Routine Cleaning Of Your Hardwood Floor

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 Routine Cleaning Of Your Hardwood Floor

Routine Cleaning Of Your Hardwood Floor

Like every other type of flooring, the longevity of your hardwood floor will depend on how well it is taken care of. Sure, it is one of the strongest types of floors, capable of bearing the effects of high loads of traffic. However, this does not make the structure invincible. That daily abuse that the floor receives – be it the friction effects of people walking around on it, that wear that is accelerated when gritty particles are grinded against the floor, issues like spills where the chemicals leave behind stains, and can react with the existing finish – or even corrode the wood tissue. The sun’s radiation beaming through the windows and causing the floor to fade or darken – these all affect the lifespan of the installation. Dirt and stains are some of the leading threats against the floor. Here, we’ll go over floor cleaning measures needed to protect the installation. 

Not All Wood Is Equal

First thing to note is that there are varying types of wood floors, and the cleaning methods used will vary between them. This is especially with regards to the floor cleaning agents used, and the equipment that one works with. These types include:

– Solid hardwood

The floor is from the actual piece of wood, all through the structure. Two of the key benefits of this is you get to have the sturdy nature of the wood across the entire thickness of the floor, and that the installation can be sanded and refinished multiple times – as many as 5 to 7 times. The actual number will depend on the depth of the wood. 

When dealing with solid hardwood floors, note that they are more susceptible to water damage. The wood will readily absorb the excess water from its surroundings, so you should only damp mop the floor. Spills should definitely be cleaned up immediately, to prevent them from being soaked into the structure and cause staining. Routine sweeping and vacuuming will keep the dirt and grit from building up on the floor. With regards to the floor cleaning agents to use, these will be largely determined by the kind of finish treatment that has been applied on the surface. There are generally two kinds of finishes: oil-based and water-based, and the floor cleaning product that you go with should be suitable for that particular treatment. This is usually included as part of the maintenance instructions on the product label of the floor treatment product. 

– Engineered wood floors

Here you have a plywood core – like three to four layers of plywood glued together. A thin layer of hardwood then forms the top. The end result is a structure that is less susceptible to the expansion and contractions that are witnessed with temperature and humidity fluctuations in the room. This allows it to be a leading choice for bathrooms and kitchens, providing that solid hardwood feel without the risks of warping and other kinds of water damage.

Damp cleaning is still preferred here as well. You will need to use a floor cleaning formulation that has been developed for this type of floor, while staying away from vinegar, wax, and soap-based cleaners as these will damage that upper layer of hardwood. Also avoid abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool. 

– Laminate flooring

These floors have a core fibreboard layer that is made of wood by-products. A dense layer is then printed over this, which resembles wood. This is in turn protected with a hard layer to provide resistance against stains and scratches. The floor cleaning here is carried out using a damp mop where the solution used is a laminate floor cleaner. You won’t need to wax the surface. Excess water should be avoided during the cleaning, and methods like steam cleaning are also not permitted on this type of floor. 

– Bamboo floors

You’ll often find this kind of floor grouped together with solid wood floors – but that’s not really accurate. While they have a similar look and feel, bamboo is not technically a wood, but instead a woody grass. The plant itself is native to tropical regions that witness loads of rainfall, and it grows faster than typical hardwood, and has a completely different cellular structure. This does not make the bamboo floors impervious to water. They can also be damaged when excess water is used on them. So, during the floor cleaning, ensure that the mop has been wrung out. 

 

Ward Off The Damage On Your Wood Floors

  • Get a welcome mat

Keeping the bulk of the dirt from getting to the floor in the first place will go a long way in protecting the installation, and reducing your workload during the routine floor cleaning. Welcome mats go a long way in this. Here the mats are placed at the entrance of the building – preferably two: one on the outside and the other inside the building. People walking in get to wipe off their shoes, and the mat traps the soiling that is under the soles within the fibres. This reduces the amount of dirt that reaches the rest of the floor. 

You can take the extra step and ban outdoor shoes from being worn in the house altogether. Here, have a shoe rack close to the door with flip-flops or sandals that the guests and family members can switch to when entering the house. In turn, these indoor shoes should never be worn outside. Segregating the footwear in the household in such a manner minimises the gunk that is transferred from outside into the house.

 

  • Trim the claws of your furry friend

For those with pets, a key measure of reducing the rate that the floor gets covered in scratches is trimming the claws of your furry friend. Cats and dogs in the premises are a prime contributor to unsightly scratches all over the surface, especially as they run around with their claws drawn out. During the regular grooming sessions, have the claws trimmed – which is also beneficial for their general health and wellbeing. 

Routine Cleaning Of Your Hardwood Floor

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