Hardwood floors can make for an eye-catching addition to any home. Trading your carpet for hardwood flooring adds a splash of style to almost any room, can be a life changer for those suffering from allergies, and has also been shown to increase the resale value of homes by 3-5%. However, proper hardwood floor maintenance is required to ensure you receive the longest life from this investment. Here are some tips for keeping this beautiful upgrade enjoyable for many years to come.
Hardwood floors tend to show dust and dirt more than carpet, especially for those of us with pets. It is recommended that you dust or vacuum high traffic areas daily. We prefer using a vacuum with a hard floor setting or attachment to prevent scratches that can be left by using the roller bar. If you choose to sweep instead, try using an angled broom with soft bristles to help thoroughly clean those hard to reach corners.
Accidents happen, especially with little ones in the home. Unfortunately, spills on your hardwood won’t simply go away on their own. All spills should be cleaned as soon as possible, especially if it is something that will result in a sticky residue. Cleaning up these spills later not only results in more elbow grease but can also lead to inadvertently damaging your floors finish. The best approach is to quickly attack spills with a dry or slightly damp cloth to keep your floors in tip top shape.
Hardwood is porous, meaning it absorbs and holds moisture. Even that innocent ice cube that slid under the table can lead to expensive repairs in the long run. So when mopping, we never recommend approaching the task as you would tile or laminate flooring. Instead stick to a damp microfiber pad specifically designed for hardwood floors. Also, be sure to stay away from steam mopping your hardwood. The excess water and heat over time damages your floors and can also cause the wood to swell.
While too much water can wreak havoc on your floors, using the wrong cleaning products can be detrimental as well. While following your installers recommendations is usually the safest option, there are many nontoxic, biodegradable, or DIY options available. It is best to choose a pH-neutral floor cleaner that will clean effectively without causing damage to the polyurethane finish commonly used on hardwood. For example, we recommend not using vinegar for this cleaning task since it is acidic. Over time it can dull your floors shine and erode the protective coating, even when diluted with water.
Even with proper floor maintenance, the time will come when your hardwood flooring loses its shine and luster. One solution for this is to polish your floor quarterly with a water or oil based polyurethane coating. Choosing between the different types will depend on the type of flooring you have as well as your personal preference. Both will leave your floor protected from nicks and scratches, while also helping to prevent overcleaning and accidental stripping of your floor. Every 7-10 years your floors may need to be refinished to restore its original appearance. For the many of us without experience in this type of work, leaving this job to a professional is best to prevent causing any permanent damage.
While hardwood flooring can be a beautiful investment, knowing how to care for it properly from the beginning is a must. These tips will hopefully get you started on the path to enjoying your floors for years to come. Also, don’t forget to use felt floor protectors on furniture and place rugs in high traffic areas for maximum protection. For those in our service area, you can simply call Angelic Touch to keep your floors in pristine shape for you. We have over 7 years of experience cleaning and caring for homes in our community, and we would love to provide our services to your family as well!