Maintain Your Hardwood Floors
Posted on September 12, 2015

Adding value and warmth to any home, hardwood floors are a major investment. That’s why it’s important to maintain hardwood floors so they will provide beauty for many years to come.

Know your hardwood floors. Most new hardwood floors have polyurethane, urethane or polyacrylic finishes that make them water resistant. Older hardwood floors may be finished with oil, varnish, lacquer or shellac. These finishes are not as durable. To determine the soundness of the finish, place a few drops of water on a worn area of the floor. If the water continues to remain beaded up for a few minutes, then the finish is sound. If the water soaks into the wood or turns the floor dark, then the finish is unsound. Follow these simple steps to maintain your hardwood floors that have a sound finish:

Sweep hardwood floors on a daily basis to prevent the build-up of grit. Tiny surface particles of dirt can scratch the wood and wear down the finish.

Vacuum with a soft floor brush attachment weekly. Be sure and clean the grooves between the boards and the beveled edges of planks if you have them.

Check the hardwood floor manufacturer for specific recommendations on cleaning products. Follow their instructions so as not to void any warranties on the flooring.

Damp-mop occasionally for deeper cleaning. Use a pH-neutral water-based cleaner or a few drops of dishwashing detergent in a bucket of water. Wring the mop almost dry. Rinse with clean water and a clean mop. Optimally, dry the floor with towels or another soft material.

Do not allow excess water to stand on the hardwood floors and do not use too much water. If you have prefinished or engineered hardwood floors that are factory finished and installed onsite, water can seep between the boards and damage the wood. Even site finished hardwood floors can sometimes have gaps between the planks because of the expansion and contraction of the wood during temperature and weather changes.

Additional Tips:

  • Use mats at entry doors on both the exterior and interior to reduce the amount of dirt that is tracked into the house.
  • Place a mat at the kitchen sink, under pet bowls and any other location where water can be splashed onto the floor.
  • Choose mats suitable for hardwood floors. Rubber-backed rugs can damage hardwood floors.
  • Use felt pads under furniture to avoid scuffing the floors.
  • Clean spills immediately with a damp towel. Finish by drying the area.
  • Trim pet’s nails regularly to prevent gouges.
  • Never use bleach, ammonia or abrasive cleaners.

Follow these guidelines and your hardwood floors will remain attractive for many years to come.

 

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