving scratches and dents.

In Conclusion:

Caring for hardwood floors is easier than you may imagine. Keep the floor clear of debris, prevent scratching with preventative methods, and keep the floor at a consistent humidity level and you will have a floor you can enjoy for years to come. Consider signing up for a hardwood floor maintenance program to keep your floors beautiful.  Just give us a call.

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