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Q: How do I care for my wood floor?
A: Thanks to new finishes and floor manufacturing
advances, today's wood flooring is quite simple to maintain and care
Weekly - Vacuum or sweep your floor.
Small stones and gritty dirt will scratch the floor quickly. (Always
keep mats or rugs at doorway exteriors and interiors.)
Monthly - Clean the floor with a
manufacturer's recommended cleaner on a dampened sponge, and follow
up with a dry terry cloth towel.
Yearly or when needed - Re-coat
the floor with a surface finish when cleaning no longer restores shine
and/or when floors have been heavily used.
General Maintenance - Wipe spills
immediately with a damp cloth or paper towel.
Q: How do I clean my
A: If the finish manufacturer is known,
follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning procedures and products.
However, if the manufacturer is not known:
For surface finishes, including
urethanes: Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum
regularly and keep doormats clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry
cloth. Use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills.
For general cleaning, there are good generic wood floor cleaners. Alternatively,
use a mild solution of white vinegar and warm water (1/4 cup of vinegar
to 1 quart of warm water), and with a spray bottle, spray a small amount
on a mop or cloth and go over a small area with the mop or cloth. Buff
dry. Continue until the entire floor has been cleaned.
When luster does not return to traffic areas, the floor may require
re-coating. Consult us or your installer.
Do not wax a surface finish.
Wax will, in most cases, be slippery. If you wax a surface finish, the
floor cannot merely be re-coated to rejuvenate it, it will have to continue
to be waxed as a maintenance procedure.
Acrylic impregnated floors
require a spray and buff system as recommended by the manufacturer.
For waxed floors:
Keep grit off the floor, dust mop or vacuum regularly and keep doormats
clean. Wipe up spills promptly with a dry cloth or dry paper towel,
use a slightly dampened cloth for sticky spills and buff with a dry
cloth to restore luster. When the floor looks dull, buff first to see
if luster will be restored before waxing. When areas of heavy use no
longer respond to buffing, wax only those areas and buff all the floor
to an even luster.
When the whole floor needs attention, clean the floor with a solvent
based wood floor cleaner and then wax. Your floor should only need to
be completely re-waxed once or twice a year depending on traffic.
Q: What can damage
a wood floor?
A: Grit and dirt
- Grit and dirt will eventually cause scratches and dents, which shortens
the lifetime of the floor. Always use door mats and vacuum/sweep on
a weekly basis.
Water and wet mopping - Any excessive
water causes wood grain to raise and the wood to expand, crack, splinter
and possibly, in extreme cases, to discolor or mildew.
Oil Soaps and Ammonia Cleaners -
There are many over the counter oil soap based or silicone, wax, or
ammonia based cleaning products that will damage and dull the finish
of your wood floor. The best suggestion is to only use the manufacturers
recommended cleaning products on your wood flooring.
Furniture and High Heel Shoes -
Any furniture that rests directly on top of a wood floor should have
felt protectors, or furniture coasters, under all its feet. Purchasing
chair glides is a very cheap insurance policy for your wood flooring.
For extremely heavy objects such as a piano, use rubber cups. High heels
or shoes with any sharp exposed nail or stone will exert up to 8,000
lbs per square inch of pressure on a floor. That's enough to damage
any type of floor covering.
Sunlight - Exposure to the sun and
its UV rays can cause wood floors to fade, change color, or experience
surface checking, and even cause color changes in its protective polyurethane
finish. To avoid these problems we recommend using draperies or shades
to help block out the sun's harmful rays.
Spills - Spills in
general must be wiped up immediately to prevent stains. Most new finishes,
however, prevent spills from affecting the wood if they are wiped properly.