Many people inherit wood floors when they rent or when they purchase a new home. If this is your first experience in living on a wooden surface, there are several important tips we can give you that will ensure that your hardwood floors will wear well into the future.
1. Do Not Let Sand, Dirt or Grit to Build Up on Your Floor
Besides being extremely noticeable, these agents act like sandpaper that, over time, abrade and dull your wood floor's finish. Once the damage is done, your only recourse is to refinish the floor. We recommend vacuuming, sweeping or dust mopping (not water) on a weekly cleaning schedule.
2. Do Not Mop Your Wood Floor
In opposition to your typical routine of wet mopping your linoleum or tile, too much moisture can cause your wood floor to swell, buckle or split. As an alternative we recommend using the Pallmann line of cleaning products. They are specially formulated to gently clean your wood floors and protect their finish.
3. Do Not Use Wax, Oil Soap or Other Harsh Chemicals on Your Wood Floors
These chemicals can dull your wood floor's finish and even make the costly task of refinishing them more difficult. Again we highly recommend the Pallmann line of cleaning products. Call us to take advantage of our supplier rates on Pallmann products at 405-590-0090.
4. Do Not Let Your Pet Claws Go Untrimmed
Proper claw trimming helps avoid scratches and gouges in your wood floors. A rule of thumb is the more you hear your pet's claws clamoring on the floor, the more damage they are potentially doing. With proper grooming, pets and wood floors can exist in harmony. As a side note, hand scraped floors, while expensive, tend to be the best choice for large breed dog owners. You can read more about the different types of floors here.
5. Do Not Walk on Your Wood Floor with High Heels
It's important to remember that even with hardwood, there is the potential to damage the wood over time with high pressure applied over a small surface. The finish of your floor however is not as resistant to this type of impact and will most likely show signs of damage long before the underlying wood begins to wear.
6. Maintain a Proper Humidity Level Year Round
Excessive swings in humidity can cause wood floors to swell, shrink, cup, crack, and show excessive expansion cracks between boards. The ideal relative humidity level for your wood flooring is between 35 and 55 percent. This can be easily maintained with a humidifier in the winter months when your heater is running. In the hot summer months when excess humidity is a factor, you can employ a dehumidifier to maintain a balance. This is one of the most important things you can do for your wood floor and can also enhance your overall comfort in your home.
7. Remove Spills Promptly
Wet spills can be cleaned up with a soft, damp cloth followed up with a final once over with dry cloth to remove any excess moisture. It's important to attend to the spill promptly because the longer the agent is in contact with the floor, the more likely it will damage the finish. Pet stains are especially caustic to your floor's finish and must be discovered and attended to promptly. For dry spills such as soil, flour or sugar, sweeping or vacuuming is sufficient.
8. Use Rugs and Mats in High Traffic Areas
The use of protective coverings in entryways and other high traffic or moisture prone areas of your home can extend the life of your wood floors. It's important that you choose rugs that allow your floors to breathe. Avoid the rubber backed or any non-ventilated rugs. If you just installed your floor, wait 3 to 4 weeks before using rugs. This allows for proper time for the floor to cure.
9. Apply a Protective Barrier Between your Furniture and Wood Floors
Whenever possible, carry furniture to its place and lightly set down. To avoid unsightly scratches to your wood floor's finish, do not slide or scoot furniture across your flooring. By attaching felt floor protectors to the bottom of your furniture, you can help remove the possibility of embarrassing scratches caused when moving your furniture while cleaning. For a freshly installed or refinished wood floor, your furniture should not be put back in place until proper curing time has been achieved as outlined by your wood floor contractor.
There you have it, nine quick pointers that will help ensure your wood floors have a long life and provide years of enjoyment for your family.