Start with Prevention
Keeping your hardwood floor looking great takes a minimum amount of effort. Just follow some basic, common sense guidelines and you could avoid any major renovation or restoration such as recoating or refinishing, or at the very least lengthen the interval between such projects. And if despite your best efforts, your floor does get damaged, keep in mind that one of the benefits of wood flooring is that as a natural flooring material, it can usually be repaired, refinished, and restored to like new condition.
- During heating season, the air inside is dry and the wood will contract /shrink. Wood stoves and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.Use of a humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels.
- When it’s hot outside, the air is typically humid. An air conditioner or dehumidifier can lower humidity during the summer months to prevent swelling and expansion.
- Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly to remove dirt or grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.If you vacuum, use the hard floor attachment – a beater bar or rotating brush can cause more damage that it prevents.
- Occasionally wipe the floor with a damp mop or cloth.
- Use a damp cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. For tough spots, such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink, tar, or cigarette marks, use acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe with a damp cloth.
- For sticky spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, chill the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Wipe clean with a damp cloth
- Avoid oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners.
- Never use steel wool or scouring powder.
- Do not wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, or any other liquid cleaning material. Swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation are likely results.
- Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your floor.
- Don’t use any type of buffing machine on wood floors.