Six Fall Cleaning and Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking Brilliant
23rd October 2018
It is that time of year when leaves, rain, and mud find its’ way to your floors. What can you do to get your hardwoods in shape after summer parties, afternoon guests, wet dogs, and messy kids are done traipsing across your house? We have six leading ideas for prepping your floors and making sure they are ready to last through the upcoming harsh winter and dry air. We give you our top tips for protecting your floors as well.
Dust mop or use a damp cloth on hardwood before using a floor cleaner
Wood can be susceptible to warping and peeling from too much moisture. Even with a good floor sealer, experts do not recommend that you put water directly onto your hardwoods. For daily cleaning, professional floor firms tell property owners to go over the room with a dust mop. A broom is likely to push the dirt around and can potentially scratch your floors if the bristles are not soft enough. A damp mop is another item you can use to pick up dust and surface dirt.
Remove difficult stains
Never use bleach to try to get rid of a dark stain on your hardwood floors. A wood cleaner is one item that you can try using safely. Spray a cloth with the cleaner and apply it to the stain, and let it sit for about five minutes. DIY says that viewers can use tea bags steeped in hot water to remove stains and make the floor shine. Ice put on candle wax or gum will make the item easier to remove with a credit card or scraper, but be sure to use a flat angle and watch for scratching. When complete, a thorough wash with a wood cleaner is next.
Inspect the wood for damage
Mohawk says that flooring will fade whether you use rugs or blinds to keep out the UV rays. Regular use will cause exposed areas to darken, so the flooring manufacturer suggests moving furniture around often to ensure even fading. At least twice a year you should look carefully at your hardwoods. Check for signs of bowing, cracking, or peeling. Sometimes, sitting on the floor and looking at it from a different perspective can help you spot problems like needing a new coat of wax before winter hits and salty boots are all over your hardwoods.
Seal or repair any problems
Small scratches are a quick fix with a stain pen, in most cases. DIY says that you can even use a brown crayon to fill small areas like chips and dings. For more severe problems, you may need to use fine grit sandpaper and a little stain. Just remember to apply more polyurethane to seal the area when you are done fixing the scratch. Broken boards and issues with deep grooves should get an inspection from your local flooring professional.
Check for signs that your floor needs a new coat of sealant
The National Wood Flooring Association tells homeowners to seal hardwood floors every few years. They do not recommend going more than five years without applying a good coat of wood sealer to your hardwoods. One of the best indicators that you need new sealant is that the floor is dull and loses its’ shine. Other things you may notice is that dirt sticks to your hardwoods more often, become more difficult to clean up, or stains are harder to remove. The new sealant will protect your floors from further damage. Remember not to over wax.
Ways to minimize scratches and stains
- Never use water to clean your floors
- Always use a soft-bristle vacuum or a damp mop
- Trip pets toenails often
- Use mats at doors
- Ask family and guests to remove shoes inside the house
- Never use harsh cleaners or scrubbers
- Avoid cleaning products with citrus or acrylics
- Stay away from two-in-one cleaners and urethane polishes
- Use furniture pads
- Rugs help protect your flooring from UV rays and traffic
- Use blinds or blackout curtains to protect your hardwoods from the sun
- Put mats in front of cabinets, sinks, tubs, and toilets to capture any spills
- Use a humidifier to keep the moisture level between 35 and 50 percent
- Wipe up spills immediately
- Fix any damage quickly to prevent water from seeping under the surface
At Accent on Floors, we want to help you keep your floors looking beautiful. We are proud to offer insider tips and ideas to Hopewell and Tri-state residents needing answers. When you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact our flooring specialists at 804-458-0048. We would love to help you find a good product for cleaning your floors. If you have damage, we are happy to send one of our licensed and insured flooring technicians to inspect your floors for free and give you an affordable estimate.