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How to protect a wooden floor?

Seamus Fallon
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Maintaining your wood floors should be a priority if you want to keep the material looking beautiful. To achieve this, all it takes is a few simple steps that you can fit into your daily routine and knowing what not to do to avoid damaging the wood.

Regular cleaning

As with any other type of flooring, keeping it clean is an absolute must. Regular cleaning is one of the most effective ways to prolong the life of your floor, especially wood flooring.

A quick sweep at the end of each day will enable dirt, dust or food crumbs to be collected and won’t cause further damage, such as scratches. Microfiber dust mops are easy to use, inexpensive and effective at picking up even microscopic dust particles. However, higher quality cleaning tools are more comfortable to use and will not cause mechanical damage to the floor.

Floor cleaning with products specifically designed for wood floors should be necessary about once a week, unless there is an unforeseen mess.

Products designed for wood flooring

It is important to use products that are designed to get the best out of hardwood floors and not damage them when cleaning them. Using diluted vinegar will result in a dull finish on the floor. Most soap-based cleaners leave a residue that can cause damage over time, and steam cleaning combines heat and moisture, which together can cause permanent defects.

Invest in a quality broom and dust mop that are designed for wood floors. As for the dust mop, it has reusable microfiber pads that work well and are cost-effective.

When it comes to the cleaners you use, look for ones that:

  1. Are safe for wood floors.
  2. Do not leave a residue.
  3. Are approved for use around children and pets.

Water damage

Moisture can be extremely damaging to wooden components. Part of maintaining your wood floors is making sure that they are not damaged by water, or even excessive moisture in your home. If there is an area that looks soggy or has a milky coating, it is most likely caused by water. Areas of increased risk are in front of the kitchen sink or near exterior doors. This can easily be buffed out with a soft cotton cloth. However, if you want to keep the situation from happening again, rugs or mats can help in these areas.

If there is a large amount of water on the floor due to a leaking pipe, broken appliance, or large leak, you should collect the dampness as soon as possible. A wet/dry vacuum is ideal for collecting liquids. You can then use absorbent towels to remove the rest. Excess water on wood floors can cause mold that requires floor replacement, so it’s important to remove damp spots quickly.

After a spill or during a long rainy season, a moisture meter can help you determine if your wood floors are at risk and whether you should take additional steps such as investing in a dehumidifier.

Mats and Carpets

Mats with a rubber backing can cause moisture to build up under the rug on top of the floor. Even worse, this moisture has nowhere to go. The rugs you choose should have an open backing that can breathe so moisture doesn’t build up underneath. Any type of carpet or mat can also harbor dirt and grit. As you stand or walk on the carpet, dirt can be pressed into the floor finish, causing it to peel and scratch. Washing rugs and mats regularly is important to protect the wooden components and not cause damage.

Rugs and mats help prevent water damage in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as in front of exterior doors. They can also be placed in high traffic areas to prevent increased wear and tear on the floor.

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