Protect Your Hardwood Floor From These Threats

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Protect Your Hardwood Floor From These Threats

Protect Your Hardwood Floor From These Threats

That beautiful hardwood floor you have installed in your premises can last as long as the building itself – but only if it is properly taken care of. In fact, many historical sites still have their original flooring – with the timeless appeal of these installations being one of the main reasons why they are sought after by home and business owners alike. While they’re highly durable, the hardwood floors are still prone to damage caused during everyday use. These issues include:

– Dirt and debris

There is bound to be particulate matter accumulating on the floor surface. Dust from the atmosphere settling on the floor, soiling that is tracked into the building under people’s shoes, the gunk that is picked up by pets on their outdoor escapades latching onto the fur and getting dropped when they play indoors – the dirt is more than just an unsightly nuisance. In addition to making the premises look unkempt, those particles that are gritty can get abraded against the wood floor as people walk on it, scratching the surface. The floor cleaning should be done regularly – from the vacuuming to the damp mopping, in order to get rid of these particles and keep them from ruining your installation. 

Wear from furniture

That ‘stationary’ sofa in the lounge area sees some tiny movements during its normal usage. That minuscule motion may even be unnoticeable the moment it happens, but the effect on the wood floor will be clearly visible over time. Then there are those like the dining chairs and tables, which keep on being dragged in every other meal. Getting furniture pads for the different sets in the household will go a long way in protecting your installation. 

Remember that whenever the furniture is being moved – like when you’re shifting things around the living room, the household items are lifted completely off the floor and carried to their new spot – not dragged across the surface. This is as dragging will dig gouges into the floor. 

– Liquids

These affect your wood floor in two ways. First there is the risk of water damage that comes when there are spills, or excess amounts of solutions are used during the floor cleaning. Here the wood tissue absorbs increased moisture, which can lead to issues like cracking, cupping or even warping. The increased moisture content within the wood tissue causes there to be more strain within the boards, and the damaged structure may end up needing to be replaced. 

With spills in particular, there is also the problem of staining. These stains vary, from beverage spills, ink spots, all through to oil stains. Various kinds of floor cleaning solutions are needed to remove the different kinds of stains. Here, particular care should be made to ensure that you’re dealing with a safe cleaning agent, one that will allow you to get rid of the spot without putting the underlying material at risk. 

– Pet claws

Those sharp claws of our furry members of the family are a common case of scratches forming. Trimming them will simultaneously keep your pet healthy and protect your wood floor. 

– Harmful footwear

Here you have the likes of spiked shoes and high heels. These add to the stains on the surface. For instance, simply walking around in stilettoes adds to the pressure exerted on the surface – a common reason why dents are formed. Sure, in a commercial establishment you can’t exactly tell your customers or employees to take off their heels. However, you can protect your wood floor by having it finished with a product that is strong enough to bear the load witnessed in such environments. 

– Human error

In many cases, the damage is directly inflicted, especially during the different aspects of the floor cleaning and maintenance. For instance, when mopping, a person drenching the floor in cleaning solution exposes it to risk of water damage. This is why string mops being used should be properly wrung out. Alternatively, work with equipment like microfibre mops that reduce the amount of solution that is used during the mopping, or even spray mops that only allow a little product to be used at a time. Another common mistake that is made is using harsh agents, especially when dealing with stubborn stains and dirt spots. Vinegar, ammonia-based solutions, lemon juice solutions and other handy DIY formulations that can be prepared using household chemicals are not suitable for use during the wood floor cleaning. They can dull and weaken the finish, or affect the wood tissue directly, dissolving the lignin if they get to the wood. The floor cleaning should be done with products that have been specially developed for use on wood – and this is wood floors, not wood furniture. Cases of people using furniture polish on wood floors usually end up with a film of residue remaining on the surface – which traps more dirt, and since it is slippery can lead to accidents. 

Even during the floor sanding and refinishing processes, there can be oversights that are made. Here you have cases like the grit sequence being skipped, failing to properly sand away the old treatment, or a poor floor cleaning job being carried out such that debris remains on the surface- which ends up being trapped under the fresh new coats of finish that are applied. It is recommended that you use professional services for the floor sanding and refinishing, in order to get quality results and protect your floor. 

– Sunlight

The sun affects wood floors in different ways, depending on the kind of finish products that have been applied, as well as the wood species involved. For instance, in regards to the finish, oil-based treatments have a tendency of developing a yellow hue over time – which is one of the reasons why their water-based alternatives have increased in popularity. For the wood itself, some species will darken and others will fade. It all ends up creating an uneven appearance between the wood floor sections that are close to the windows, and those that are deeper within the premises. Using sheer curtains, closing those drapes during those particularly hot sections of the day, or even moving around the furniture can go a long way in reducing the effect of the sun on your wood floor.

Protect Your Hardwood Floor From These Threats

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