Hardwood floors add property value to your home and are known to help sell them faster than carpeted homes. However, caring for them is important as they can be easily damaged. They are prone to scratches caused by shoes (especially some high heels) and furniture, and it can be ruined if not cleaned properly. Some floors need to be sealed and waxed and you can ask the manufacturer for proper instructions to manage that. Water damage is a very important consideration, too. Ensure that you pay heed to the following instructions to maintain the flooring in a good condition.
When cleaning hardwood floors, it is important to keep water off the surface as it can warp or even buckle the wood. In addition, it is important to sweep the floor every day (twice a day for kitchen floors) with a very soft bristle broom. This prevents scratching by microscopic dust particles. If food spills on the floor, then it is important to wipe it up with a dry cloth and then use one of the many hardwood floor cleaners. It is best to never use water on the floor.
High traffic areas, such as entryways, front of the kitchen sink, etc., need extra care and maintenance. Soft, cotton-backed rugs are fine for this job, as they will not ruin the floor as plastic-backed rugs might. In addition, they prevent dents and scratches. These rugs need to be vacuumed often so as not to scratch the floor through the carpet itself with any debris in the carpet. Floor mats can be installed at entrances to prevent tracking mud onto the wood floors.
Prevent scratched floors
Animal (such as dogs) claws should be clipped, trimmed, and kept short and blunt at all times to prevent scratches, and neither should children's toys be dragged across the floor. Refrain from placing potted plants on these floors as a water buildup can ruin them. There are also some countries, especially in the orient, where shoes are not allowed in the house. This is also very good for the floors as shoes, whether women's spike heels or men's work shoes, can prove harmful for the surface.
Furniture can also damage the floors if precautions are not taken. When moving furniture, use heavy socks over the legs or lift the whole furniture. In addition, wide casters are better than narrow ones that can dig into the floors and leave dents. Furniture pads are also available for use under table and dresser legs.
Appropriate humidity levels are especially needed to prevent warping and buckling of the wood. This can easily be taken care of by using a humidifier in the winter, especially in dryer areas. In the summer, a dehumidifier can be used, if needed.
Sealing and Waxing
There are methods that you should know about. There are some woods that need to be sealed and waxed, but you should check with the manufacturer to make sure it is done correctly. Also, if the wood floor gets old and damaged, it can be sanded down and refinished, sealed and waxed, too, if needed. This restores the old wood to an "almost new" condition.
Hardwood floors add value and style to homes and buyers are willing to pay more for homes without carpeting. However, thorough care is important in order to restore the floor in high quality condition. Knowing how to clean them is not difficult to learn, might require some professional advice on particular cleaners to use, and is well worth the cost in terms of both, time and money.
A beautiful hardwood floor can last for generations if properly cared for. In addition to cleaning it, it is essential to prevent scratches which may occur due to animals, furniture, and children's toys. Rugs and runners are a nice way to both beautify your hardwood floor and prevent scratching by shoes and animal claws.