The Three Must Know Secrets to Preserving Hardwood Floors.
Sweeping and vacuuming as often as possible is the key. Dirt and debris that is ground into the wood will certainly destroy the finish and eventually the wood. By placing a door mat or shoe brush at every entrance of your home, this will eliminate over 70 percent of all dirt tracked into the rooms.
Wipe up any spills or mud as fast as possible. The sooner the better because hardwood flooring is easily damaged by water, even sealed hardwood floors.
If you plan on laying a rug over your hardwood floor take careful consideration on choosing the rug. Rug dyes may stain the floor, and if it has a plastic back it will affect the woods finish. Not sure if your rug chose is good? Consult our hardwood specialist today.
First Determine the Hardwood Finish
Before even thinking about tackling a cleaning job you need to determine the finish because there are different ways to clean for certain types of finishes. If you are not sure what type of finish you have on your hardwood flooring, just rub your finger across the floor. If a smudge is not created, your floor is treated with a surface-sealed hardwood floor.
Surface sealed hardwood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic and are the most common hardwood floor finish. These floors are water and stain resistant that allow for easy clean ups with a broom or mop.
Oil treated and penetrating seal treated hardwood floors are a seal or oil finish that is soaks into the wood and then hardens. These floors need to be protected with paste or liquid wax.
Varnished, lacquered, shellacked and untreated floors have a surface finish but, they are not resistant to moisture, humidity, spills and the sealants generally wear faster. Treat these hardwood finishes just as you would with the oil treated and penetrating seal treated hardwood flooring.
Surface Sealed Hardwood Floor Care
Never use any type of floor wax, oils or furniture spray. This will result into turning your hardwood floor into an ice skating rink and will leave you with a dangerously, slippery mess.
Never use alkaline products, pure ammonia or other abrasive cleaners. This will dull your finish.
Consider asking, Valvano Carpeting regarding questions regarding cleaning products. For the most part, simply use plain soap and water to clean. A lot of floor cleaner products in the market will cancel your hardwood floor’s warranty so, we highly suggest contacting us first.
Eventually you cannot rely on just water and soap alone and will tend to result in bland looking flooring. Re-coating your hardwood floor is inevitable and will eventually need to be done within five to seven years. Just remember this is a million times cheaper than replacing the floor as you would need to do with other flooring products.
Routine Basic Cleaning
In very high traffic areas, you may want to consider sweeping daily and try to mop once every week. For example this should be done for dining rooms and kitchens. In return you can sweep the lesser trafficked areas once every three days and mop once a month.
Keep in mind that all hardwood’s worst enemy is water. Never use a soaked mop, you need to use a damp mop, with very little soap.
When mopping, first dip the mop into the mop bucket (with soap) and remember to wring it completely out. Then mop in the direction of your hardwoods grain and repeat; this will give you the best result. When the bucket is dirty, just empty and refill it back up.
Once finish, you need to go back over the entire hardwood floor with only clean water to rinse of the remaining soap. This will make sure that you do not get a buildup of soapy scum across the surface of your floor. We also, suggest going over the floor again with a clean rag just to make sure it is all up but, this is optional.
Oil and Penetrating Seal Treated, Varnished, Lacquered or Untreated Floor Care
Never ever think or use any type of hand me down wax stripper or metal slab, make sure that the wax stripper is a recommended commercial grade product, to remove old wax build up. Consult with Valvano Carpeting specialist’s for the recommended hardwood flooring commercial product.
Never use water base, acrylic or furniture waxes. Defiantly stay away from the one step waxes because they are a gimmick and will trap dirt. The other types of these waxes will leave your hardwood flooring like an ice rink and trust us, you will slip.
Routine Basic Cleaning
NEVER EVER mop hardwood wax flooring finishes. Just sweep and vacuum regularly, and this will keep the dust, dirt or debris from building up.
Keep in mind; you will need to apply a fresh coat of wax once or twice a year depending on the foot traffic. If areas of your hardwood floor become dull, you will need to spot wax these areas.
First things first, vacuum the floor and remove all of the dust.
Strip the old wax with a commercial grade wax stripper and follow the manufacturer’s instructions so you do not violate the hardwood flooring warranty. If you use mineral spirits, rub it into the wood and clean it off with a very soft towel. Open all windows, including screen doors to keep the work environment well ventilated while you work and during drying.
Once the floor is dried, apply a thin coat of wax. You can do this with an applicator that we can order for you. If you are using liquid or paste wax, use a cloth or towel. When it dries, for more protection, apply a second coat.
For the final part make your job easier by renting a floor buffing machine. Always buff with the direction of the wood grain so, you do not leave streaks or damage the surface.