One of the main reasons why some wood flooring becomes prematurely aged is due to warping and rot which sets in due to an excess of water on the floor. Whether this is caused by a leaking radiator or liquids and spillages being allowed to lie on the floor or by using too much water when cleaning the floor, water damage can mean an early death to floorboards and prolonged water damage will certainly mean replacing damaged boards, so to prevent this wipe up spillage immediately, use very little water when cleaning your wood flooring, and after cleaning, use a dry mop to dry up any moisture.
Cleaning your wooden floors
- Wooden floors require nothing more than sweeping or vacuuming and a very light mop.
Vacuum or dust- 2 to3 times a week to minimize the damage which can be caused by dirt, sand, and grit, which can scratch and dull the surface of the floors. The use of a soft brush with fine, exposed bristles will help trap and remove grit.
- When vacuuming, use a brush attachment, since beater bars can damage the floor’s surface.
- It is recommended to lightly damp-mop the floor (Too much water may cause the floor to swell, warp or discolour) using a dilute mixture of wood cleaner and water to remove spills and foot tracks. General household cleaners may abrade and dull the floors finish. Steam mops are not recommended as the heat of the steam can break down the lacquers protecting the wood, and the steam is adding unnecessary moisture.
Keeping your wooden floors looking lovely is not difficult, but these few useful tips can help homeowners to become even more successful at taking care of them and add years to their life. The first areas to show signs of wear are the high traffic areas, such as hallways and the entrance to a room, this can be prevented by using some simple tricks. When wood floors wear excessively in these high traffic areas it is often because people are walking around in shoes with grit embedded in them, which scratches the floor, one sure fix for this problem is to adopt a “no shoes in the house rule” it works. In commercial properties such as offices, schools, restaurants etc.this is not practical so in these places, dirt-trapping mats are the best option to prevent the grit from reaching the timber floors.
- Floors in high-traffic areas may need to be resealed every 3 to 5 years. This involves deep cleaning and meshing back the old surface before applying fresh coats of floor sealant, this will minimise the need to re-sand the floors too regularly and prolong the good looks of the wood.
Ways to immediately begin preserving the newly sanded floors include placing breathable mats at all room entrances to help catch dirt, keeping the claws of any pets you may have nicely trimmed so that they will not cause any scratches or other damage, using felt pads underneath the legs of any pieces of furniture that are positioned on the wood flooring, avoid dragging furniture across the floor using the lift and place method where possible and avoiding walking on the floor with footwear such as damaged heals, spiked high heels or athletic cleats.
Other good tips to help preserve the looks of your wooden floors include installing blinds or curtains in rooms where the flooring is present to prevent fading due to ultraviolet light and placing area rugs in places where there is particularly heavy traffic such as in front of sinks and at stair landings.