Nothing is even worse than finding the first dent or scratch on your newly installed hardwood floor. Though you are aware that scratches or dents are not uncommon to wood flooring, you also know very well that damages start with these light, unattended scuffs. Over the years, your hardwood flooring will suffer from wear and tear—a situation so inevitable yet manageable if given much-needed attention. Lack of knowledge in hardwood flooring maintenance could easily lose your chance in restoring your floors to life. However, if your hardwood flooring is well-maintained, you can keep its luster and lessen the likelihood of damages in the long run.
So, we thought this is the right opportunity to round up the do’s and don’ts of hardwood flooring maintenance—making sure that your wood flooring is always in great shape.
DO’s of Hardwood Flooring Maintenance
DO add protectors or furniture pads. Every time you sit down on your couch or chair, it slides a bit that may cause damage or wear over time. With this, you need to make sure that felt floor protectors or furniture pads are placed on the bottom of the furniture in your house. Without protectors, you can expect a lot of scrapes and scratches on your wood floor.
DO wipe up spilled liquids immediately. Water is the enemy of hardwood. When your hardwood floor is exposed to water for a long time, you will notice any separation of floorboards or cupping. If unattended, the worst you can expect is structural damage leading to floor replacement. So, as part of hardwood flooring maintenance, make sure to wipe up any spilled water or liquid on the floor immediately. You can use a soft, dry cloth, and begin wiping at the edges, then work towards the center.
DO always use gentle cleaning materials or tools. The hardwood floor is susceptible to scratches and dents. Thus, you must use soft or gentle cleaning tools only. Using hard cleaning materials can cause surface damages like scrapes on your floor.
DO protect your wood floor from sunlight. Make sure to limit your flooring to sunlight exposure, especially in areas near drapes, blinds, or curtains. Sunlight can cause fading and discoloration of wood flooring for a long period. You may want to put a carpet or rug over the wood floor, so it won’t be exposed to direct sunlight whenever you draw in the curtains or blinds.
DO put mats at the entry points of your home. In hardwood flooring maintenance, mats act as a good barrier between your wood flooring and water or dirt that you might be tracking in from the outside. Do not forget to put mats by the door or even the area where you typically stand at the kitchen sink. Doing so will keep dirt to a minimum and prevent the bottom of your shoes from scraping against your hardwood floors.
DO keep your pet’s nails trimmed. Though hardwood is pet-friendly, it is not scratch-proof, especially to pet’s claws. As part of hardwood flooring maintenance, you must trim your pet’s nails to minimize scratches on your floor. It will also prevent the wood finish from ruining it.
DO sweep and vacuum the floor often. Regular sweeping and vacuuming prevent dirt and dust from building up. Rocks, debris, and dirt that are dragged in from the outside can create scratches and unnecessary damages on your wood flooring. Through regular sweeping, it removes the chances that your feet will rub in any of these abrasive materials.
DO maintain a steady temperature. With temperature changes, the hardwood flooring tends to expand and contract. These dramatic swings of the temperature inside your home may eventually lead to cracks in your wood. Make sure to keep a steady temperature inside your home to prevent structural damages from occurring.
DO only use cleaners recommended for prefinished hardwood. We highly suggest cleaning products that come in spray bottles and have evaporative quality. These products are readily available in the market.
DO always double-check and follow the hardwood manufacturer’s cleaning tips and instructions. When using cleaning products and tools, it is best to follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s guide. This way, it will prevent any mishaps.
DO hire a professional for cleaning hardwood floors. Aside from regular DIY cleaning, it is a good practice to schedule a periodic professional cleaning. Hiring a professional can guarantee that your hardwood floor is maintained and cleaned properly.
DON’TS of Hardwood Flooring Maintenance
DON’T wet mop your wood flooring. Dripping wet is bad for your hardwood flooring. The worst thing you can do is to let moisture and water sit for a long time on your wood flooring. Wet mopping or soaking your floor with water or even cleaning solutions can cause warping. The longer you expose the wood flooring to water, the greater the extent of damages. As recommended, wipe up any excess water or spills as quickly as possible.
DON’T ever use steel wool in cleaning hardwood. Never reach for steel wool if you want to clean or remove any stubborn stain on your wood floors. As you know, hardwood flooring is very delicate and prone to scratches. Using steel wool can only harm the floor as it will cause surface damages such as scrapes and scratches.
DON’T use soaps, polishes, or waxes. Various cleaning products may respond differently upon application. Soaps, waxes, and polishes do not seem to work well with hardwood flooring. Polishes make your wood finish dull and unpleasant. Whereas wax generates an unnecessary buildup on the flooring and makes your floor slippery. Using soap in hardwood flooring maintenance, on the other hand, would only leave residue on the surface.
DON’T clean your wood floor using hot water. Using hot water or steam mop could cause the same damage as letting the water sit on the wood flooring for a long time. Hot water penetrates faster than cold water, and it dissolves the luster of your wood floor finish.
DON’T use ammonia or vinegar for cleaning. Ammonia and vinegar have a great reputation as excellent cleaning products at home. However, this isn’t the case when it comes to hardwood flooring maintenance. Avoid using citric acid cleaning products like vinegar and ammonia as they can be too abrasive to your hardwood floor. Also, these products can tarnish your wood finish, making it look unsightly.
DON’T wear heels or shoes with spikes. Pointed and sharp objects rubbing against your hardwood floor could cause surface damages. If possible, try not to wear any shoes with spikes or heels inside your home.
DON’T use incorrect vacuum attachments. When using a vacuum cleaner, always remember to ask your manufacturer or dealer which vacuum attachment is best for your hardwood flooring. This way, you can prevent any scratches or damages on your floor.
DON’T let pet stains remain unattended or untreated. If your pet has an accident on your hardwood floor, be sure to attend to the issue as quickly as possible. Don’t let the stains stay for a longer time as it appears unpleasant to the eyes.
Continuous Hardwood Flooring Maintenance is Key
Your hardwood flooring adds value and functionality to your home. It is, therefore, important to fix the issues right away to prevent larger and costly problems down the road. Make sure to follow these do’s and don’ts, so you can keep your hardwood flooring in perfect shape. And if you need more help in replacement flooring, carpet installation, or any other flooring needs, don’t hesitate to call us. Carpet Ready is always here to help you provide great options and excellent services for your next flooring project.