Hardwood flooring can last for years when given proper care. Following tips about cleaning will help to prolong the floor’s life and taking special care in activities can prevent damage, as well.
Area rugs will protect hardwood floors from dirt and grit, which can scratch the wood. Rugs should be vacuumed regularly to keep dirt from reaching the floor. Rugs that do not have rubber or vinyl backing are recommended. Floor mats placed at entrances will help reduce the amount of dirt that is brought into the house. Mats will also protect against water damage in places like kitchens and entrances.
Some types of shoes, such as cleats and high heels, can dent or scratch hardwood flooring. They should be worn as little as possible on hardwood floors. Also, dragging furniture across the floor can cause dents and scratches. If possible, furniture should be moved by lifting. When the furniture is not being moved, furniture pads placed under the legs of chairs, couches and tables will also help prevent damage.
Sunlight can cause discoloration. Furniture and area rugs will block most of it and curtains covering the windows should block the rest. Even thin curtains will block the ultraviolet rays that cause discoloration.
Water can cause several problems on hardwood floors; it can discolor the wood and warp it if the spill is large enough. Water spills must be cleaned up immediately to prevent damage. If damage does occur, contact the floor manufacturer or refer to the user manual for information on how to correct the problem spot.
Hardwood floors should be swept with a broom that has fine bristles and an exploded end, which will trap dirt and grit effectively. A dust mop with a 12- to 18-inch cotton head can also be used to pick up dirt. Consult the floor manufacturer’s instructions to see if a mop treatment is needed.
A brush attachment or bare floor attachment will get rid of dirt and dust that is in places the broom cannot reach. Vacuums with beater bars should not be used because they can cause scratches. Vacuuming should be done once or twice each week.
Hardwood floors can also be cleaned with a damp mop, but only if the finish is in good condition; otherwise, water might get into the wood. It is also important that the mop be only slightly damp for this reason and those mentioned above.
These tips are only some of the things that can be done to keep hardwood flooring in good shape for many years. More can be found by consulting the user’s manual.
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