Protect your wood floors for years by following these tips.
Beautiful and enduring flooring options include solid hardwood and engineered wood. It would appear that hardwood floors are resistant to any kind of punishment that homeowners can dole out, given their reputation for hardness. Think again. Hardwood flooring can be damaged by a variety of factors. The first step in maintaining your hardwood flooring and keeping it beautiful for years to come is to treat it with the respect it deserves. Learn how to safeguard hardwood floors with these straightforward pieces of advice.
Are you already following any of these steps?
Limit Foot Traffic
Hardwood floors are very resilient to daily foot traffic and impact. However, flooring must be shielded from unnatural wear and tear. It appears that preventing—or, more accurately, minimizing—the normal wear you see in high-traffic areas is one of the most difficult aspects of keeping wood floors. To maintain the condition of your hardwood flooring, take the following precautions.
Keep permanent markers out of the hands of kids to prevent your little artists from accidentally ruining your hardwood floors. Be cautious and keep toys with wheels out of the house. Outdoor wheeled toys may collect pebbles in the treads, scratching hardwood inside. Put a strict no-shoes rule in place, including for high heels, which are known to harm hardwood flooring. It’s always recommended to take your shoes off before entering a residence because most of them collect little pebbles in the soles. If you decide to wear shoes inside the house, it’s crucial to stay away from anything with spikes, such as cleats and heels. The finish of the floor can avoid being marred by shoes with non-marking soles. The areas of your home that receive the most traffic should have runners or rugs in the halls or front of the doorways. Also, remember your animals. Additionally, keeping their nails clipped and their paws clean can help prevent unpleasant dings and scrapes.
It may be time to start more strictly enforcing your no-shoes-in-the-house rule. Your dazzling hardwood flooring becomes covered with outside debris brought inside on shoes or paws. Abrasive substances operate like sandpaper if they are left in situ for too long, gradually abrading the topcoat of your flooring. Every box dragged over the floor makes the topcoat even duller and brings you one step closer to the subsequent refinishing or resanding. Regular floor cleaning removes abrasive grit that can wear down the topcoat of your floor.
We stress the need of using cleaning agents for hardwood floors that are made to enhance their beauty without causing damage. You may be aware of numerous cleaning techniques for wood floors that are highly harmful to them. Here are a few instances:
- Diluted vinegar may make the finish on your floor look drab.
- The majority of soap-based cleansers leave residue on finishes that can deteriorate with time.
- Heat and moisture are combined during steam cleaning, which might result in long-term damage.
Instead, what do you do? Some of the most fundamental advice for caring for wood flooring is as follows: Make an investment in a good broom, dustpan and mop made for wood floors. Reusable microfiber dust mop pads are very practical and economical when it comes to dust mopping. A truly excellent one won’t set you back an arm and a leg. The dust mop will likely be your most-used tool. When choosing your cleaning products, seek ones that are safe for hardwood floors, don’t leave a residue and are approved for use around both kids and pets. Use a stronger dose of neutral pH wood floor cleaner if you discover that salt has made its way onto your hardwood flooring.
Eliminate Pooled Water
Liquids don’t only get on your hardwood floors from wet mopping. Among other catastrophes, dishwashers leak, kitchen sinks splash, youngsters run through the rain in rain boots, pets shake off water and drinks spill. Cleaning up should be done as soon as possible when little amounts of a liquid spill and remain inside the boundaries of a single floorboard, but it is not a cause for concern. Although spilled liquids can leak through seams and between floors and pose additional issues if they bridge flooring. Site-finished wood floors are less likely to sustain damage because the joints have been sealed with sealant. However, there are no filled gaps in pre-finished wood flooring, which is laid in much bigger quantities these days. Although seams are often tight, they are not strong enough to stop water from collecting after prolonged sitting.
Prevent Furniture Damage
If your furniture has legs, even if it is only slightly shifted, it will probably leave unattractive scratches on your lovely wood floors. Invest in low-cost leg guards like glides and sliders to address this issue. While some leg guards can be hidden underneath the leg, others form a little sock on the leg. Leg guards are available in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors today to perfectly complement the legs, or they can be clear to virtually disappear. In addition to protecting your flooring, these guards might also lessen unsightly gouges if your vacuum cleaner accidentally slams into furniture legs.
Protect the Floors from Pets
Our hardwood floors are not as much a favorite as our dogs and cats. Dog claws and, to a lesser extent, cat claws are responsible for some of the deepest, longest and most frequent gouges in wood floors. It’s common for your dog to go after the cat or rush to get the mail. However, by doing the following steps, you can train your dog and cat to protect your hardwood floors better:
- Invest in hardwood flooring with a high Janka hardness rating. Brazilian walnut (ipe), maple, and bamboo (not wood but a sort of grass) are three species that perform a great job of resisting ferocious claws.
- Set up rugs and mats in areas where animals like to rest.
- Always trim claws. The easiest technique to lessen nail damage to flooring is to do this.
- To slow down an overzealous dog, place a hallway runner under the mailbox slot on the front door or put it in an external mailbox.
Maintain Proper Indoor Relative Humidity
Typically, a home’s humidity level falls between 30 and 50%. Wood floors are made to thrive in this setting, so you might need to take action if you notice that it is either above or below that range. Winter, for instance, might result in extremely dry air in the Metro East area. A humidifier running in a room with wood floors may help stop the wood planks from contracting. When the planks shrink, gaps occur, which can let debris and even bacteria get inside. These unwelcome guests are then trapped when the boards resize, which can promote the growth of mold and mildew. Investing in a dehumidifier can aid in keeping wood floors if the indoor humidity level is consistently higher than 50%. To avoid cupping, extra moisture should be eliminated from the house. It may be necessary to remedy any irreversible harm of this nature. Keep hygrometers in several places throughout your house so you can check the humidity level frequently. So you can maintain the humidity at the ideal level for your wood floors, you can either use a humidifier or a dehumidifier.
Refinish the Floors
Wood floor maintenance can lessen the need for refinishing. Refinishing entails stripping off all of the finish, mending any damaged wood, and applying a fresh coat of finish to the flooring. Some sorts of damage, like a significant water leak in the house, are unavoidable, though. With simple sanding and new coats of polyurethane, you may brighten a dull surface. Refinishing damaged wood floors may assist avoid the need to completely replace the flooring. This indicates that refinishing should be carried out before any extra harm is done. To make repairs or replacements, be sure to have your hardwood floor specialists, like Valor Home Services, come out and evaluate the damage.
Your home will look beautiful with wood floors. In addition to extending their lifespan, maintaining them in good condition helps stop the damage from accumulating over time, such as scuffs, scratches, and a dull surface. You asked how to preserve wood floors, and now that you know the simple precautions to take, you may look forward to many more years of enjoying the beauty of your home’s original wood floors. Follow this advice for maintaining wood floors, and when it’s time to recoat or even refinish them, call Valor Home Services.