Most houses in School Lane Hills have beautiful wood floors – however, many have not had the proper care to show it! Following are a few tips to keep your wood floors looking great for a long time.
Vacuum or sweep wood floors regularly with a soft-bristled attachment or broom. This prevents gritty dirt and particle buildup from scratching the wood’s surface. Don’t use vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head. When a liquid spill occurs, be sure to wipe it up immediately with a dampened cloth or paper towel. Keep pets’ nails trimmed and paws clean. Pets can track in substances that cause scratching and stains.
Next, take a look at your own feet. Make sure your shoes are not excessively soiled or have gravel embedded in the tread. Avoid walking on hardwood floors with sport shoes, work boots or any footwear caked with dirt. High heels can exert a lot of pressure in a small area, enough to dent any hardwood floor surface so beware of sexy stilettoes. Area rugs at all doorways both inside and out will help get dirt off your shoes, or take shoes off.
Use protective window coverings to block fade-causing UV rays and excessive heat from direct sunlight. Most wood will gradually age when not covered, so rearrange rugs and furniture periodically to help it age evenly. Use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and humidity between 35% and 55%.
Don’t use oils, waxes or furniture sprays. Oil leaves residue, furniture spray creates a slippery surface (think ice-skating rink!). Wax takes time to apply and makes re-coating difficult. Don’t use straight ammonia, alkaline products or abrasive cleaners. They’ll dull or scratch the finish.
Don’t rely on water alone or a vinegar and water solution to clean hardwood floors. Mopping with water will result in dingy-looking floors and won’t fight dirt buildup. Do use a floor-cleaning product recommended by the floor finisher or manufacturer. If the recommended product is hard to find or costly, and other floor cleaners contain ingredients that violate your floor’s warranty, try soap and water. I add a quarter cup of mild or pH-neutral soap (like liquid dishwashing soap) to a bucket of water. Scuff marks getting you down? A small bit of baking soda on a damp sponge will erase them.
When you take the time to properly clean, maintain and protect your hardwood floor, it will glow as beautifully as the day it was installed.