Well-maintained hardwood floors are going to last for decades, and they are a great option for almost any climate. Those who are considering having this type of flooring installed should spend some time researching how to properly care for these unique materials. Here are four tips that will extend the life of your hardwood floors and prevent stains, scratches, and scuffs.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect hardwood floors is to sweep once a day. Dirt, small pebbles, and other gritty debris will eventually scratch your floors if you aren’t careful. Many companies also make microfiber mops with disposable sheets that don't need to be soaked in water. Any cleaning products you plan on using should be specifically designed for hardwood floors.
Before using water or any liquid cleaners on your floors, you first need to determine how they have been sealed. Hardwood floors can be sealed in many different ways including oil treatments, lacquers, varnishes, and shellacs. You can gently mop your floors with warm water once a week as long as they have been properly sealed with one of those products. If your floors haven't been treated, then you should consider sealing them right away.
The goal of polishing is to refresh and strengthen the finish that is protecting the wood. Whenever you sweep or mop your floors, you are actually protecting the hardened finish instead of the wood itself. Polishing removes the countless microscopic scratches that take place whenever you walk across your floors. With the proper tools, you should be able to polish your hardwood floors in just a few hours. Homeowners also need to inspect their floors at least once a month for any major damage that needs to be addressed such as deeper gouges and scratches.
No matter how much time and energy you spend trying to protect your floors, you will most likely need professional help at some point. Floor cleaning services in NYC and other cities around the country offer annual services to deep clean and refinish hardwood floors. They use specialized tools and products to repair damage and prevent future issues. Your cleaning company will also give you instructions on how to better care for your floors in between service calls.
Hardwood floors are a serious investment, and you never want to ignore stains or deep gouges. Unlike many other types of flooring, trying to repair damaged hardwood panels can be extremely tedious. Luckily, spending a little extra time maintaining your floors should be all that is needed to keep them immaculate for many years to come.