Hardwood floors are well rewarded for their rich appearance, durability, and resistance to stains but they are not impermeable. Their timeless appeal can help to raise the wholesale value of your home significantly but they require proper care to really look their best. Wood floors can be very easy to ruin if homeowners are careless but they can also be easy to maintain with a bit of effort.
For the longest lasting wood floors, several types of cleaning should be performed on a regular basis. First, floors must be swept regularly to remove any buildup of sand, dirt, and grime. Cat owners should take special care with litter that gets tracked through the home as it can easily scratch wood floors. If you live in a sandy region or have cats or dogs which frequently track litter or dirt through the home, you may need to sweep or vacuum almost daily.
At least once a week it is a good idea to wipe down your wood floors with a clean cloth or damp (not wet!) mop. Remember: excessive standing water is the easiest way to damage your beautiful hardwood floors. The mop should be damp enough to trap hairs and dust but not wet enough to leave water behind.
For a deep clean, occasionally wash your wood floors with hardwood specific cleaning products as well. Tough spots such as lipstick, paint, oil, markers, or ink can be removed with acetone nail polish remover and a clean cloth. Remove the stain as quickly as possible and then immediately wash the area to remove all residue. To remove wax-based substances first apply ice to the substance to harden it and then carefully scrape it off the floor using a plastic scraper or old credit card. Do not use anything sharp or you may scratch the finish.
For areas with more foot traffic, consider placing area rugs or floor protectors to prevent scuffing and scratching. Place mats at all entrance ways to catch dirt before it is tracked further into your home. Do not use rubber-backed rugs on hardwood floor as they may cause discoloration or adhere to the surface: Instead choose hardwood approved vinyl mats under rugs to prevent slipping.
When moving chairs or tables, be sure to get help and lift them off the floor rather than dragging into place. If you need move heavy furniture place pads underneath the legs first to allow dragging without the risk of scratching your floor. Heavy furniture that will remain in one place for extended periods of time should be rested on top of ¼ inch plywood or Masonite in order to cushion the floor and distribute weight.
Relative humidity levels inside your home can also cause adverse effects. Prevent expansion and contraction by keeping humidity levels between 45% and 65% all year round to keep floors from warping due to moisture.
Pets with untrimmed nails can easily scratch hardwood floors so keep pet claws short and dull to avoid unnecessary damage. Similarly, spiked heels and sharp objects can cause damage or scratching so keep them off of and away from your wood floors.
Finally, the following cleaning items should never be used on hardwood floors:
· Steel wool pads;
· Buffing machines;
· Scouring powder;
· Cleaning agents featuring ammonia, oil, wax, polish, or abrasive ingredients;
· Soapy water and Wet mops.
Gina Brewton has been in the home improvement industry for past 7 years.She had been working as CEO in a reputed residential cleaning company
in Toronto. She is into blogging recently. Well, she is part time an interior designer too. She juggles motherhood and her career. She also loves cooking, photography, craft and painting.
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