Hardwood Floor Maintenance
Ask anyone in the know and they will tell you that prioritizing maintenance and cleaning can save you plenty of money, as you will not have to worry about hardwood floor repair or refinishing nearly as often.
Actually, hardwood floors are pretty low maintenance and depending on the quality of the wood and finish you can live freely without worry that every little thing will damage the floor. You love your floor – but you need to LIVE in your home as well!
As they say, prevention is better than cure and there are several ways you can prevent serious damage to your hardwood floors:
- Prevent scratches and damage from dirt and grit by vacuuming or sweeping your hardwood floor regularly
- Use rugs and mats to trap dirt and keep it from roaming about and damaging your floor
- Prevent water damage by making it a habit to clean spills as soon as they happen. If you stick to this rule, hardwood floor maintenance becomes a lot easier!
- Only use products designed for hardwood floor maintenance and cleaning on your floors or just plain water.
- Harsh soaps, detergents and oil soaps can damage your floor and finish, so avoid them altogether! Look for commercial, PH balanced products that are designed for hardwood floors, such as Poly Care.
- Use felt or carpet squares on the bottom of all furniture feet and legs and lift to avoid damage to your floors when moving furniture around. These are low cost and an easy way to keep your floor scratch and dent free.
- Also, you probably want to avoid wearing high heels on your floors.
- A bit obvious but …do your best to avoid dropping on your floors (which can cause dents and require hardwood floor repair)
- Vacuum with a soft bristle brush and take a look at the vacuum to see if some of the parts might cause damage certain vacuums can dent or scratch your floors
- Use a UV resistant finish on your floor or try to avoid direct sun on your floors. The sun can fade or yellow certain types of finish. Or try UV protective window coverings.
- Investing in special equipment can be a good idea and will make hardwood floor maintenance easier. Swiffer-type dusters, a soft boom and a canister vacuum with soft bristle attachments are all highly recommended. The vacuum’s especially worth it if you have hardwood flooring throughout your home or a large part of it.
- You may want to make a decision about your pets and sharing the floor with them. As much as you love them, their claws can scratch your floors and pet stains are some of the worst you can get on hardwood floors make sure you clean them up immediately! Weigh your values and how your pet will ‘get along’ with the floor – it might be that you are willing to sacrifice some minor floor damage for being able to share the space with your indoor animals.
Regular cleaning, sweeping and care of your hardwood floor, and checking your floor from time to time, is the best form of hardwood floor maintenance there is. Done regularly, these all take minutes to achieve, but can save you hours (and a big chunk of cash) in the long run!
Hardwood Floor Repair
Hardwood floor repair should be the exception rather than the normif you have been doing a good job of hardwood floor maintenance, cleaning and minimising damage from spills and sun damage. Starting with a quality finish and quality milled wood doesn’t hurt either.
However, accidents do happen and from time to time you may need to do a hardwood floor repair or two. One of the most damaging problems can be a leak or spill that causes a stain or worse, buckling. Click here for more on wood floor repair for water damage.
Here are a few hints and tips to help fix some other floor problems with minimal fuss.
- Minor splits and cracks in hardwood floors can usually be repaired with angled nails. If the crack is severe you may need to replace the board or boards in question.
- Gaps in hardwood flooring are often nothing more than woods natural reaction to heat and humidity.
- Generally, if there is less than the thickness of a dime between your boards, then your floor is normal and no hardwood floor repair is necessary. If there is a much bigger gap, you may need to tighten up the floorboards.
- Buckling is another common problem in hardwood floors. You may be able to repair the floor by sanding and refinishing but if there is an underlying problem (like rising dampness) you will need to solve that problem to get to the root of it.
- Scratches, marks and other problems with your floor’s finish may mean that you need to sand and refinish your floor. First, you can try some minor fixes. For example, minor dents can be filled with wood filler. This will blend into the floor and make the problems less noticeable.
Many of the most common hardwood floor repairs are possible to do yourself though there are some cases where you might want an expert to take care of your hardwood floor repairs – particularly if you didn’t install the floor yourself and several boards need to be removed and replaced.
Overall though your floor shouldn’t keep you busy with repair and maintenance. Your hardwood floor should let you keep busy with life and living in your home.