The investment you make in your hardwood floor is something you will cherish for a long time in your home. With the right maintenance, it might even last as long as you live there! As we focus more and more on the best ways to keep our environment clean, people have turned their eyes towards the home – and specifically, flooring. The amount of traffic we have coming and going from our households brings in a lot of dirt, dust, and nasty things we don’t want on our floors (or in our homes at all). We’ve determined the best steps to follow for keeping your hardwood floors in tip-top, clean shape below:
Getting Rid of the Dirt
The easiest step to take when cleaning your hardwood is to sweep or vacuum with a specialty hardwood vacuum. Doing this on a regular basis can help to get rid of things like pet hair, dirt, and dust fairly quickly and without adding too much time onto your already busy schedule. It is incredibly important that you don’t use a regular carpet vacuum, however, as they can damage the hardwood floor by scratching it. Hardwood vacuums, on the other hand, are specially designed to glide across hardwood without making an impact.
For high traffic areas and during times of bad weather (like during the rainy and snowy months), be prepared to sweep and vacuum your hardwood more frequently. When shoes get wet, they bring in even more particles into your home that get left on the hardwood. Keeping the hardwood as dry as possible is going to be an important task as well during this time to keep it from swelling and getting damaged. If your hardwood is damaged, you might consider hardwood floor refinishing services through your favorite hardwood floor company.
Mop the Rest Away
After clearing away the larger pieces on your hardwood, you will want to break out the mop. While the exact kind of solution you use on your floor is up to you, you want to make sure that it is actually safe for hardwood floors. Some flooring solutions are actually geared more towards laminate or tile and chemicals that can break down the surface of your hardwood. Never use furniture sprays or waxes either, as these can void your floor’s warranty and even make them a hazard to walk on. For a cheap solution you can make on your own at home, consider mixing together a simple concoction of regular dish soap and water.
Because we never want water to sit on hardwood for any length of time, mopping should be done only with a damp mop – never soaking. By circulating through smaller sections of your space at a time, you will save the water from being able to soak in and it will dry faster. If you decide to combine your floor cleaning with other chores, be sure to do the floors last – you don’t want to have to walk on them to get to other things you need to clean! When you are in a hurry to clean your floors, turn on a fan in the room you are cleaning to get the floors to dry even faster.
Be Gone Scratches!
As you are cleaning your floors regularly, you should notice pretty soon after it happens if a scratch or dent has been made. While your floors will never be as spotless and smooth as the day they were first installed (unless you are considering hardwood floor refinishing soon), it is possible to take care of some scratches on your own. If there are ever any extreme scratches or you notice a lot of damage being done to your hardwood, consulting a professional will always be the best idea.
Obviously, no one wants scratches in their floors. Unfortunately, there are just some things we can’t help – like hidden rocks stuck in the bottom of our shoes, or our dogs running into the next room. When scratches do happen, don’t panic. At many home improvement stores, you can grab some liquid scratch concealer that will be able to cover many scratches that you come across. Just follow any of the directions that are listed on the product and be sure to let the liquid dry completely before moving any furniture or walking on top of it.
Eventually, your hardwood will begin to lose a bit of its shine due to regular use. Using appropriate floor polish will help to restore a bit of its luster, or you can even use floor wax to accomplish the same thing. However, these fixing products can only go so far before it is time to refinish your hardwood. Rather than attempting to refinish your floors on your own – which can be a time consuming and messy process for those that don’t know what they are doing or who don’t have the right tools – leave it up to the experts at Ridgeline Floors. Additionally, if at any point you would like someone to fill in scratches, our professionals can also help.
The steps we have broken down are quite easy to follow and should keep your beautiful hardwood floors in great shape for many years to come. Keeping up on the right maintenance is how you can extend the longevity of your floors and really get the most out of your investment. Consider ways you and your family can prevent scratches and unnecessary damage to your floors: by using floor mats at entryways, remembering to take off shoes before walking through the house, and even just being mindful of what you are bringing inside.
The installation and the upkeep of hardwood is what extends its lifetime in your home. At some point, though, your floor will have so much use that it will be time to think about hardwood floor refinishing – a cheaper option than getting an entirely new installation. When that time comes, remember to give Ridgeline Floors a call to see how we can help!