Whether you’ve been dreaming of getting beautiful hardwood floors or already have them in your home, you’ll need to think about their upkeep and maintenance.
Although hardwood can increase your property’s value, it’s an upgrade that requires care to keep in good condition. Failing to do so will result in it fading, warping or becoming discoloured. However, with proper maintenance, your hardwood floors can retain their attractiveness and strength for a long time.
To help protect your investment, here are some tips to maintain your hardwood flooring and ensuring you get the most out of it for years to come.
How to Protect Your Sensitive Hardwood Flooring
Here are some tips to ensure your hardwood flooring looks great and functions well for as long as possible.
Use the Correct Vacuum Attachment
Vacuums come with a wide range of attachments designed to clean specific areas and materials. However, they’re not all created equal. Using the wrong attachments to clean hardwood floors over a long period of time can cause scratches into which dirt and dust can settle. This will only make it harder for you to clean them properly in the long run. It’s best to stay away from attachments with stiff and rotating brushes as these can damage soft flooring.
Be Wary of Pet-Related Damage
Homeowners with pets need to make sure they trim their nails frequently as cats and dogs can scratch the finish and wood. If your pet pees inside, clean it up promptly. Not doing so can discolour the hardwood, and the smell will be difficult to get rid of too.
Avoid Harsh Cleaning Supplies
Unlike many engineered flooring materials, hardwood can be damaged permanently by harsh cleaning supplies. Some cleaners to steer clear of are:
Avoid floor cleaners that contain bleach as it will eat away at the finish, destroy the material’s integrity and discolour the wood.
Using a vinegar-based solution or vinegar itself can make hardwood flooring appear splotchy and cloudy by stripping away its finish.
When looking for a safe cleaner for hardwood, it’s best to go for products that help the material maintain a neutral pH balance. This will allow them to look great and function well.
Don’t Clean with a Steam or Wet Mop
Hardwood is a natural material, meaning it’s porous and can absorb moisture, which also means it can shrink. If you live in an area that experiences high humidity, you may notice your hardwood either shrinking or swelling. This constant change can damage the flooring and result in scratches and cracks. Additionally, excessive moisture can change the wood’s structure and stain the pores. This is why homeowners are advised not to use wet or steam mops on hardwood, as exposure to moisture will weaken it over time.
Know That Furniture Can Cause Damage
From ottomans and chairs to tables and cabinets, avoid rolling or dragging furniture on hardwood floors. If this can’t be avoided, invest in casters specifically designed to prevent furniture from doing damage. The weight of furniture can also wear on flooring, so use rugs and furniture pads.
Remember to Refinish
Even if you follow all of these tips, your hardwood flooring may still show signs of wear and tear. Once you notice fine scratches appearing, re-apply the protective finishing layer. This can help get rid of imperfections and offer your hardwood floors a new shine.
Hardwood flooring is a major investment, so consider putting in some time and effort into maintaining them. By using these tips, you can keep your flooring’s natural beauty intact. Remember, when cared for properly, hardwood flooring can last as long as your home.