Your hardwood floor was a big investment at first – and it is something you want to keep in good shape! As long as you put in the time to take care of your hardwood, your flooring will last well into the years. With more people focusing on how they can do their part to keep the space around them clean in the Atlanta area, different places in homes have been shown to hold the worst dirt. While your hardwood floors probably aren’t the dirtiest thing in your home, they definitely aren’t the cleanest! In order to properly maintain your hardwood flooring, follow the steps we have outlined below for the best practices:
Clean off the dirt
While it may seem a little obvious that your floor will need to be swept or vacuumed every now and again, it is something that many people put off. The more you are able to take care of your hardwood on a regular basis, however, the better. While a broom can get rid of things like chunks of dirt and pieces of food on the ground, a hardwood floor vacuum can often clear it away easier (and get that pesky ball of dog fur you might have missed with the broom in the corner). Rather than using a regular vacuum, be sure to only use a hardwood floor vacuum as it has special features that protect your floor from being harmed as you use it.
At certain points in the year, you should be prepared to clean the dirt from your floor more frequently. In the fall and winter months, there tends to be a lot of rain and snow that can trap things onto shoes that are brought inside your home. Once there, the pieces of leaves and dirt are stuck on your hardwood, marring the beautiful finish. In order to protect the flooring, attempt to clean the floors regularly so as to keep them from retaining any water that might be brought in.
Break out the mop
Once the bigger pieces of dirt and leaves have been cleared away with a broom or vacuum, you can use a mop to clear away anything stuck and dried on the hardwood itself. There are many different solutions to choose from at local stores to clean your hardwood, or you might decide to make your own at home. In that case, mixing together some gentle soap and water will do the trick! For those that do decide to buy a already made solution, ensure that it is made specifically for hardwood, as using the wrong type of chemical mix can have a detrimental effect on your flooring. On top of messing up the finish on your hardwood, the wrong solution will void your flooring warranty as well.
As far as the process of actually mopping, wringing out most of the water should be done every time to reduce the chances of sitting water. Move the mop in small sections to really focus on cleaning different spots in your home and allow for a decent amount of time before walking over it to allow it all to dry properly. Since many people choose to clean their floors in combination of other chores, it is important that you do the floors last. This will ensure that the floors are not disturbed while they are drying and don’t receive any unnecessary stress while damp.
Take Care of Scratches on Your Own While You Can
When your flooring is still fairly young, you have the option of taking care of scratches and scuffs on your own. With the amount of maintenance you provide your floors, it can be upsetting to notice that scratches are being made – but it is completely normal, we promise! Unfortunately, there are circumstances we simply can’t stop from happening – like a shoe with a rock in it – and we have to roll with the punches. Luckily, hardwood flooring can be simple to fix when there are only a few scratches that have occurred. However, if at any point a large amount of damage has been sustained by your hardwood, calling a professional in is the best choice.
Visiting your local home improvement store will give you a few options to choose from when you are wanting to deal with fixing your hardwood. Many offer a liquid scratch fixer, which (when following the directions exactly) should be able to offer a solution to most of the minimal scratches on your hardwood flooring. There are also floor polishes and waxes that allow you to bring some of the shine back to your floors, something you might not have thought was possible! While the floor polishes and waxes can be a cumbersome process, utilizing these high-quality products can help your floors last longer in some cases.
Ask a Local, Atlanta Hardwood Floor Company
At some point, however, it will be time that these home improvement products simply aren’t cutting it anymore. When your hardwood has found its last days, don’t think that you will need to get an entirely new wood floor installation in to be able to have the same prolonged experience with your flooring. In fact, hardwood is able to be refinished to bring it back to life! This process involves sanding down the top finish to remove scratches, dents, and stains, and is then refinished with either a new style or same finish as the old one. Homeowners love this opportunity to fall in love with their hardwood again and enjoy being able to switch up the finish to match their new style. What gets you to a healthy refinishing point, however, is really keeping up with the maintenance of your hardwood. When the original floors are not taken care of, there is less of a chance that refinishing your hardwood is going to be an option down the road. When the time comes for you to either refinish your floor or get new flooring in your Atlanta area home, make sure you give Ridgeline Floors a call to see what options we can offer.