Wood Floor Maintenance and Preventative Care
Because wood flooring lasts for the life of your home, it is important to take preventative and routine steps on a weekly basis to keep it looking nice and avoid unnecessary damage.
The most avoidable damage producers include water, furniture scratches and footwear.
Not wearing your shoes indoors is a great way to prolong the beauty and shine of your wood floors for years to come.
Routine cleaning of your hardwood require nothing more than a soft bristle brush, a soft floor vacuum and periodical cleaning with professional wood cleaning products supplied by your hardwood specialist.
Do not use tile floor or sheet vinyl care products on your hard wood floors. These products cause the wood to become slippery and dull.
It is also not a good idea to wet mop your wood floor. Standing water causes warping, discoloration and can dull your finish.
If you do receive spots and spills, wipe the spill immediately with a damp cloth.
Do not let sand and dirt build up in high traffic areas. These can cause scratches over time.
Screening and Buffing
Buffing is a technique that can be used on your floors every few years.
Using a very fine screen, the floor is sanded to eliminate any scruffs, minor scratches or discoloration that has occurred with normal wear and tear.
Once the site has been sanded, the floor is vacuumed to get rid of the excess dust.
The buffer then smoothes the pre-sanded surface, prepping it for its application of the new finish, giving it a brand new look!
Buffing is a great restoration alternative because it is more cost effective than a complete refinish.
You should consult with a professional regarding recoating procedures.
Certain floors that have been waxed cannot be recoated without removing all of the previous layers of wax. Screening and Buffing will help with this process but removal should be done thoroughly before recoating can take place.
Recoating does not remove scratches, gouges or water damage. It simply is applying a new finish over the ailing, old finish.
Refinishing and Restoration
Refinishing is a great option for wood flooring when bare spots begin to appear, a color change is in order or when you need to restore your floor to its original luster as the first day it was installed.
Refinishing requires a complete sanding of your wood floor all the way down to bare wood.
The refinishing process can be quite dusty, but Kips Hardwood has invested in a new dust extraction system, that eliminates all dust during this process.
Give us a call for a free estimate if you are considering getting your floors refinished.
Floor Mats & Area Rugs
In high traffic areas, it is best to use area rugs to protect finishes and avoid wear and tear. Make sure the rugs have backing with mesh or grid patterns. This preventive measure is approved for all hard wood finishes and allows for better breathing of the surface area.
Put mats in all entrances of to avoid dirt and moisture from accumulating.
In the kitchen, it is always a good idea to place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
Humidity and water spills are one of the most common causes of hard wood floor damage.
Humidity varies throughout the seasons and wood flooring responds by expanding and contracting with it.
The most common ailments to floors include “cupping and crowning” or buckling.
Cupping occurs when the edges of a board are high and the center is low. It occurs when water spills on the floor and absorbs into the wood, or when the home is located in high humidity areas. The water gets trapped within the subfloor and wood flooring causing deformation and damage.
Cupping is caused by a moisture imbalance between the bottom of the wood flooring and the top, which dries faster. The first step to repair a cupped floor is to identify the source of the water leak be it pipes under the flooring itself, kitchen appliances or improper rain runoff that leaks into the foundation.
Once the situation is taken care of, a cupped floor usually improves on its own as the floor dries out.
Crowning is another common problem caused by humidity. Crowning acts as the opposite of cupping in that the center of the board is higher than the edge. Slight crowning is common and should not be an issue for most home owners. It is a problem that can usually mend itself on its own seasonally.
Buckled floors occur due to flooding and more severe water damage cases. There are other circumstances which cause floors to be buckled including insufficient nailing, incorrect subflooring, glue down separation and insufficient mastics.
Furniture and Appliances
Protect your wood flooring using soft plastic or gel glides under the legs of your heavy furniture to avoid scratching and dents.
When moving furniture, do not slide it across the wood. Pick up the furniture completely, or place masonite or plywood under the piece to help distribute the weight of the object to prevent scratching.
For light pieces, it is always a good idea to place sheets or clean blankets under the furniture that is to be moved.
Do not wear high heels and sport shoes like cleats on a wood floor. According to the National Wood Flooring Association, “A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.”
Placing a shoe rack by the entrance door is a good way to avoid the common mistake of wearing the wrong shoes inside. It can also save you money in the long run and expand the beauty and life of your floor.