Cleaning Hardwood Floors

By | January 8, 2013

Tips for Regular, Protective, and Restorative Cleaning

Cleaning hardwood floors is not difficult, but it is a sensitive task that requires a lot of careful effort. Hardwood floors have a unique, timeless charm, and they can bring different personalities into your home based on the type of wood you choose.

The easiest way to make hardwood floors look good as new is to refinish them. However, this is a rather complex and costly job so you can’t exactly do it regularly. You can also cover your floor with protective floor pads, but that means you won’t get to enjoy the natural look of natural wood floors.

Protective floor pads are most highly recommended in high-traffic areas. The best way, however, to keep your floor looking great is to clean them properly and regularly. Hardwood floors look beautiful in a home, and regular cleaning and maintenance is a small price to pay for them.

Tips for Regular Hardwood Floor Cleaning

In cleaning hardwood floors on a daily basis, you need to know what specific type of finish was used on your floors. The common finishes are polyurethane, water-based polyuretanem and catalyzed finish. They are then sealed with either acrylic, oil, or wax. This is important since the finish is the surface that you will actually be cleaning. Make sure to check with the manufacturer if the finish comes with specific cleaning instructions.

The most effective regular cleaning strategies for hardwood floors is to sweep it daily using a soft-bristled broom and vacuum it weekly to remove more stubborn dirt and dust. Use your vacuum cleaner’s soft brush attachment to avoid scratching the surface.

Here are some effective cleaning solutions you can use. Bad spots or scuffs can be cleaned using lemon oil, tea tree oil, or lavender oil; you can dab them using a damp sponge. For regular cleaning, you can use a water and vinegar mixture, which can do a good job of polishing the floor without leaving any moisture damage.

Tips for Stain Removal

Stains, however, can be more difficult to remove. When hardwood floors get stained, it means the topmost layers of the finishing material have been compromised. In such cases, the best solution is to sand down the stained area and just reapply the finishing. To avoid water stains, make sure to blot up all spills as soon as they occur using a soft towel or a microfiber pad. You can also use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner if you have access to one; this way, you can remove even moisture that may have seeped into the wood.

Tips for Water Damage Restoration

Unfortunately, when it comes to water damage, restoration can be a challenge. Water is the number one enemy of hardwood flooring. You may be able to save yourself from having to replace your hardwood floors by responding promptly to a water damage emergency; if the water is dried up immediately, you may get away with minor water stains that can be removed with some sanding.

However, natural wood is a tad more vulnerable than synthetic materials. It can get easily and irreparably damaged if it gets soaked for some time. The one sign of irreparable damage in your hardwood flooring is swelling or warping. In such cases, you will need to remove the damaged planks and replace them with new ones.

Some handy homeowners are capable of doing a repair job, but since you have to remove the affected planks without damaging the other planks then replacing them with new ones, the task may be quite a challenge. If you are not sure you can do it yourself, just look for professional water damage service.

Protecting Your Hardwood Floors is Better than Repairing Them

For spills and water damage, you need to carefully analyze whether there is still moisture left in the wood. If so, you may be inviting mold and dry rot into your home. If you are not sure that the wood is already all dried up, you can get profesionals to do an inspection with the use of special infrared sensors or you can invest in orther water damage restoration equipment, like a dehumidifier for example.

It is a good idea to wax and polish your hardwood floors from time to time. If they start looking dull and you can’t seem to bring back its original shine, a simple refinishing job by professionals can do the trick. However, nothing keeps them looking great than cleaning hardwood floors regularly.