How to care for your hardwood flooring
Hardwood flooring is one of the most beautiful attributes that a home can possess. Tough and durable, hardwood floors can be made out of many different woods and come in a wide range of colors and finishes. From experience we know that many homeowners are not sure of the proper care of these floors. We present this information to help you understand the risks, the proper maintenance, and restoration options involved with hardwood flooring. This guide will help your hardwood floors maintain their beauty for many years.
Modern hardwood flooring is sealed with very hard polyurethane sealcoat. This material becomes dull because very small debris, harmful dirt, and sand particles are constantly being ground into the finish by normal every day use. This is called micro-abrasion, and it creates microscopic, and sometimes larger, pits in the surface of the finish. These pits become filled with debris, and the result is your floors look dull.
Many people use an acrylic wax on their floors, which is one of the worst things to do. The surface of acrylic wax shines on it’s own, but when you wax your floor with it you seal in the microscopic debris that is already causing the floors to be dull. As layer after layer builds up, your floors finish degrades dramatically.
Proper and frequent cleaning will help prolong the life of your hardwood flooring.
The longer a floor goes without cleaning the more dirt and sand particles get embedded into the deep fibers of the wood. This means these particles to cut into the grain of the wood causing damage and discoloration. If you notice areas in the wood were the color (stain) is rubbing away and you see raw exposed wood, you should have these floors looked at by a professional to turn this damaging process around.
Hardwood floors have another downside, and that is they can easily be scratched. This leaves unsightly indentations deep into the wood. No matter how well you take care of hardwood floors, accidents happen. The most common cause of scratches is moving furniture across the grain of the wood in a dragging motion. The heavier the furniture the more likely it is to damage the floors. A good tip is to glue felt padding on to the bottom of all furniture that comes in contact with any hardwood flooring. Always use moving pads when moving heavy objects on hardwood flooring.
Use area rugs around dining room chairs because dining room chairs are moved over the floor often.
Hardwood flooring can also be scratched by pets, especially dogs with their nails. Just like furniture, the bigger the dog, the bigger and deeper the scratches. We recommend clipping your dog’s nails on a regular basis, how often would depend on advice from a dog groomer. A good rule of thumb is if you hear the nails clicking on the floor, then it might be time for a clipping. Pets also sometimes have accidents on the hardwoods. This leaves a dark ring in various areas throughout the floor. If you notice dark water type rings, then it is a strong possibility that your pet has put them there. If you notice any urine on the floors, use a product like the Orange-Glo(TM). It will break down the damaging acids in the urine.
How diligent you are about keeping the surface of your hardwood flooring clean will directly affect how long the finish of the floors will last. You should expect with proper care to get 4 years of good use on the floors before having to have the floors serviced.