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Care and Maintenance Of Hardwood Floors
Hardwood flooring care and maintenance is just as important as making that decision to invest in one. Over the years I've seen some that were maintained beautifully and it shows. On the other hand I've also seen those that were abused and no attention to preservation was considered. Not only does cleaning play an important role to the longevity of your investment, but attention to damage prevention as well. Here are several items to be considered that some salespeople may overlook.
• Place bristle type mats at all exterior door entries. These will collect larger pieces of grit or small stones.
• Place area rugs at all entry points inside the home.
• Felt pads are a great idea for placing under furniture legs, but keeping them free of grit is just as important. Each time the floor is swept or cleaned check for any grit that may collect under a chair or furniture leg.
• Place area rugs at all water areas. Kitchens are most important in this case. One may not be enough and I would suggest others in front of the refer/ice maker, dishwasher, and kitchen sink area.
• Speaking of appliances: Any time they are moved please use some kind of protection to prevent scratches and gouges. Appliance delivery guys are notorious for not taking the necessary precautions. My suggestion is to use 1/8" masonite board making sure the surface and the floor is very clean when we move any appliances. One small piece of grit will make any efforts worthless.
DIRT and GRIT
Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floors worst enemies. They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage
WATER AND OTHER SPILLS
Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they happen
Avoid oil soaps. They can build up and create problems when it's time to put a maintenance coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors are recommended
Lift the furniture to move it --- avoid dragging. Felt contacts under the legs will help prevent scratches.
Vacuum with a brush attachment -- don't use vacuums with beater bars
Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the sun's intense UV rays.
Brooms with fine, exploded ends trap dust and grit effectively
Canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments are the surest way to get rid of all the dirt and dust.
Use a good dust mop --- one with a 12- to 18- inch cotton head ---- and a special dust mop treatment. Spray the treatment onto the mop head 12 to 24 hours before dust mopping.
Does Your New Hardwood Floor Look Old?
Perhaps your hardwood floors were installed just a few years ago, but you haven't taken care of them and now they look old. What can you do? Before you do anything, check the condition of the finish and the wood to see whether they need special cleaning or more involved repair.
What condition is your floor in?
Follow these steps to evaluate the condition of your hardwood floor and its finish
Has the finish been worn off or is it just dirty? See if the finish is dull, chipped, scraped or gouged. To test if the finish has worn off, begin in a high-traffic area and pour one to two tablespoons of water onto the floor. If the water soaks in immediately and leaves a darkened spot, the finish is worn and water can damage the wood. If the water soaks in after a few minutes and darkens the wood only slightly, the finish is partially worn. If the water beads on top, the surface is properly sealed. Repeat this test in low- and medium-traffic areas.
It the finish is worn, the wood may have been damaged. Are there stains, burns, cuts, gouges, holes, cracks or warped boards? If the wood is damaged, repair or replacement may be required before you deep clean your floor or apply a maintenance coat.
K&J Flooring Inc.