How to Care for Hardwood Flooring
Caring for your hardwood floors is very important. If you have recently had hardwood put in, refinished or moved to a home with existing hardwood you may be wondering what the best way to care for your floors is.
There are a lot of different things you can do for your floors, prevention is one of the best things for wood floor. If you want to keep your floors looking good for years to come there are some important steps to take. Hardwood floors are generally revered as delicate but they are surprisingly resistant to damage. The environment of your home is something you will need to take note of. The hydroscopic nature of your floor means it will expand and contract with the changes in moisture inside your home. This process can have adverse affects 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 they are not as common as you may think and many times hardwood can be repaired with sanding. If it is much too cold and cry the wood can start to gap, crack and even split. Alternatively if the floor is too wet and hot it can buckle. Monitoring humidity levels in one way to protect your floor. 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.
Taking off your shoes in your home is another big way to protect your floors. Door mats 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.
Avoid harsh chemicals on your floor, including vinegar. A non abrasive cleaning pad should also be used. Abrasive cleaning pads will abrate 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. Spot mop and never douse your hardwood floors with a lot of water. A mop and bucket are not ideal cleaning items for hardwood flooring and should be avoided.
Caring for hardwood flooring 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.