Long-term care for your hardwood floor

Long-term care for your hardwood floor

Hardwood floors are a long-term investment that can add beauty, character and value to your home. If you’re about to invest or have recently invested in some new floors for your home, be sure to make them last. Keep your floors looking their absolute best with these helpful dos and don’ts.

What you should do

When it comes to flawless floors, prevention is always key. Here are some habits that you should get into to maintain the look and feel of your new floors.

  • Use area rugs: Not only do they add additional warmth and appeal to your décor, but area rugs can also significantly help reduce the appearance of wear and tear in high traffic areas of your home. When placing runners and area rugs throughout your home, place slip-resistant backings to keep them in place and prevent friction.
  • Keep it clean: It’s important to maintain your floors with regular cleaning. Vacuum, dust or sweep at least once a week and mop when necessary. Neglecting to remove dirt and dust from your floor takes a toll on a floor’s sheen. Be cautious to not over saturate or leave excess water on floors after mopping. When using the vacuum, opt for a brush or felt head. Help minimize cleaning time by placing interior and exterior doormats at all the entrances of your home.
  • Combat moisture: Water and wood are not a great combination, ideally the humidity in your home should range between 35% and 55%. To avoid serious damage, keep your floors dry and be sure to wipe up any spills immediately. When selecting a rug for your kitchen or bathroom ensure that it is made of a breathable material so that moisture doesn’t become trapped underneath.
  • Take precautions: Prevent light scratches by regularly trimming your pet’s nails. Similarly, ensure there are no sharp edges or points on the bottoms of any moveable furniture, like chairs. A good solution to this problem is simply adding leg caps or leg tips to each point of contact your furniture has with the floor.

Things to avoid

When taking precautions to preserve your floors, here are some additional factors you may not have considered:

  • Harsh Chemicals: Be aware of what kinds of chemicals, soaps and detergents you are using to clean your floors. Cleaning agents containing ammonia,silicone or undiluted vinegar may strip the shine of your floors overtime. Products containing oil, soaps, wax or paste may leave residue and detergents containing citrus acids can eat away at your floor’s finish. Using the right cleaning products on your floor is important and with a wide variety of floor cleaners available, it’s easy to find one that will preserve the longevity your beautiful hardwood.
  • Shoes indoors: Not only do shoes track in more unwanted filth and moisture, but certain kinds of shoes can permanently mark up your floors with scratches. Encourage friends and family to remove their shoes when entering your home, especially if they are wearing high heels.
  • Extreme temperatures: Wood has a natural tendency to expand and retract in varying temperatures. Extreme variation in household temperatures for prolonged periods of time may cause the planks to gap or buckling. Ideally your space should range between 15 – 26 degrees Celsius.

Quick fixes for difficult problems 

  • Tough Messes: For tough sticky messes, like those caused by chewing gum or spilt candle wax, try covering them in a bag of ice to make them solids. Once the substance becomes brittle, crumble it off and follow up by using a floor cleaner on the entire area.
  • Deep scratches: If your floor has acquired a scratch so deep that the bare wood looks like it is exposed, there are solutions available. You can colour in the imperfection with a matching stain colour, stain marker or blending pencil. There are many of these products available in a variety of shades and tones so you can closely match the colour of your floor. To correct a gouge, use a latex wood filler to fill the hole, many versions of this product come with colour built in to match your floor. Once dry, lightly sand it so that it is flush with your floor and ensure that you do not sand the surrounding area of the floor. Complete this process with a coat of varnish. As an alternative, you can also opt to have specific boards replaced by a professional.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to care for your hardwood floor, contact us.