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7 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Hardwood Floors

You want your new hardwood floors to last once they are finished. You can use them for many years to come if you keep them clean in addition to improving their appearance. To prolong the lifespan of your floors, use these suggestions.

Give hardwood a try if you’re looking for the best flooring material for a space that gets a lot of traffic. Due to its natural strength and durability, wood flooring is a great choice for holding up to activity and foot traffic. Additionally, the appearance of hardwood flooring gives a space personality. However, you will experience premature aging and distress if you do not properly maintain and care for your wood flooring in high-usage areas. The wood flooring will probably need to be replaced sooner than you thought, which would be a wasteful cost. The best way to extend the life of your wood floors is through regular maintenance and appropriate care, just as with any other type of flooring. Check out these seven tried-and-true techniques to help you get the most usefulness out of your heavy-traffic wood flooring.

Prolong your wood floors by following these tips. 

Choose the Right Cleaner

It’s time to spend money on new cleaning materials when your new wood floors are installed. Keep in mind that not all floor cleaning products work well on wood floors. For instance, a wood floor can be severely harmed by a floor cleaner meant for vinyl or tile floors. In actuality, few tools and solutions for cleaning floors available in stores are suitable for use with wood flooring.

Check the label before applying anything to your wood floors to make sure it won’t result in permanent harm. Test the floor cleaner you just bought on a tiny patch of flooring. Select a location that is hidden in case of damage or staining. You can save hundreds of dollars by using the appropriate cleaning product. Hard surface cleaners and all-purpose floor cleaners, however, are the incorrect remedies. These substances cause wood floors to develop residue and have dull finishes. Additionally, some of these cleaners could include bleach or other stains that can destroy the appearance of your flooring.

Finding a cleaning product that will truly clean your floors is also necessary. Pick a cleaning agent with a pH of 7 or higher that is designed especially for use on hardwood floors. Here are some extra pointers on how to properly utilize cleaning products for wood floors:

  • Never use a moist sponge or a soaked mop to clean your new wood floors because they will damage them. On a waxed wood floor, excess water can collect and harm the wood’s surface.
  • Utilize only cleaners that are designated as being appropriate for hardwood flooring. For optimal results, get these items directly from the business that installed your wood flooring.

You will also need to clean your high-traffic areas more frequently. For instance, the flooring in corridors and conference rooms is subjected to significantly more grit, debris and dust. Most likely, more powerful cleaning agents and techniques will need to be used on certain flooring surfaces. By doing this, you can stop muck from accumulating in high-traffic areas. You can keep your hardwood flooring in good condition for many years if you take the time to select the appropriate cleaning equipment and materials.

Add Protection for Wear and Tear

One way to increase the lifespan of your hardwood floors is to keep them clean. You should not, however, stop there. Invest in rugs, mats and felt protectors to preserve your wood floors. In hallways, entryways and other areas with high foot traffic, use carpets and nonslip mats. This will stop the wood in these areas from wearing out more quickly than the rest of your wood flooring. Here are some extra suggestions for preventing damage to your floors and extending their lifespan:

  • According to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), a person walking in high heels and weighing only 125 pounds can exert up to 8,000 pounds of strain. Use extra mats for padding if high heels are worn in heavy traffic areas to protect the flooring.
  • Avoid moving heavy appliances or furniture across wood floors. To avoid damaging the floor, choose to lift or use hand trucks to move objects.
  • Use felt protectors on the bottoms of display stands, table legs and chair legs to stop them from scratching floors.
  • Use felt protectors, rugs and mats sparingly and wash them frequently. As these things become more filthy, the dirt rubs against the surface of your wood floors like sandpaper.

You never know when something will be dropped or spilled on your wood floors. However, you may increase the lifespan of your hardwoods by taking all reasonable precautions to keep them safe from deterioration and harm.

Clean Up Messes Immediately

When spills or messes are left on hardwood floors for too long, they can seep into the wood and cause staining or discoloration. Even worse, they can create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. To avoid these problems, it’s important to clean up spills and messes as soon as possible. If you have a small spill, you can usually blot it up with a damp cloth. For larger spills or messes, you may need to use a mild cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors. In addition to cleaning up messes immediately, there are other things you can do to extend the life of your hardwood floors. These include:

  • Vacuuming or sweeping your floors regularly to remove dirt and dust.
  • Using a hardwood floor polish or sealant to protect the wood from moisture and scratches.
  • Avoid dragging furniture across your floors.
  • Using felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratching.

