Did you know that hardwood flooring increases the value of your home? Whether you’ve had new hardwood installed or older floors sanded and refinished, it’s important to know how to protect and care for them. Here at Schmidt Custom Floors, we are often asked how to best maintain and preserve hardwood floors? Despite anyone’s greatest intentions, floors will always take a beating over time and lovingly earn some battle wounds as memories are created in the home. Rest assured, we are always happy to share our tips and tricks to help maintain and preserve your beautiful hardwood floors.
Stop Dirt At The Door!
Placing a rug or mat at each door will go far in preventing outdoor filth from being tracked through your home. Make sure to use a felt or a rubber backing for rugs covering hardwood floors, in doing so, will assist in preventing damage to your finish. Keep in mind, with hardwood floors you don’t want to use a polyethylene pad.
Removing your shoes at the door is more than just a respectful old custom, it will prevent dirt, stones and grit from being tracked through your home causing damage to your floors finish. We encourage you to get creative with fun signs and rugs to the entrances of your home to encourage guests to remove their footwear before further entering. Shoe removal is especially important at entries that lead out to the back yard or patio. Children and pets go in and out often and are likely to bring a little bit of the outdoors inside with them each time. Vacuuming and shaking off rugs regularly will also greatly assist your efforts in keeping dirt and stones off your hardwood floors.
Other concerns would be high heels, cleats and boots. As you can imagine, these styles of footwear cause dents and damage to your hardwood floors which could be difficult to repair. You will also want to be cautious of black soled shoes that can create black scuff marks throughout your home.
“Shoes” for your Furniture
Now, YOU may not want to wear shoes in your home but your furnishings MUST! Place felt pads on all furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents. This is especially important on stools and chairs that are frequently slid across the floor. Check these often, as they are likely to wear out. Use felt castors on any furniture that is moved frequently.
If you are one of the many gifted individuals that posses the talent for making plants grow, you may have a few large floor plants growing in the light of your home. Now, even though your plants may love water, your hardwood floors do not! Often we find water rings and worn circles in the floors finish where a plant have been turned and managed. Very large floor plants should have the appropriate sized trays underneath to prevent water from overflowing onto the floor. Be sure the trays are heavy duty and free from cracks and holes. Castor cups with felt bottoms will help keep rolling plant containers in place while protecting your floor. If possible keep them off the floor and on safe surfaces to ensure the life of your hardwood.
Even though you may be preventing dirt from coming in at the homes entrances from footwear, fine dirt can still blow in when doors and windows are open. Pet fur and ordinary house dust will still be a factor. Regular dry mopping and vacuuming is really important for keeping your floors looking great. When mopping, use only a dry mop with a soft cloth head and when vacuuming, disengage the beater bar to prevent damage to the floors finish.
For Deeper Cleaning
Avoid using oil based polishes, such as Orange Glow. This will leave a sticky residue that will dull the finish and make it difficult to buff and re-coat. Never use water, steam, vinegar or any household cleaning products on your hardwood floors. From our many years of experience, we recommend Loba® products to clean, maintain and increase the life of your hardwood. Here at Schmidt Custom Floors we carry Loba® cleaning kits for our clients convenience. The kits include a spray mop, a washable microfiber mop head and a refillable reservoir with cleaning solution. This cleaner is ideal for hardwood, parquet and cork floors.
Here in sunny Colorado the sun can do quiet a number on your hardwood floors. Like all things, the sun will naturally bleach your floors over time if left in the suns rays. This effect is accelerated due to our elevation, especially when exposed to strong direct sunlight. It’s important to have proper window coverings in rooms that receive intense sun in order to protect your floors and furnishings. If you have area rugs, move them from time to time to keep the floor underneath an even color. Customers are often surprised when they roll up a rug for cleaning, only to find the shape of the rug silhouetted on their floor. Opening and closing window coverings as the sun moves around the home will also greatly assist in maintaining the color of your floors as you enjoy the lovely views of our beautiful state.