Much fuss is made about hardwood flooring. Debates over how often to clean them, what chemicals to use in cleaning, how to protect them, etc. are all had amongst those who have this type of flooring in their homes. Everyone has different opinions, some of them good, some of them less than informed but regardless, one thing remains true. Hardwood flooring can not be left in a state of neglect and must be tended to with at least some regularity if it is not only to remain clean but to survive as well. Left neglected long enough the finish on a hardwood floor will begin to break down which is when this type of flooring really becomes vulnerable. Once it’s first line of defense is broken, hardwood flooring will need to be replaced after just a short span of time.
How To Care For Hardwood Flooring
There are a number of things one can do to give their hardwood flooring the care it both needs and deserves. Done on a consistent basis the following will not only keep your hardwood flooring clean but help it survive decades of traffic, spills, and stains.
- Removing Loose Debris: First things first, never use water to clean hardwood flooring. Water can seep into the cracks of the wood which promotes warping, bending, and cracking. Instead start with simple broom and dust pan. A dust mop is an excellent alternative to a traditional broom and makes it easy to gather large amounts of debris in a single space for pick up. After daily sweeping you can really help your hardwood floor by address troubled spots right away. A soft cloth and specialized hardwood floor cleaner will keep stains from setting and remove more stubborn debris than does sweeping.
- Mopping: Thoroughly mopping your hardwood floor on a weekly basis will not just keep it shining but will go a long way in protecting it as well. Frequent mopping, with solutions safe for wood flooring, will keep stains from setting, spills from eroding it’s finish, and oils from seeping deep into the wood which promotes rot.
- Removing Shoes: Wearing shoes in the home has been commonplace for so long people have forgotten just how damaging they can be to their flooring. Shoes and all the oils and debris they carry can ruin carpet, tile, linoleum, and of course…hardwood flooring. Heavy foot traffic can sully and dull a hardwood floor in a short span of time so removing shoes before anyone sets foot on hardwood flooring goes a long way in protecting it.
- Addressing Spills: Tending to spills as they happen is a wonderful way to preserve your hardwood flooring and keep it from becoming stained. Stains are difficult to remove, even for professionals, and can ruin a hardwood floor very quickly and very easily. Cleaning up all manner of spills as they happen will keep your flooring from absorbing oils, liquids, and will make hardwood floors easier to maintain.
- Professional Cleanings: Hiring a professional cleaner to address your hardwood floors on a biannual basis is one of the most important things you can do for your floors. Professional cleaners are inexpensive, charging by square footage, and come equipped with state of the art high tech cleaning gear. More to the point, professionals can complete the work in a fraction of the time it will take laypersons. The results professional cleaning yields also far exceeds that of the do-it-yourselfer. Perhaps best of all, professionals apply protectant to the floors they clean. This protectant helps hardwood floors stay clean and staves off damage as well.