Winterize Your Floors

You must use winterizing techniques to keep your wood flooring warm over the winter months. Depending on your climate and region, most homeowners need to winterize. Use a humidifier to restore the air’s moisture content so that your floor doesn’t develop gaps throughout the winter. Wood floorboard gaps can become an unwelcome breeding ground for dirt, bacteria and other undesirables. Additionally, with time, damage like splintering or bowing of the boards due to repeated expansion and contraction of your wood flooring may occur.

The tracking of salt or calcium chloride onto floors is another problem that develops throughout the winter. This is particularly important in regions where snow and ice are common. People’s shoes gather up the salt that is used to prevent falls on icy sidewalks and stairways. This salt can significantly harm wood flooring if it is allowed to sit. Use a cleaner designed specifically for removing calcium chloride to prevent this from wreaking havoc on your wood flooring. To avoid causing more harm to the hardwoods, be sure to heed the label’s instructions.

Avoid Excess Sun Exposure

Hardwood floors are a beautiful and durable addition to any home, but they can be susceptible to damage from sunlight. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause hardwood floors to fade, discolor and even warp over time. To protect your hardwood floors from sun damage, it’s important to keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible. If you have a room with large windows that let in a lot of sunlight, you can use blinds, curtains, or shades to block out the rays. You can also plant trees or shrubs outside your windows to provide natural shade. If you can’t completely avoid sun exposure, there are a few things you can do to minimize the damage.

  • Use a UV-resistant finish on your hardwood floors.
  • Clean your floors regularly to remove dirt and dust, which can attract UV rays.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your floors, as these can also damage the finish and make it more susceptible to sun damage.

Maintain Regularly

It is possible to extend the life of wood floors by up to 30% by performing routine maintenance. However, you should carry out the right chores to maximize the benefits of periodic maintenance. The NWFA recommends using a dust mop or brush to sweep up dirt and dust from your wood floors daily. Use a vacuum with the wood or bare floor setting once a week to remove dust from the flooring’s cracks and openings. While wet mopping is not recommended for wood flooring, you must wash your floors once a month. Use the right cleaning supplies and equipment for hardwoods to avoid damaging your flooring.

Refinish

Hardwood floors are a beautiful and classic addition to any home, but they can show signs of wear and tear over time. If your hardwood floors are looking dull, scratched, or stained, you may be wondering if refinishing them is worth it. The good news is that refinishing hardwood floors can be a great way to extend their life and improve their appearance. Refinishing involves sanding down the top layer of the wood and applying a new finish. This can remove scratches, stains, and even minor damage to the wood. In addition to improving the appearance of your hardwood floors, refinishing can also protect them from future damage. The new finish will help to seal the wood and make it more resistant to scratches, stains, and moisture.

If you’re considering refinishing your hardwood floors, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, refinishing can be a messy and time-consuming process. You’ll need to move all of your furniture out of the room and cover any areas that you don’t want to get sanded. Second, refinishing can be expensive. The cost will vary depending on the size of the room and the type of finish you choose. However, if you’re looking for a way to improve the appearance of your hardwood floors and extend their life, refinishing is a great option. With proper care, your refinished hardwood floors can last for many years. Here are some additional tips for refinishing hardwood floors:

  • Hire a professional. If you’re not comfortable refinishing your hardwood floors yourself, you can hire a professional, like Valor Home Services, to do it for you. This will ensure that the job is done correctly and that your floors look their best.
  • Choose the right finish. There are many different types of finishes available for hardwood floors. Choose a finish that will protect your floors from the type of wear and tear that they’re most likely to experience.
  • Take care of your refinished floors. Once your hardwood floors have been refinished, it’s important to take proper care of them. This means cleaning them regularly and using a hardwood floor polish or sealant to protect them from moisture and scratches.

You want to extend the lifespan of your hardwood floors as much as you can after investing in them. Fortunately, by following these seven suggestions, you may increase the lifespan of your floors—even in places with heavy usage. Whether you want to install, repair or refinish wood floors in your home, Valor Home Services is here to help. We have been the top flooring experts in our service area for over 25 years! Our team will be happy to assist. Call our office today to get started.