How to Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are luxurious features to have in a home, and are a highly desired feature when purchasing a new home. There are many reasons for this. First of all, they do not attract the mold and allergens that a carpet often does so it is better for those with allergies. However, with this beautiful flooring choice, you may find that is it not as easy to maintain as a carpeted floor and requires a lot of restrictions to prevent it from getting scratched up. Hardwood floors are great for your home, so it is worth the extra effort.

How to Maintain Your Hardwood Floors

How to Maintain Your Hardwood Floor

With a hardwood floor, you can sweep up the floor to get rid of the dust and debris on your hardwood. This can be a tedious process that is not easy on your joints and back. You do have the option to vacuum your hardwood floor, but you need to be careful to choose the right option for this. You will want to pick a vacuum cleaner that is specifically made for hardwood floors. Otherwise you will run the risk of scratching and scuffing the surface of the hardwood floor. There are many other things that you need to do to maintain your hardwood floor.

Cleaning

If you are looking for a vacuum for your hardwood floor, one particularly good choice is the Bissell PowerEdge pet hard floor corded Vacuum. This is a vacuum that is made specifically for your delicate hardwood floor. Here are some features that you can find with this vacuum:

  • This vacuum has non-marking rubber wheels that are safe for sliding along your hardwood floor without scratching its surface.
  • It is a very lightweight and compact option that is easy to move around your house and even easier to store.
  • The controls are quite literally at your fingertips, making using this product extremely easy.
  • It is a bagless option that means you have a dust cup that you can easily dump without its contents spilling all over the place.
  • The vacuum’s brush is made with soft bristles, making it extra delicate on your floor.
  • It has very powerful suction that is capable of picking up even the most stubborn of dust, debris and pet hair.
  • Another vacuum option to consider is the Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum. This is a good choice if you have both hardwood flooring and carpeting. Here are some other features you can find with this vacuum:
  • This has a 12 amp power that can really get everything off of your flooring.
  • It has the controls right at your fingertips which add to the convenience of using this product.
  • It has different utensils to help this become a versatile cleaning machine: a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and an upholstery nozzle.
  • The hose and extension wand allows you to clean items like ceiling fans and curtains.
    It has a blower port, which is used by detaching the hose from the main part of the vacuum cleaner and attaching it to the blower port.
  • It is a lightweight option that you can maneuver with easy where you need to.
    9If you do not want to vacuum your floor, you can also sweep it up with a soft bristled brush to help protect your flooring. It can also help to make sure that the dustpan has a rubberized ending on it so that you do not scratch up the floor’s surface. You can also consider the option of dust mopping your floor. Either way, sweeping or vacuuming is the first step to cleaning your floor. This process should be at least done on a daily basis to help make upkeep easier on you. This is also a great idea because dirt and debris that is not picked up regularly can damage your flooring.

After you have cleaned all of the substances off of your floor, you can now begin to make your hardwood floor shine. A cleaner that was made specifically for your hardwood floor is really the best option, otherwise you may get a chemical that is too harsh for your floor and may cause damage. You should also be careful not to use a cleaner that contains wax or oil, as this can make your hardwood floor greasy.

A greasy hardwood floor is difficult to maintain, clean and will be next to impossible to refinish the floor without sanding your floor with a deep sanding pad. You should also avoid cleaners with ammonia in it, bleach, and any other acidic cleaner. This will likely eat through your floor’s finish. When cleaning your hardwood floor, you should never pour the cleaner directly on the floor’s surface. It should always be diluted according to the package’s instructions. You should read the label of the bottle to make sure that it is safe for hardwood floors.

If you use a mop, avoid string types of mops that hold an excessive amount of moisture. These will leave too much moisture on the ground when mopping and is not as effective as other options. These types of mops are guilty of just pushing around dirty water instead of picking up the dirty. A mop that has a microfiber pad is an excellent option, as is a traditional sponge mop if you are careful.

There are also hardwood floor cleaning machines, similar to carpet cleaners, which are made specifically for cleaning hardwood floors. They use the right amount of liquid and chemicals that give a great clean and even dry up your floor after you are done. This can help ensure that no moisture is left after cleaning that will damage your floor.

Spills

All spills should absolutely be cleaned up right away. By letting them sit, some items can eat through the floor’s finish while others will warp your wooden floor boards. Some spills will just simply stain the hardwood surface. No matter what, you do not want to chance it. The minute something spills, pick it up.

