Hardwood floors are consistent top placers on many homeowners’ lists for must-have floorings across the US. They provided timeless elegance to any home or space for over five decades and increased property value. But despite their reputation for toughness and longevity, hardwood floors are still prone to damage. Maintaining and caring for your hardwood flooring with the treatment it deserves is essential to keep it long-lasting. Here are five ways you can protect your floors from potential damage.
Hardwood floors can withstand the average foot traffic and impact better than most flooring options. Despite their durability, these wooden floors need protection when exposed to heavier traffic or abnormal wear and tear. There are numerous ways to safeguard and prolong your floorings, and one of them is by limiting the traffic and impact your floors get every day.
When you have young children living with you, especially toddlers, keep indelible markers out of their reach. These little artists and their projects have the potential to create irreparable damage to your hardwood floor. Permanent pens on hardwood are hard to remove and may need refinishing to turn them back into their elegant form.
Wheeled toys your children use outdoors should stay outside of your home. These toys pick up pebbles within their wheels that can scratch your hardwood floors when played indoors. In addition, following a no-shoes policy inside your home can help control the impact and foot traffic your flooring experience daily.
Remember that water is any hardwood flooring’s biggest weakness. Hardwood floors are organic products, and their natural makeup allows them an immediate response when exposed to water. The longer the planks interact with moisture, the easier it is for swelling and decay to happen.
Most of the time, water damage isn’t visible on the surface, and when noticed, the floorboards need immediate replacement. Spills seep into the floors and reach the sides and bottoms of your planks. They continue to absorb the water from the walls, surface, and air until mold grows and eats what’s left of the wood.
When cleaning your hardwood floors, use a dry damp mop, and ensure that you thoroughly wrung out the water beforehand. Most hardwood flooring experts recommend never using water when doing a routine cleanup of their flooring. Instead of mops, use soft-bristle brooms, dustpans, and vacuums to remove dirt.
Leaks, spills, and splashes are inevitable in any home, especially those with young children and pets. They may come in small amounts but can cause massive problems if not handled quickly. Hardwood flooring’s principal material is natural wood, which absorbs moisture immediately.
When you don’t clean up after spills or leaks, they seep into the floorboards and reach the subfloors. The longer the water saturates the plank, the mold grows and quickens the hardwood into rotting from underneath. In addition, pooled liquid can also stain your floors if you let them dry instead.
Check on the spill and leak-prone areas like the kitchen, laundry, and entryways. Lay out rugs and mats strategically for places that have frequent splashes to prevent water from flowing through the seams. You can also put mats on your pet’s feeding areas to catch unwanted leaks.
One of the notable qualities of hardwood floors is their minimal need for cleanup and maintenance. Unlike other flooring options, hardwood flooring upkeep is quick and easy to do. The cleaning process for hardwood doesn’t require complicated methods and equipment.
Hardwood floors have smooth surfaces. Instead of trapping dust and dirt like carpets, dust only settles on the floorboards but doesn’t stick, making them easier to remove with a good sweep or vacuum. Professional hardwood flooring cleaners recommend using wood cleaners and not water when mopping or wiping off the grime from your floor.
But before purchasing, check if the product is okay for your hardwood planks. Not all hardwood floors react the same way with cleaning products because each hardwood species have its unique traits. In addition, always use soft-bristled brooms to avoid unwanted scratches.
One of the reasons why hardwood floors are versatile additions to any home is that homeowners can customize them with stains and finishes to fit their preferred styles. Solid hardwood floorings allow people to sand and refinish their floors as much as they want throughout their floor’s years of service.
But it can cause problems if you frequently sand your floorboards or sand them the wrong way. Over-sanding your hardwood floors can quickly weaken and destroy your flooring. Remember, every time you sand and refinish your hardwood planks, you chip off a millimeter or two of wood. Too much of it, and the wood thins and wears out.
In addition, improper use of drum sanders can make the floor uneven. It rips off your hardwood flooring’s top coat and a fair amount of wood. Wrong sanding can also affect the appearance and flow they offer your rooms.
Hardwood floors are durable and long-lasting investments that offer high ROIs. Despite their unique features, they’re not immune to damage and abuse. Too much wear and tear, exposure to water, and improper cleaning routines can cause problems that will require repair or costly replacements of your planks. Understanding how to safeguard these worthwhile investments with these five tips helps save your money from untimely expenses.
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