The Do’s and Don’ts of Hardwood Floor Maintenance

hardwood floor maintenance

Hardwood flooring remains one of the most popular flooring options in America and has one of the highest ROIs. Opting for hardwood floors is one of the best ways to guarantee that your home will do well on the market.

The problem is that hardwood flooring doesn’t close the deal on its own. It’s up to you to keep your hardwood floors in good condition if you want them to keep looking great and appealing to buyers.

How should you approach hardwood floor maintenance? Believe it or not, there are things you should do–and things you shouldn’t.

Read on for the dos and don’ts of hardwood floor maintenance.

The Dos

First, let’s take a look at the things you can do to keep your hardwood floors in good shape. Most of the time, as long as you follow these simple steps, you’ll avoid any major problems or damage down the road.

Are your hardwood floors in pretty bad shape and need a major cleaning? Do you want to save yourself the hassle of following these steps on your own on a regular basis? We provide professional hardwood cleaning services that you won’t want to miss!

Do Clean Spills ASAP

With the exception of controlled mopping sessions, you’re going to want to keep your hardwood floors dry all the time. The hardwood is not waterproof and, in fact, moisture is one of the number one causes of damage to hardwood floors. Constant or high levels of moisture on your hardwood floors will cause the wood to swell or shrink, which can lead to irreparable issues.

If you’re dealing with a spill, go ahead and wipe it up with a soft, dry cloth. Don’t use steam mops to clean up spills, as the steam can worsen the problem. If necessary, wipe the spill with a damp cloth or cleaning solution before drying the spot completely.

Do Use Furniture Pads to Move Heavy Furniture

Shallow scratches in hardwood flooring aren’t always impossible to get rid of, but it’s simpler just to avoid scratching your floors, altogether. Accidents happen, but most scratches appear when heavy furniture is moved the wrong way.

If you need to move a piece of furniture you can’t lift, use moving pads or blankets underneath the legs, edges, or any part of the furniture that is flush with the ground. Not only does this prevent your furniture from scraping the wood but it also makes the furniture easier to move: win-win!

Do Sweep, Vacuum, and Wipe Down Your Floors Regularly

Now let’s talk about the cleaning methods you can use on a regular basis. The more you get into the habit of cleaning your hardwood floors, the less elbow grease it will take each time.

For starters, consider sweeping or dusting your hardwood floors a few times a week. This can seem like a lot, but all those little particles that accumulate on your floors have the potential to scratch the wood–and they just don’t look pleasant. (The best way to tackle this step is to use a dust mop, which will achieve the effect of a broom and a duster in one go.)

Sweeping or dusting will help keep the surface of your hardwood floors clean, but there are a lot of nooks and crannies that a broom can’t quite touch. This is especially true of older hardwood floors that may have more imperfections and gaps between the boards. To keep your floors as clean as possible, vacuum them once a week.

Finally, consider wiping down your floors using a terry or microfiber cloth and hardwood floor cleaner at least once every other month. This can seem a bit gruelling, but it’s the best way to keep your floors shiny and lustrous. (Fortunately, there are plenty of mops made with terry or microfiber cloth, so you don’t have to get down on your hands and knees for this part!)

Hardwood Floors Looking Dingy? Do Refinish Your Hardwood Floors

If you find that no amount of cleaning is bringing back the sheen you desire, it may be a sign that you need to refinish your hardwood floors. Depending on the type of wood, the foot traffic in each room, and other factors that may affect quality, you may need to refinish your hardwood floors every three to five years.

The Don’ts

What about the things you shouldn’t do? Let’s take a quick look at the things you should avoid when maintaining hardwood floors.

Don’t Use Cleaning the Wrong Cleaning Fluids

There’s a reason that hardwood floor cleaner exists. Not all cleaning fluids are appropriate for this material and should be avoided when cleaning wood floors. Examples include powder and soft cream cleaners, mold removers, disinfectants, furniture polish, vinegar, or anything that contains bleach.

Don’t Use Abrasive Scrubbing Tools

Abrasive scrubbing tools are not designed for hardwood floors. Scrubbing tools made from steel wool, hard plastic, and other “scratchy” materials should be avoided. Using these tools to clean your hardwood floor is a lot like sanding the floor with sandpaper!

Don’t Oversaturate Your Wood Floors

Don’t oversaturate the wood with water or cleaning fluids when you’re mopping. Try to use a small amount (we recommend using a spray bottle and misting a 6′ x 6′ area at a time) and mop it up quickly.

Keep Up With Hardwood Floor Maintenance and Maintain That High ROI

Hardwood floor maintenance is the key to maintaining a high ROI on your hardwood floors–and overall keeping your home looking well-taken care of. With this guide on how to care for hardwood floors, you can keep your hardwood floors clean, shiny, and unscathed for years to come.

Want to know more about our cleaning services? Contact us with any questions you have and get a free estimate.

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