If you have hardwood flooring you may be searching for ways to ensure your floor looks its best. There are a lot of options for ensuring your floor looks great but maintenance is truly the key. Maintenance comes in a variety of different forms when it comes to hardwood flooring ranging from preventative measures to daily care and professional maintenance services. By utilizing this different variety of preventative measures you can extend your floors life expectancy and beauty. If you have installed new flooring your contractor may talk to you about the humidity in your home. Keeping your home’s temperature stable and the humidity in the acceptable range is a major step in wood floor care.
The different seasons bring different debris and chemicals into your home and can wreak havoc on your floor. The winter season can bring water and ice melt while fall means leaves and dirt. These different debris may not seem like a big issue but when we introduce dirt and other things to our floor it can act as a sand paper that rubs away the finish coats. Keeping debris off your floor is the first step in maintaining a beautiful hardwood floor. Chemical compounds from fertilizer, ice melt and chlorine can also etch away finish. Entryway mats are the top preventative measure for protecting your wood.
Spills need to be cleaned up immediately. Keeping your floor dry is vital to its overall health. Do not use a wet mop or steam mop on real wood flooring. THe NWFA has stated that steam mops are not to be used on wood flooring because they can cause cupping, splitting and other damage. Wood swells and shrinks when the moisture in your home changes so you will want to keep your floor as stable as possible. Using a microfiber mop instead of a wet mop helps to keep your floor safe and stable. Keep wet shoes off your floor and use protective mats for dog water bowls.
Use protective pads on furniture. Scratches can make your floor look very worn. Keeping these scratches from becoming a nuisance takes just a few dollars and a couple minutes. Add furniture pads to all your furniture legs, even tables that don’t get moved regularly. These pads will protect your floor and reduce scratches. Furniture pads last about 6 months if they are being used regularly and then need to be replaced. Rugs in high traffic areas are also a great way to reduce scratches.
Daily sweeping is a good idea. Keeping the floor clean helps to prevent damage. Dust, dirt and other debris can really harm your floor’s finish. Most homeowners institute a no shoe policy to help keep the floor safe. You can use a vacuum, broom or dry duster to clean the floors daily and prevent damage to the finish. Mopping the floor is not a daily task and you will want to mop weekly or as needed.
Finally, professional maintenance is needed every 3-5 years. A buff and coat is a great option for cutting costs but still protecting your floor. A buff and coat is also called a maintenance coat. This process involves lightly buffing the top layer of the flooring finish, eliminating small scratches and imperfections, and then applying a new top coat. This process will extend the beauty and lifespan of your floor considerably. A refinish is needed if there are more serious scratches. Over time a refinish will be needed but if you are utilizing proper maintenance techniques it will likely only be every 10-15 years.
A well maintained floor can last years and years and still be as beautiful as it was when it was first installed. Preventative measures help keep your floor beautiful with minimal cost and effort. These preventative measures keep your floor looking its best.