Your hardwood floors can take on a lot of wear over the years from daily foot traffic, spills, scuffs, and other common mishaps. It is possible to maintain the stunning allure of your floors—with the proper cleaning and a few best practices. Check out our must-know advice to keep your wood floors clean and looking new for years to come.
Perform Routine Hardwood Floor Cleaning
Regular cleanings can do wonders for your floors. The frequency you need to clean them will depend on the finish applied to your floors and the amount of foot traffic your floors endure daily. When doing any floor cleaning, be sure to avoid products that say they will polish or make your floors shine. These can create oily, sticky build-up on the floor over time.
For a quick clean, dust your wood floors with a dry mop to pick up dust, dirt, and pet hair. Then, use a vacuum with bristles to pick up debris, crumbs, and anything else that has been tracked in that could scratch the surface.
Every 5-10 years (depending on traffic) you should have your floors buffed and recoated to provide new layers of urethane protection. This removes surface abuse and prevents you from having to refinish the floor as often. The process is non-evasive and usually takes a day.
Clean Spills Right Away
Wood swells and shrinks depending on moisture, both on the surface and in the air, so it’s important to keep floors dry. One of the best ways to do this is to tackle spills and accidents right away. Use a dry or slightly damp rag to wipe up the spill as soon as it happens. It’s also a good idea to make sure no one walks onto hardwood floors with wet shoes—so leave them at the door!
Utilize Furniture Pads
Scratches can be some of the toughest problems to fix on your hardwood floors. While some are inevitable with kids and pets, others are preventable with the right precautions. One of the easiest solutions to scratches is putting furniture pads underneath the legs of your sofas, chairs, tables, and anything else that rests on your floors. At Barnum, we recommend putting furniture pads that you can pound into the bottom of items (if possible) so they’re out of sight, out of mind, and always protecting your floors.
Maintain the Humidity In Your Home
The National Hardwood Flooring Association recommends keeping humidity levels in your home between 30-50 percent, year-round if you have hardwood floors. Too much humidity can cause cupping, which occurs across the width of your floorboard, with edges that are raised on each board and centers that dip lower than the edges. If your floors then lose moisture, they can gap or split.
Living in Iowa where we have extremes in both summer and winter, it can be difficult to keep humidity at the exact levels recommended, but as long as you don’t have extreme fluctuation in humidity levels, your floors will be perfectly fine. So, during winter months don’t be alarmed if you see small gaps between your floorboards. We recommend starting up your humidifier the same day as your furnace to pump moisture back into your home.
But, if the gaps in your floors are large or do not go away, give us a call!
In Need of Further Care? Call Barnum!
Whether you have questions about what products to use on your floors, how to remove tough stains, concerns about water damage, or are in need of refinishing, Barnum Floors should be your first call. Our highly-knowledgeable team is ready to help make sure your hardwood floors are in the best shape possible!