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How to Take Care and Maintain Hardwood Floors

 

Hardwood floors are a popular choice for homeowners and commercial proprietors alike. They are durable and visually pleasing, but they can also get quite pricey. Enjoying your investment for years to come all boils down to proper hardwood floor care. Whether you choose solid wood, engineered wood, or reclaimed wood, they all need regular upkeep to maintain their tip-top shape. Fortunately, your cleaning routine doesn’t have to be rigorous. As simple as sweeping them can add longevity to your wood floors.

Maintaining and cleaning hardwood floors may sound simple enough, but there are certain precautions you need to take to keep them shiny and pristine.

How to Maintain Hardwood Floors

Here are 9 tips on how to take care of your hardwood floors:

  • Know the Warning Signs

Keep moisture at bay

Temperature and humidity have drastic effects on wood, so it is important that you are aware of the environment around your floor. At times, the elements are beyond your control, so understanding the red flags can ultimately save your floors. The good thing is that wood is a natural product, so it will show warning signs if it experiences decay.

Moisture is the main enemy of wood. If there’s too much moisture on, around, or under the wood, it will start to warp and deteriorate. Eliminating sources of water can stop this from occurring. The higher the humidity, the more moisture is absorbed by the wood from the air. Another common source is leaking pipes and appliances. Water run-offs from them can cause a problem over time. Correspondingly, extreme dryness is also bad for the wood. It can cause the floor to develop a gap, crack, or split.

  • Keep Them Dry
    Don’t let any liquid sit on the wooden floor as it will start to warp, split, and create gaps if left out for too long. Whether it’s wine, milk, or water, a spill must be cleaned up as soon as it happens. And don’t use a damp mop as much as possible!

Contrary to popular belief, damp mopping is not the best way to clean hardwood floors. Use a dry microfiber dust mop instead. A damp mop can be done occasionally, but make sure that water does not drip off the mop head to avoid dulling the floor finish. Avoid wet mopping because it introduces too much moisture on the floor, causing damage and discolouration.

  • Leave Heels at the Door

The Force Of High Heels Can Leave Dents And Marks On Wooden Floors
Heels on wooden floors are a big no-no. The constant impact can slowly leave dents, marks, and holes that can be difficult to remove.

High heels stilettos may seem innocent, but they can harm your floors. When wearing these types of footwear, all the force is focused on a single point. Heels are like a tiny hammer pounding at the floor with a force that’s comparable to over 15 times the pressure of an elephant’s foot and can reach up to 10,000 pounds per inch. If you want to keep your floor pristine, it is better you leave your heels at the front door.

  • Vacuum Regularly

Vacuum sucks abrasive particles that scratch floor surfaces

Regular cleaning is crucial to any maintenance work. Dust, in particular, has a special affinity for wood floors and may hide in every crevice it can find. These small particles can act like sandpaper and scratch the surface as you walk across it.

To keep your floors as clean as possible, sweep them away as often as you can. Make it part of your daily routine. For extra care, vacuum the area with a hard floor setting to pull up dust and debris that have settled in between cracks and crevices.

  • Use Furniture Pads and Rugs

Scratches on hardwood floors are inevitable, but there are certain precautions you may take to lessen its chances. Most scratch comes from friction, either from your shoes or by moving furniture around. One of the best things you can do to protect your floor from these factors is by using furniture pads underneath couches, tables, or chairs.

You can also add a rug in your place where the furniture can sit on to introduce a buffer between you and your furniture and the wooden floor.

  • Fix Surface Scratches

Your pets’ nails can scratch floors as they move around the house
Another important note in hardwood floor maintenance is to touch up surface scratches as soon as you see them. While scratching is completely normal, blemishes on a wooden floor are not always good to look at. Fortunately, scratches are easy to fix. A little bit of refinishing can already bring the wood to its former state.

To avoid scratches, it is advisable to remove any object that may cause friction. Adding rugs and mats will do the trick. If you have pets, make sure that their nails are clipped every once in a while. Sharp nails can scratch floors quickly as they run and play around the house.

  • Choose the Right Cleaning Product

Different finishes require different treatments. While there is no specific rule when it comes to choosing the right cleaning product, there are certain items that should be avoided.

Don’t use any products containing harsh chemicals. In general, avoid anything that is overly abrasive or vinegar-based. Read the product label and manufacturer’s instructions before you purchase. You can also consult an expert or your floor supplier for product recommendations.

  • Refinish Hardwood Floors Every Few Years

Professional refinishing removes deep scratches and stains

Even with all the dusting, sweeping, and cleaning, your hardwood floor still needs to get sanded and refinished every few years. Professional refinishing removes deep scratches and stains and rejuvenates the glossy coat of your floor. Here are some signs to watch out for when it’s time to refinish your hardwood floors:

    • There are lots of scratches, large gouges, and deep cut wounds on the surface.
    • The boards are turning grey, which means the polyurethane is wearing off.
    • The boards have turned black, which could be a result of stains or water damage.
    • There is water damage, causing moulds, cupping, and separation in some areas.
    • The colours are fading or dulling due to sun damage.
  • Call a Professional

Have an expert take a look at your wooden floor

Maintaining a hardwood floor may sometimes mean calling a professional. Having an expert take a look into the state and condition of your hardwood floors only guarantees that they remain in their prime.

Recoating and refinishing are also best done by qualified technicians to reduce any potential damage and ensure the quality of work. They can also provide you with important advice and suggestions on how to properly clean hardwood floors or which cleaning products to use.

Caring for your hardwood floors is an investment in itself and would require your time and effort so that it can keep its strength, beauty, and durability for years. If you are looking for a professional to help you take care of and maintain your hardwood floor, call Capital Hardwood Flooring. We supply quality wood flooring and offer floor sanding services throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Call us now at (416) 536-2200!

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