Life is full of many wonderful things, but it can also get messy. Whether Fido tracks in mud or your children spill food, your hardwood floors will inevitably get dirty. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to clean your wood flooring. Nashville residents constantly ask us for the best cleaning methods, and while the process is simple, it’s vital that you clean with care to prevent damage.
They say, “don’t cry over spilled milk,” but that doesn’t mean it’s completely harmless. Liquids, mud, gravel, twigs, and other debris can cause warping, scratches, and dents. Though these are easy enough to fix with a refinishing project, you should do your best to prevent them. After all, you can only refinish your floors so many times. To get the longest life and the best results from your flooring, you should consider these five cleaning tips.
Wipe Up Spills Immediately
If you spill any liquid onto your wood floors, you need to act quickly. Wood is an absorbent material, so it can easily stain from a red wine spill that never gets cleaned up. Not to mention, a pet accident can soak deep into your wood. You will have a lingering odor as a result, and that may be very difficult to remove without a major refinishing project.
That’s not all!
Even water can be destructive to wood floors. It is known to cause warping to the planks and damage to your finish. For that reason, you should be careful about how you wipe up your spills. We recommend that you avoid using a soaking mop or cloth to wipe up accidents or puddles. Instead, you should use a dry or slightly damp cloth. If you do need to use more liquid to wipe up the mess, you should immediately follow with a dry cloth.
Sweep Floors Regularly
Does your family frequently track in dirt and debris? Even though you don’t have to worry about stains or warping, you do have to protect your floor from scratches. For example, a small piece of damage might not seem like a big deal on its own, but if you step on it or kick it around, you can end up with scuffs, dents, and scratches on the surface of your hardwood.
While you can remedy this kind of damage with hardwood floor refinishing, Nashville homeowners should prevent it as best as they can by sweeping floors regularly. We recommend that you use a broom with soft bristles that would scratch your finish. You could also clean the surface with a dry microfiber mop. We strongly recommend that you avoid any wet or steam mops as they can damage both the finish and the hardwood.
Follow a Cleaning Routine
It’s easy to let cleaning floors fall to the wayside, but establishing a cleaning routine makes the process easier. A standard hardwood floor routine should include sweeping, dust mopping, or vacuuming as needed. Depending on how much traffic you have in your house, you may need to do it as often as every other day or weekly. It’s important to note that vacuums should always be used on the bare floor setting. Otherwise, the bristles could leave behind scratches.
An appropriate wood floor cleaner should also be part of your routine. We suggest that you apply your cleaning solution on a monthly basis for better hardwood flooring performance. You should always use any cleaners as directed to ensure the best results.
Prevent Debris from Collecting in Gaps
Did you know that the dry winter weather can be tough on your wood floors? Much like it affects your skin, dry air causes your hardwood to dry and shrink. When this happens, you may end up with some gaps in between your wood planks. This gap creates the ideal place for dirt, dust, and debris to collect.
What’s the best way to prevent that from happening?
It’s easy! All you have to do is run your humidifier. A humidifier returns moisture to the air and combats the effects of winter weather. It might not eliminate gaps completely, but it will certainly help. Not to mention, humidifiers are great for maintaining your hardwood floor’s overall health.
Consult with a Professional
Lastly, we strongly encourage you to speak with a National Wood Flooring Association Certified Professional about caring for your specific flooring. Since wood species vary so widely, the care they require can also differ. When you have wood installed in your home, your contractor or provider should provide you with care instructions.
Unfortunately, you may not have access to this information if you purchased a home with old hardwood floors. If you can’t speak directly with your flooring manufacturer, you can seek advice from other wood flooring professionals.
The type of wood flooring you have isn’t the only factor that impacts your maintenance routine. Your consultant should also take your wear and tear, lifestyle, and use into consideration. Getting a detailed plan can help prevent hardwood refinishing.
Learn More About How to Clean Your Wood Flooring
Would you like to find out more about how to care for your hardwood floor, Nashville? Don't hesitate to contact us at Southern Oaks Flooring We take pride in helping our customers with everything from maintenance to hardwood floor refinishing. Nashville residents should schedule their consultation with our flooring experts by filling out our simple online form.
If you would like to speak with our professionals over the phone, you can reach us at 615-416-9039. We have several NWFA Certified Professionals to take your call. We would be happy to provide you with more information about our flooring, maintenance services, and more.