Some homeowners feel intimidated by hardwood floors. As we all know, nicer things often require more care, and replacement is more expensive. Luckily, in the case of hardwood flooring, proper maintenance really isn’t all that difficult.
Follow these five steps to clean and protect your floors, and you can ward off the need for repairs.
Climate matters. It might surprise you, but temperature and humidity can shorten the lifespan of your hardwood floors. Both heat and moisture should be maintained to avoid gaps and buckling. Between 60 and 80 degrees, and between 30 to 50 percent humidity, provide the ideal environment for wood floors. For most of us, that’s our ideal indoor environment anyway.
Avoid damage. Hardwood flooring can last decades or longer, but will sometimes need repairs. You can prolong the time between those repairs by avoiding scratches and dents. Cover furniture legs with felt pads, take care when moving furniture (lift, don’t slide), and don’t wear shoes indoors (especially high heels).
Clean hardwood floors regularly. Over time, debris on the floor will damage the finish Sweep or vacuum at least twice per week (more often is even better). Mop your hardwood flooring weekly, with a solution of vinegar water or a special soap formulated for hardwood.
Avoid excess wax. Some floor cleaners aren’t really good for hardwood floors. Those that contain acrylic wax will create a buildup over time, so check your product labels carefully.
Sand and refinish. Properly maintained wood floors have been known to last 100 years or more! However, your floors will probably need to be sanded and refinished occasionally. In most cases you can count on doing this every 7 to 10 years, but things like pet damage, furniture damage, food spills and excessive foot traffic can shorten that time period. On the other hand, avoiding those types of damage might mean that you won’t need to refinish the floors as often.
If you have more questions about caring for hardwood floors, give us a call. We can make recommendations to keep your flooring as beautiful as the day it was installed.