Wood Floor Care Tips and Tricks For Homeowners
While wood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, wood floor care is a scary prospect for many homeowners. However, when you know what you’re doing, caring for your wood floors is much less intimidating than you might think. We’ve got some helpful tips for any homeowner who hopes to keep their wood floors in peak condition for years to come.
Wood Floor Care 101
Your home’s wood floors were a big investment, so you want them to maintain their beauty for a long time. Repairing wood floors is not just time-consuming but also potentially expensive. It just makes sense to take good care of them, preventing the need to spend money on cost-prohibitive repairs. How can you keep them clean and be sure that they’re properly preserved?
First, let’s look at the three big factors that could do major damage to your flooring:
- Water and other liquids— If you let water (or any other form of liquid) pool on the surface of your wood floor, it will definitely result in dullness and discoloration. If A LOT of liquid accumulates for an extended period of time, your gorgeous floors will become warped or distorted— and there’s not really any way to fix that beyond replacement.
- Sunlight— Is there anything more appealing than a ray of sunlight gleaming on your wood floors? Well, it might look beautiful, but it’s not doing your flooring any favors. Consistent exposure to the sun’s UV rays will result in discoloration and dullness over time. Take a moment to appreciate the image, and then draw the curtains or tilt the blinds so they don’t get direct sunlight.
- Dirt, dust, and grit. Wood floors might look indestructible, but in fact, they’re very delicate. Any debris that you bring in on your shoes can result in scratches and scuffs that will cause abrasions on your floor’s surface, dulling the appearance over time.
Do’s and Don’ts for Wood Floor Care
With all of that in mind, how do you start your wood floor care plan?
- Floor mats are key. At every entryway in your home, be sure to lay down protective runners and rugs so that anyone who comes in can wipe their shoes clean or remove them altogether.
- Break out the vacuum. Yes, that’s right—your hardwood floors prefer the vacuum over the broom—but be sure to use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment. You don’t want to use your upright vacuum with the beater brush here, as it could damage your wood floor.
- Invest in a microfiber mop. A traditional mop will be far too wet to use for wood floor care. Instead, use a flat microfiber mop, which will leave a lot less moisture, ensuring that you won’t damage the surface of the wood.
- Use a soft-bristled broom/dust mop. If you’re looking to do a quick clean and don’t have time to bust out the vacuum, be sure that you utilize a broom with soft bristles or, better yet, a dust mop. This will gently remove dust and debris without scratching the surface.
- Wipe up spills ASAP. Sure, spills are a fact of life; you’re bound to make a mess on your floor at some point in time. Don’t panic! Liquid on your wood floor isn’t the end of your beautiful flooring unless you let it sit there. If you wipe up the liquid quickly, you’ll be fine.
- Avoid hard-soled shoes or heels. Before you walk across that wood floor, be sure to slip off your fancy footwear. Shoes with hard soles or heels could potentially leave dents or dimple marks on the floors.
- Move furniture with caution. Don’t just start dragging furniture across your wood floors; that’s a good way to damage your floors with scratches and scrapes. Instead, be sure that you put pads, gliders, or other soft materials under the legs of your furniture prior to making the move.
- No snacks on the wood floors. Is it time to lay down the hammer? If you find the kids frequently spilling their juice, it might be time to tell your family that drinking in the rooms with wood floors is now a no-go. As the old adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Making sure that there’s no opportunity for potentially harmful spills is the best way to keep them from happening.
- Skip the rubber or vinyl backing. When you choose the mats or rugs for your entryways, be sure that they don’t have any rubber or vinyl on the underside. This might seem like a good way to protect your floors, but in truth, it could damage your wood floor’s finish over time.
- No drippy mops. Never lay a mop or cloth that’s drenched with water on your wood floor. As we’ve stated before, water is your wood floor’s worst enemy. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever mop your floors, just use the liquid sparingly, and be sure that it dries quickly.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to protect and maintain your wood floors on your own. However, if you’re ready for a professional to step in, you can contact us today to discuss wood floor care and more!