How to Take Care of Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are timeless. Nothing beats hardwood floors for their sheer beauty, elegance, high-end aesthetic, and never-ending class. Hardwood floors offer a level of strength, durability, and permanence that is not available with other flooring options.

They improve air quality because there are no fibers, grout lines, or embossments that trap dust, pollen, dander, or provide hiding places for dust mite. They offer superior acoustics compared to tiles or vinyl flooring. And they have an ageless appeal that never goes out of style.

But this is only if you care for your hardwood floors and retain them in a good state. The downside of hardwood floors is that they do require a fair amount of maintenance. Without proper maintenance,
warns, the floors will deteriorate in no time and become an eyesore.

But keeping your hardwood floors in top shape is not difficult, you just need to know the right things to do and do them consistently. Hardwood floor maintenance is easy if you create a simple and regular cleaning schedule.

Important facts about cleaning hardwood floors

The cleaning challenges of hardwood floors change with the seasons because wood is a porous material that shrinks and expands according to the seasons.

In the dry months, hardwood floors are prone to sun fading and if there is more exposure to chlorine and saltwater. If the home's relative humidity is not supplemented, gaps may appear in the floor as rooms get warmed by the sun's UV rays.

In colder months, there is greater exposure to rain, snow, salt, and ice-melt and floors can expand or swell. Also, the home's heating can create artificial drops in relative humidity which causes the floors to dry out and gaps to appear between the boards.

    Being a natural material, wood is highly responsive to ambient conditions. But if you keep an eye on it, a hardwood floor will always tell you if there is something wrong with it. Identifying these warning signs is critical for catching problems early and dealing with them before they become irreparable. Common red flags that there is a problem with a hardwood floor include:

    ??--Gapping due to low relative humidity
    ? --Cracking or splitting from dryness or improper handling
    ? --Buckling as boards lift from the floor
    ? --
    Crowing edges as the result of water sitting on the floor
    ? --Peeling due to substandard or inadequate finishing
    ? --
    Fading as a result of excessive sun exposure
    ? --Cupped edges resulting from water damage

      How to clean hardwood floors

      1. Keep the floor dry and clean spills immediately

      Clean spills as soon as they happen, but not with a wet or steam mop. Use a dry or slightly damp cloth. To keep it from swelling, never soak the floor in water. Avoid cleaning it with steam as that would force water vapor in its small spaces. And to prevent moisture levels from getting too high or too low, maintain the home's temperature between 60 F?-80 F? or 30%-50% humidity.

      2. Sweep or dust every day

      This step is recommended because dust settles in the grain of the wood and between the floorboards, and this is happens every day. Sweeping is especially important if you have pets or allow shoes on your floors. It is necessary to remember that you should never allow wet shoes on hardwood floors.

      3. Vacuum every week

      Doing this ensures that any dirt that was missed during dusting or sweeping is removed from the floor. Vacuuming uses strong suction that can pick up dust and debris within crevices. Also, remember to use a vacuum cleaner or vacuum settings that will not scratch the flooring surface.

      4. Use furniture pads

      Removing scratches on hardwood flooring is difficult; the best way to deal with this is to prevent them by using furniture pads. These keep the legs of chairs, sofas, and tables off the floor. It is not entirely possible to prevent scratching on a hardwood floor, but they can be limited to minor scratches that are easily fixed.

      5. Refinish your floors every 3-5 years

      In time, your floor is going to start to lose some of its sheen and will need a new coat of wood finish. If the wood was properly finished the first time, this should not happen until after three years. On average, hardwood floors will need refinishing every 3-5 years, but this depends on the lifestyle of the home's occupants.

      6.? Touch-up occasionally

      As mentioned earlier, scratches are inevitable. But just because you cannot prevent scratches does not mean you should live with them. Scratches to the wood flooring can easily be fixed using a stain marker from one of the many wood furniture touch-up kits sold in stores.

      7. Use the right cleaning products

      When buying cleaning products, avoid harsh chemicals or anything that claims to polish or rejuvenate the floor. The best products should achieve a deep clean without altering the nature of the flooring. The best product depends on the recommendations of the flooring or finish manufacturer.

      There you have it, our helpful tips on how to take care and maintain your hardwood floors to keep their beauty, elegance, high-end aesthetic, and never-ending class and last you for a lifetime.