Whether one already owns beautiful hardwood floors or is getting ready to complete renovations and invest in new floors, maintenance is something to which a significant amount of thought must be given. Hardwood floors can increase a home’s value, but they must also be appropriately cleaned and maintained to ensure one’s investment is protected. Below are some tips for those who want to keep their hardwood floors shiny and beautiful for many future years:
Protect Your Wood Floors From Heat
Assessing one’s home with regard to heat is an important task for any property owner. The first thing consumers should do is determine whether or not the home’s window treatments and drapes are thick enough to prevent excessive heat and sunlight from potentially warping the floor. If one decides that the drapes are too thin, this problem can be easily solved by investing in curtains with a thick backing or those with a lining specifically design to control humidity. Regularly running an air-conditioner or fan to control moisture in areas where hardwood floors are in place is also very helpful.
Protection From Scratches
Although some homeowners feel that natural wear and scratches add character to a hardwood floor, most prefer to keep the floor as new looking as possible in order to get the most from their investment.
To protect floors from becoming scratched, homeowners should consider using cloth furniture protectors under the legs or feet of chairs, tables and any type of heavy furniture. In addition, simple things such as removing shoes upon entering the home–particularly those featuring high heels–will also go a long way toward preventing scratches. Keeping pet claws trimmed short on a regular basis is also a great way to protect hardwood floors.
Most property owners would agree that foot traffic throughout a dwelling is usually higher during the summer months. This is especially true in households with youngsters and pets. Those facing this issue can implement some simple maintenance tips to ensure that children and pets do not stain or damage beautiful floors when making multiple trips in an out of the home.
Placing a mat next to doggie doors and instructing youngsters to wipe their feet upon entering are easy ways to control some of the damage. Homeowners who have swimming pools should gather mats and blankets for children to sit on when they come inside from playing at the pool to watch television or play games. This is a great way to prevent stains from summer snacks and wet swimsuits.
Protect Your Wood Floors From Pets
Any homeowners with cats or dogs understand that certain floor stains are inevitable. An essential step in reducing such stains is cleaning up pet accidents immediately. A simple mixture of vinegar and water can be used to neutralize smells resulting from urine or feces. It is important, however, to thoroughly dry the area after cleaning. A miniature back light can be used to find the source of odors that may not be apparent under normal light.
Homeowners should also place a protective mat beneath pet water bowls, as this will help prevent stains from spilled or splashed water. Rubberized mats are a great choice for a splash guard. It is also a good idea for property owners to keep old towels near the back and front doors to remove mud or water from the paws of pets before they make their way to areas in the home where wood floors have been installed.
Invest in Carpets and Rugs
Strategically placing carpets and rugs on hardwood floors in high-traffic areas can help prevent various types of damage. Doormats should be placed in front of all doors, as these obviously serve as a catchall to prevent debris, dirt and mud from being tracked into the home.
Helpful Cleaning Tips for Homeowners
Those who have hardwood floors in their home should always use soft cloths to blot spills the moment they occur. This is because if liquid is allowed to stand for more than several minutes on a hardwood surface, it can make the stain virtually impossible to remove.
This is particularly true for wood that is soft, such as pine. However, even floors made from very hardwood, such as oak, can be difficult to clean if the stain is allowed to sink into the floor.
Sweeping, dusting and vacuuming on a regular basis are also simple actions that make a significant impact on a floor’s longevity and beauty. When vacuuming, property owners should avoid scratching or dulling the surface of the floor by using appropriate attachments specifically designed for wood. Devices of this kind are not difficult to find, and are available at most home improvement stores.
The safest cleaning products for hardwood floors are water-based formulas designed for laminate or wood surfaces. Abrasive cleaners, scouring powders and steel wool should not be used, as these may damage the laminate finish of the floor.
Implement a Care Schedule
Hardwood floors require regular care to sustain their durability, luster and shine. In addition to properly cleaning such floors, light sanding and resurfacing should be completed approximately every five to seven years. Wooden floors that feature a protective wax layer usually need stripping and re-waxing every year or two as well.
When properly cared for, wood floors often last for generations and are a lovely addition to essentially any home. Additionally, they add substantial value to the dwelling, which is advantageous if the homeowner ever chooses to sell the property. Exercising caution when cleaning and maintaining such floors will keep them looking bright and new for decades.
Contacting a Professional
It is easy to protect your wood floors when you seek the services of a qualified professionals such as those at LevelUp Flooring. Although certain tasks can be completed by the homeowner, some maintenance jobs are best placed in the hands of an expert. Anyone who is planning to install new floors or needs assistance with hardwood floor maintenance should not hesitate to contact LevelUp Flooring to schedule an appointment and keep their floors looking lovely and damage free for many years to come.