Choosing to install hardwood floors is one of the best choices you can make for your home. When cared for properly, they can add a sense of elegance, charm and cleanliness that can be missed with common carpeting. In many ways, they are much lower maintenance. But in their everyday care and cleaning, you want to keep these tips in mind, to avoid mistakes and get better use in the long term and short.
When cleaning your hardwood floors:
- Use a soft cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your floor.
- Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt or grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.
- For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Avoid these common mistakes:
- Don’t use oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners.
- Don’t use steel wool or scouring powder.
- Don’t wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
- Don’t use any type of buffing machine.
*Use exit mats upon entry. Good quality entry and exit mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that can otherwise be tracked onto your flooring. Do not use rubber- or foam-backed plastic mats as they may discolor the flooring. To prevent slippage, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.
*Use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector should be.
*Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35 and 55% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of wood.
- Heating Season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
- Non Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier or periodically turning on your heating system can maintain humidity during the summer months. Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.
*Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on the floor. They many cause indentations in your flooring.
*Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to keep them from scratching your flooring.
Those are our tips for today on proper hardwood floor care. If and when you are ready to start your next home remodel or renovation project, give the contractors at Unique Home Building a call, and you’ll be on your way in no time!