Five Tips to Keep Your Wood Flooring Clean in Winter | Hardwood Flooring Tips | Unique Wood Floors

Homeowners across the globe appreciate the beauty and character of wood flooring. But those living in northern climates need to deal with winter weather when snow, wet footwear and ice take a toll on wood floors of all types. Find out how you should care for hardwood and engineered wood flooring to ensure the winter passes problem-free.

 

Use Mats at Entranceways

Exterior doors and moisture go hand in hand. Invest in top quality floor mats and place them over your wood flooring at entranceways. Look for mats with solid, non-slip backings that will not discolor the wood, and opt for those made with absorbent fibers to capture as much moisture as possible.

Remember to clean your mats on a regular basis—more often in the wintertime. Shake dust from the mat before washing and drying thoroughly. Avoid leaving a soaked mat on the wood flooring, as this could stain or warp the planks.

Wipe Up Spills and Puddles Right Away

Mats won’t always catch all of the moisture, and spills happen at any time of the year. Make a habit of mopping up spills right away in order to preserve the wood. Store a quality mop or cloth near the doorways to allow for quick wipes, and encourage family and visitors to remove their wet shoes and boots before stepping on the floor.

Avoid Using Salt on the Porch

Salt attacks many materials, including wood floors. Although you want to keep the ice from transforming your porch into a slippery hazard, using salt could create more damage than anticipated.

Footwear captures tiny salt particles and deposits them onto entranceway mats, boot trays and floorboards. Even with frequent cleaning, these tiny amounts of salt will breakdown the finish on your flooring. Look into more natural methods of ice melting, such as fertilizer or sand, but be aware that these products may also hurt your hardwood flooring. Consider heated exterior mats or in-ground ice-melting systems that create a safe porch surface without harmful residue.

Apply Furniture Pads

This practical step helps to keep your wood flooring clean at any time of the year. Especially important on heavy furniture and portable pieces, furniture pads protect the finish and help to avoid scratching, gouging and other unsightly marks.

Look for affordable furniture pads that can be cut to size and customized to suit your furniture pieces. Make sure the adhesive works well and replace the pads on a regular basis, based on wear.

Invest in the Proper Cleaning Equipment

This wood flooring maintenance advice also applies to any season, but proper cleaning equipment plays a vital role in winter. Expect to be wiping, mopping and sweeping your hardwood floors or engineered wood flooring more often during the colder months, especially near doorways and in other high traffic areas.

Purchase a high quality mop, preferably microfiber or another material that traps dirt particles, instead of simply pushing them around your floor. A soft-bristled vacuum also works very well to clean debris from wood flooring. Dry mops create that attractive shine, but should be used as directed by your wood flooring retailer or manufacturer.

Each of these tips will extend the life of your wood floors and help to keep wood flooring clean in the winter. Do your part and let the beauty and charm of wood floors shine for years to come.

https://www.uniquewoodfloor.com/blog/five-tips-to-keep-your-wood-flooring-clean-in-winter/

On – 26 Nov, 2017 By

How to Clean & Maintain Hardwood Floors | Apartment Therapy

 

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Shifrah Combiths

Oct 27, 2017

Wood floors are beautiful and cozy and add so much personality to our homes. But maintaining them can be confusing. What kind of finish do I have on my floors? Is it really okay to clean them with white vinegar? Should I have people take off their shoes in order to keep my floors nice? And when do I need to refinish them? This guide takes the guesswork out of caring for your hardwood floors with some “always and never” tips to keep that gorgeous wood in tip-top shape.

Never Use Vinegar on Your Wood Floors

So many DIY cleaning solutions call for a water and vinegar solution for just about everything, including hardwood floors. But the acetic acid in white vinegar isn’t good for the finish on most hardwood floors. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, over time the vinegar will eat through the finish on your floor, making it look dull. While all wood finishes will dull eventually, using vinegar will speed up the process. To us, it’s just not worth the risk.

Never Wear High Heels on Your Wood Floors

High heels concentrate most of a person’s weight in about one square inch of space, causing heels to strike the floor “with more force per inch than an elephant’s foot,” according to one wood flooring provider. (Yes, this will damage your wood floor.) To avoid pits and dents, carry your heels to the door and put them on right before you leave the house. For guests, decide if you will endure the damage or request that they remove shoes. Asking everyone across the board to take off their shoes will keep heel-wearers from feeling singled out, but we know a shoe-removing policy is a topic that draws out strong feelings.

Check out How To Fix Dents on Wooden Floors & Furniture (With an Iron!) if you already have some heel marks on your wood floors.

