Sweep or Mop Daily
Sweeping and mopping will get rid of grit, pebbles and other debris that could potentially damage the floor by leaving marks. If you are going to sweep your floor, you’ll want to stay away from brooms that have polypropylene bristles. You’ll want to use a soft-bristled broom to remove dirt from the floor. As far as mapping goes, you’ll want to avoid putting wet mops directly on the floor. A slightly damp or dry mop would work best. There may be exceptions depending on what type of finishing your wood flooring has, like polyurethane or wax. If your floor is finished with polyurethane, a damp mop might do, but be careful of using too much water at any given time. A microfiber cloth will be handy for cleaning up spills.
Use Hardwood Floor Cleaner Monthly
Hardwood floor cleaner should be used once monthly to keep the floor shiny and to remove any dirt from its surface. Pay attention to what type of finish your floor has. For example, if you have an oil finish on the wood, you can use mineral spirits to clean it. On some floors, you can use a mix of vinegar and water for an overall clean and baking soda for spots and stains. If you’re not sure what type of cleaning solution is right for your floor, consult a flooring professional before using any cleaning products.
Avoid Scratches from Shoes and Heavy Furniture
Shoes and furniture can scratch hardwood floors easily. Leaving shoes at the front door is good practice for protecting your flooring. Wearing house slippers or socks are good for walking on hardwood floors. Like shoes, furniture can also leave marks. Moving furniture and standing furniture can both leave marks on a hardwood floor. The solution for furniture would be to put pads underneath heavy pieces to cushion it from touching wood.
Protect Floors from Sun and Moisture
If possible, protect your floors from moisture and the sun. Don’t steam your hardwood floor, as this will add moisture to the wood and may cause the flooring to lift. General humidity can also take a toll on your floor. If you live in a humid climate, invest in a dehumidifier to help manage the moisture in the air. UV rays from the sun can also alter the color of your hardwood floors. When possible, keep the curtains drawn or cover the floor and use rugs when possible. Blinds are also helpful for controlling how much sunlight is entering the home.
Get a Professional Maintenance Coat Coat Every 3-5 Years
Getting a professional maintenance coat on your floors every 3-5 years can help preserve your hardwood flooring long-term. A “maintenance coat” is when the floor is re-sanded and re-finished. A procedure like this can reduce the need from replacing your wood floor. If there are no major dents or scratches or up-liftings, ask a flooring consultant if a maintenance coat will do the job.
Hardwood floors are easy to maintain. They look great and add value to the home. You’ll love them once you give them a chance!