The key to lasting beauty of your wood flooring investment is proper maintenance for the life of your floor. A properly maintained floor should last at least ten years and even longer if surface recoating is applied on a regular basis.
The following are some excellent guidelines for maintaining today’s wood floors:
- All hardwood floors regardless of how the floor has been finished must be properly maintained to ensure the beauty and life of the floor.
- Every floor must be dust mopped, vacuumed or swept with a soft bristle broom daily, or as often as necessary, to remove grit and dust from the surface. Walking on dusty or dirty floor is the fastest way to damage a finish.
- Place floor mats (carpet runners) at all exterior entrances. This will capture much of the harmful dirt before it even reaches the hardwood floor. Shake out, wash or vacuum mats and area rugs frequently.
- Floor protector pads of soft felt or similar material should be placed on the bottoms of the legs of the furniture. Floor protectors must be kept clean of grit and periodically replaced.
- Keep high heels in good repairs. An unprotected tip will dent any hardwood floor.
- Kitchen floors experience the most traffic in a home. To prevent premature wear of the floor, place an area rug in front of the sink and stove area. Shake out or vacuum frequently.
- Finally, using a humidifier or dehumidifier in conjunction with a furnace or air conditioning system to maintain relative humidity in the home at 30-50% will maintain the moisture in the wood and minimize cracks between the boards.
Urethane Finish Routine Cleaning
Use an alcohol based wood floor cleaner available at most hardware stores. NEVER wax or use oil based cleaner on a urethane finish. Do not generally wet a wood floor with water. When using any wood floor cleaner which requires mixing with water, follow mixing directions precisely. A cloth wetted with water and squeezed dry may be used to wipe up foodstuffs and other spills, provided the area is buffed dry immediately. Heel or scuffmarks and stubborn stains may be removed by lightly rubbing with a cloth and a wood floor cleaner.
Urethane finishes eventually will show wear patterns from surface scratching. When high traffic areas begin to look dull it is time to recoat or restore the finish. Screening (light sanding) and recoating with same finish every 2-3 years will help maintain your wood floor for years to come. Make sure no oil soaps, and other “contaminates” have been used on the floor, intentionally or otherwise.
If you have concerns or questions about caring for your wood floors, call us to see how we can help.