Use a cloth that is softer and non-abrasive and make sure that the mess is cleaned up and dried completely. Even the littlest amount left over can damage your flooring. This is a task that does require some care.

Mats and Area Rugs

Placing mats right by doors for people to wipe their feet on is a great idea to help protect your hardwood floors. Placing area rugs and runners in high traffic areas will also provide useful protection for the flooring. You will also want to put flooring mats or smaller carpets in front of your kitchen sink and any other food preparation and eating area where hardwood floors are located. This will help protect the flooring from spills while cooking and prepping. This protection will also assist in protecting your flooring from dropped utensils, glasses, and plates that may damage the floor upon breaking.

When choosing a carpet or mats, make sure you get one with a backing that is no abrasive and will not scratch up your floor’s surface. For things like runners or larger space rugs, you will want to place an adhesive strip underneath to make sure that they stay still. This can be a safety issue, especially with kids running around or just in high traffic areas. You can easily trip on unsecured carpets, so you will want to make sure that they are stuck down pretty well.

Groom Your Pets

You must make sure that your pets have trimmed nails at all times. While they are running around your house, especially larger dogs, their nails can scratch up your floor’s surface quite easily. This can be done simply at your home using the proper nail trimmers and a file. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, or just not able to, you can bring them to a professional groomer or even your vet clinic if they offer these services. This should be done frequently so that the nails do not get too long.

Skip the Heels

Heels, especially those really spiky pairs, can very easily damage your hardwood floor. If you are going to wear these types of shoes, or any shoes with heel taps on them, you will want to consider taking them on and off before walking on your hardwood floor. Even on regular shoes, you may get rocks stuck in the treads at the bottom. If this happens, these rocks or other hard surfaces can also scratch the surface of your floor.

Felt Pads

You will want to consider the option of placing felt pads at the bottom of furniture. This will help protect your floor if the furniture ends up sliding across your floor or if the furniture is an item that is commonly moved around in your home. These pads do an excellent job of protecting your floor’s surface. There are pads that are especially made for furniture, and are very easy to stick onto the furniture. Make sure that every corner of the legs are properly covered, otherwise this is not as effective. Avoid gimmicky items like discs that go under your furniture to help you move it easier. These were really meant for carpeted coloring and may end up doing more damage than good.

Avoid Sunlight or Intense Light Sources

You may not know this, but direct sunlight can do some damage to your hardwood floor. Direct sunlight can change the color of your hardwood flooring. If you have lighter flooring, you will notice this more than if you have darker flooring.

You can avoid this by moving furniture around the room occasionally in order to avoid the same spots from being hit with that direct sunlight every time. You can also utilize black out curtains for windows, or even ones that block out some of the light. Every little bit helps.

When purchasing lights for your rooms with hardwood flooring, pick lights that are not as strong if you can help it even if that means purchasing a few different lights. LED lights are also great options because they do not give as much heat off as incandescent lights.

Humidity

Your home should always be maintained at a certain level of humidity, at levels around 40% and 50%. This is because this is the optimal level of humidity for your own health. This is also the perfect level of humidity to help protect your hardwood flooring and any wooden furniture that you have in your home. The humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. If you have too much moisture in the air, this will affect your wooden furniture and hardwood floor by causing it to warp. You can use equipment to tell the moisture level in the air, and if it is too high, you should consider a de-humidifier to help control the moisture.

Moving Furniture

You should take great care when moving furniture on a hardwood floor. You should get help to pick up the furniture, rather than drag it along the floor. You can also get an upside down mat on the floor underneath the furniture if you cannot get help so that you can safely slide the furniture along the floor without scratching up the surface of your floor. The same goes with appliances. If you cannot get help to lift the appliances, you should consider a plywood board to slide the appliances along or getting an appliance lift.

Conclusion

Hardwood floors are beautiful but they are extremely delicate. They can be scratched up easily, so you will want to take every precaution to avoid this. This can be a costly mistake, as well as a very time consuming one. If you scratch up your floor, you will likely have to go through steps to refinish the floor. This includes sanding and refinishing. After a floor is refinished, you can generally not walk on for a while after the refinishing. This is a process that can be avoided if you take care of your flooring on a regular basis and take note of these tips.

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