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Preventative Floor Maintenance
Wooden floors are a natural product associated with style and even luxury. Floors, however, can and will get worn, distressed and damaged over time. This brings up the question, what can you do to preserve them in their current state? How to keep them in good health?
There is a lot you do to make sure your floor is well maintained. The secret is simple. Think in advance, stop the damage before it has even appeared!
What You Shouldn’t Do
Damage prevention begins with a proper cleaning regime. It is good to use a professional floor cleaner once a month, vacuum every week and give the floor a sweep daily. This simple routine can keep the surface both healthy and attractive looking. Combine it with recoating every three to five years and a sanding once in a decade and a solid hardwood floor can last a century or more.
Use cleaning products which are not specifically designed for wooden floors. Just because it works on tile or vinyl doesn’t mean it’s good for timber.
Use steam or wet mops because they may ruin the finish or even the wood itself. Water is not good for maintenance, in general, since timber is susceptible to it.
Walk on the floor with high heels. High heels tend to focus the weight of the person in a single point. The impact can and probably will damage the finish given enough time. It is best to remove shoes altogether and offer your guests a fine pair of slippers instead.
Slide or drag heavy furniture. Lift the object and move it the proper way. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
So How Do You Prevent Damage?
It goes without saying but remember to always wipe spills immediately with a damp cloth. Make sure your floor is always dry and clean.
Matts. Matts is a very effective way to trap dust and dirt as well as prevent scratching from abrasive particles. A matt is not that hard to clean while repairing a finish can be much harder and more expensive. Rubber-backed mats can also hold moisture and eventually damage the wood so they better be avoided.
Area rugs are also quite useful. You can put them in heavy traffic areas or the kitchen, just in front of the sink. This way, the rugs will always take the worst of the damage. After all, replacing a rug is better than replacing part of your floor, right?
Do you have a pet, especially a dog? The animal uses its claws to get a better hold on the ground. Unfortunately, on a smooth, well-polished surface this leads to scratching of the finish. Simply trimming pet nails from time to time can help immensely. There are also nail caps and pet booties if you want to keep the claws intact.
Furniture pads can prevent the appearance of dents on the floor and if you like to pull your chairs a lot, a rubber stopper won’t hurt either.
Sunlight can cause your floor to lose its colour. If you don’t have a finish with UV protection, consider moving the furniture once in a while to protect some areas from overexposure. Additionally, you may want to use blinds to stop the light completely.
Sometimes it also pays off to clean not only the inside but the outside as well. After all, the dust and dirt are brought to your home from there. Everyone entering brings a bit of the debris with him. Instead of wiping each time, someone comes in, might be better to dispose of it all at once.