Always Sweep or Vacuum

Build regular sweeping or vacuuming into your daily cleaning routine, mainly because the dirt, grime and the sand your preschooler carries home in all his clothes can act like sandpaper and scratch your floors. (This is another reason to consider implementing a shoe-removal policy.)

Never Use Rotating Bristles When Vacuuming

While frequent sweeping or vacuuming is key to maintaining nice hardwood floors, be sure to turn off any rotating bristles that are intended for carpeting, as they could scratch your floor’s surface.

Always Pay Attention to Temperature (and Humidity)

Keeping your home’s temperature and humidity (they’re inter-related) at ideal levels for your home isn’t an issue when you’re at home; if you’re comfortable, your floors are fine. However, if you leave for vacation and decide to turn the air conditioning or heater off, you could be putting your hardwood floors at risk. High humidity causes the wood of your floor to swell; lower humidity causes them to contract. A bit of movement in your floors is normal, but maintaining good levels of temperature and humidity can keep fluctuations from becoming an issue. The ideal temperature range for your floors is between 60 and 80 degrees, with humidity levels in the range of 30 to 50 percent.

Never Wet Mop Your Floors

If excess humidity can affect your floors, it’s no surprise that cleaning with too much water is a major no-no when it comes to your hardwood floors. Microfiber mops (like this one) are good because they pick up moisture, and any cleaning products should be lightly misted.

Never Refinish Your Floors Unless They Really Need It

While it’s safe to assume that every twenty years or so it’s inevitable, refinishing hardwood floors is a major undertaking. The job requires sanding and re-sealing, both of which drastically affect your living environment (and should be done by a professional). You’ll need to leave your home for the duration of the project.

Before you go all out for a full-blown refinishing job, consider if a screening would be sufficient. A faded finish and light surface scratches can most likely be fixed by this type of service, which involves roughing up the existing finish and then applying a new coat of finish, such as polyurethane.

Here are some tips for testing whether your floor needs a refinishing job.

Keeping these “always and never” tips in mind takes the uncertainty out of wood floor maintenance and allows you to stop spending time trying to figure out what’s okay and not okay and to instead get to work on actually keeping them nice.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-clean-amp-maintain-hardwood-floors-250914

On – 27 Oct, 2017 By Shifrah Combiths

How To Clean Allergens From Wood Floors

Sharp Wood Floors Clients

This might already be in your daily arsenal of cleaning, but a reminder doesn’t hurt. The fine grit in dust, “Underfoot”, is similar to sandpaper and over the course of time, will wear through your wood floor’s final finish.

Using a vacuum protects the finish and is a fast way to keep your floors free of debris and other micro-dirt.  We advise our current and potential customers to not use attachments with rotating brushes or a beater bar which can scratch or damage the floor.

A dust mop or a microfiber sweeper will work wonders on most floors. Combine it with your favorite cleaner to get the best results. 

Try not to use hairspray or a furniture polish!

Both of them can cloud or tarnish your floors.  Immediately use a cloth; preferably lightly dampened with a cloth.  Spray with a non-ammonia window cleaner for a more thorough cleanup.  

Invest in protecting your furniture

If you rearrange your furniture around a lot, constant use will cause the legs of your furniture to scratch the wood floor. Try to put furniture pads on the legs of the furniture in your home to keep your wood floors looking as new as possible. 

Keep the outdoors, outdoors!

Water can penetrate deep into the wood and stain it.  Ensure your windows  are closed and properly sealed when a storm is headed your way. Put protective trays under your potted plants and try to remove standing water as soon as possible.

Protect high-traffic areas with rugs or carpets

High foot traffic across an area several times a day eventually wears a wood floor’s finish. Accent rugs are the easiest way to reduce the wear and keep your floors looking great! Vinyl or rubber backing traps humidity, which can ruin your floor’s finish and stain or damage the wood. 

Remove residue on your hardwood floors

Having your cleaners or oils near by to clean up small problems before they become big ones will save you money in the long run. Liquids can damage the finish or even worse, stain the floor. It’s imperative to wipe up spills on wood floor quickly, but make sure you’re not over-cleaning these parts of your house.

Know the rules about using waxes and restorers

Never use wax on a surface finish such as shellac, varnish, or polyurethane. It not only makes the floor slippery, it also interferes with later finishes you might apply.  If it’s another type of surface finish, get a general-purpose floor restorer; test the restorer on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t peel off.

Ideally, people should always remove their shoes when they come inside. This way, dirt, water, salt, and ice, won’t be makes its way onto your floors. While vacuuming and spot cleaning work great, keeping the dirt out in the first place is recommended.