While hardwood flooring is a great addition to any home or office, it requires regular care to keep it looking its best. As long as you maintain a regular cleaning regimen, it will be resistant to spills and staining. Follow these tips and you’ll easily be able to protect your investment.
Make a commitment to cleaning your hardwood flooring at least once a week. Your installer can recommend the type of solution to use. Whenever a spill occurs, take a soft cloth and blot the spill as soon as you can, because you should never allow liquids to seep into the material. Vacuum, sweep, or dust regularly to keep grit and dirt from accumulating and dulling or scratching the finish – but be sure to take off the beater bar when you use your vacuum.
However, there are a few things you need to avoid when cleaning. For instance, stay away from oil-based polish or wax, and never use any sort of abrasive chemicals. You’ll also want to stay away from using scouring powder or steel wool, because these will obviously cause significant scratching. If you wash the floor or use a wet mop soaked with soap, water, or any other liquid, be aware that it could void your warranty due to the risk of warping, swelling or de-lamination.
Every once in a while, you’ll encounter something that will be particularly challenging to clean, such as chewing gum or candle wax. When this happens, use ice to harden the spot and then gently pick up the mess with a plastic scraper. If you don’t have one handy, a credit card will do in a pinch. Once you’re done, clean with a damp cloth.
Protective exit and entry mats will help collect substances such as grit, sand, and dirt that people can track onto your hardwood flooring. Just make sure the mats don’t have a foam or rubber backing, because this can cause discoloration. Instead, use a vinyl rug underlayment to prevent slippage.
Furniture and other heavy objects can easily cause scratching as well, so use protectors and load-bearing bases or rollers. The general rule of thumb is that the heavier the piece of furniture, the wider the protector should be. Rearrange your furniture and area rugs periodically to allow your wood to age evenly, and minimize exposure to ultraviolet rays to reduce oxidation that can lead to fading and color changes.
Excessive indoor humidity is one of the most dangerous enemies to hardwood flooring. Over time, this problem can lead to serious warping. Keep your humidity level between 35-55 percent to stay on the safe side. When it’s especially dry outside, however, you should consider purchasing a humidifier to prevent excess shrinkage.
These are just a few tips that will keep your hardwood flooring in top shape. A professional will be happy to tell you even more ways to preserve your investment.