To keep your hardwood flooring in top condition, you need to take proper care of it. Otherwise, it will gradually fade and wear out. When your hardwood flooring endures, it adds beauty and value to your home. Do you want to know how to protect hardwood flooring from damages? This blog discusses the most effective tips and tricks.
7 Tips to Keep Your Hardwood Flooring Looking Great for Years
- Clean Your Floor Carefully
Cleaning your hardwood flooring requires the right techniques. To remove heavy grime, dry cleaning methods are appropriate. To get the desired results, use cloth or paper towels and a hardwood flooring-specific attachment to vacuum your floor daily. Choose only a hardwood flooring vacuum attachment, as it is gentle on wooden floorboards.
Roll up rugs and other coverings and shake them off outside. Then pick a soft-bristled broom to sweep the most highly trafficked areas of your home. Once you are done sweeping, remove light dust particles using an electrostatic pop. Never use harsh cleaning products or agents as their repeated use strips away the top floor coating and makes it dull. So, pick the right cleaning product to maintain its shine.
- Reduce Daily Wear and Tear
Minimize damage to your hardwood flooring by using breathable area rugs. Do not use underlays or mats made of vinyl, synthetic rubber or latex as these cause discolouring. Choose a pure rubber, real felt or natural rubber mat, plus felt backings to provide support to your hardwood flooring.
Avoid dragging heavy items as that might cause scratches on the flooring surface. Use gentle floor protectors under chairs and sofas. When it comes to pets, trim their claws often and try to minimize their contact with hardwood flooring to prevent scratches. Keep rugs in areas where they usually lie down.
- Fix Scratches and Dents
Repairing damages such as scratches and dents on hardwood flooring is easy. High-quality grit sandpaper with a little hand-sanding fixes scratches on protective coatings. After that, apply a thin layer of polyurethane sealer with a soft cloth. If the scratches are deep, they affect both the top of the wood and the coating. To repair them, use a rotary floor sander and then apply a clear coat. For localized scratches, use an electric hand sander. Once you are done with that, apply polyurethane sealer with a supple cloth.
Do not sand out dents and gouges as this can lead to dips in the floor. Instead, fill them in with a matching colour wax filler. Rub off extra wax using a soft cloth. For better results, fill dents and gouges with wood putty matched to your floor colour. Once the putty is dried, sand it down until it reaches the floor’s surface. Do not sand off coating from edge areas. Clean with a cloth.
- Rearrange Furniture Frequently
Sun fades hardwood flooring, but you are not going to block sunlight entirely from your home. Instead, shift furniture often so your hardwood floor fades evenly. If you only move it ever few years, you will see a clear outline of the piece you moved.
Besides rearranging furniture, keep window shades down when possible to reduce UV exposure to the hardwood floor. Install awnings on your windows if you get a lot of natural light.
- Adjust Humidity to Protect Floor from Moisture
Low humidity extracts moisture from hardwood flooring, leading to contraction and the creation of gaps between boards. Maintain a humidity of 35 to 55% in your home throughout the year. A hygrometer measures the humidity in your home, or check it using your thermostat. So, adjust the humidity in your home to retain moisture in hardwood flooring. It is advisable to never install hardwood flooring in moisture-heavy areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms and basements.
You can install solid hardwood in the kitchen but use a tender natural rubber mat to protect flooring from water seeping from the refrigerator, dishwasher overflow and extra sink water. It also attracts moisture and dirt and keeps the surrounding area clean. When water forms below open windows, mop it up as soon as you notice. Do the same if you see spilled water elsewhere. Wipe clean the floor surface immediately using a fresh towel to prevent water seeping in between floorboards. Put mats at entryways to soak up water.
- Use Your Heating and Cooling System
High humidity causes hardwood to expand and contract. During the summer, cupping of wood boards is commonly seen because of high humidity. (Cupping occurs when wood fibres absorb water vapour present in the air.) As wood boards expand, they cannot go anywhere. Because of this, you might notice that their edges are higher than the middle. Make the most of heating and cooling systems to protect your hardwood flooring from excess humidity. Air conditioning not only maintains a cool temperature but also reduces humidity.
- Refinish Flooring Often
The life of hardwood flooring depends a lot on its top coat. Never keep any wood floor uncoated longer than a couple of months. Coatings come in thick, site applied sealers and prefinished floors coating. In the busiest areas of your home, coatings wear down quickly. Refinish hardwood floor in your living room, kitchen and entries close to hallways, the tops of stairs, and interior doors frequently.
You can refinish both prefinished and site-finished flooring as required. (The latter refers to unfinished flooring which gets stained on site.) When you use a rotary sander to refinish 1engineered wood, the flooring can endure sanding twice or thrice.
Hardwood flooring is a valuable addition to any home. To keep it in good shape, you need to protect it from the most common types of damage. Follow the above-mentioned tips to clean, protect and repair your hardwood flooring. A well-maintained floor retains its beauty and stays perfect longer.