Hardwood flooring is perhaps the most popular flooring option today. Even though it seems to be a costly proposition initially, its longevity combined with a minimal maintenance cost tends even out the initial high installation charges. In fact so durable is this type of flooring that it can be passed on for generations on end and yet manages to look beautiful, homely and elegant.
Inspite of being tougher than most other flooring options, the hardwood floor is still prone to damage due to negligence.
Hence care must be taken to ensure that it is maintained properly in order to prevent it from getting damaged.
Important preventive measures
Some preventive measures which need to be taken to prevent hardwood from getting damaged are:
- Using a humidifier especially during the winter or the heating season prevents shrinkage of the hardwood floor. The humidity needs to be maintained at 35% to 55%.
- Stains, spots, spills etc., should be immediately wiped up and cleaned. This too helps to prevent the floor from suffering any further damage.
- In case of chewing gum or wax falling on the floor and sticking to it, the following procedure needs to be followed to remove them:
- They need to be hardened using ice cubes and
- Scraped off gently with the help of a credit card or a plastic scraper to preserve the original character of the hardwood floor.
Regular maintenance of the hardwood floor involves the following a set routine for cleaning which involves:
- Daily sweeping and dust mopping: Thus a soft bristled brush or a microfiber mop should be used to give the floor a good dusting. In fact using microfiber cleaning pads is an even better option since the dirt sticks to the pad due to the formation of static electricity.
- Weekly vacuuming: Vacuuming or mopping with a wet cloth cleans away dust, dirt and other debris from hard to reach places. Hence this needs to be done on a weekly basis. But certain measures which need to be taken to ensure there is no damage caused to the floor are:
- Dragging the wheels of vacuum cleaner can damage the floor,
- Water should never be used for mopping,
- Liquid used should be in optimum quantity since excess liquid will also damage the floor.
- Monthly cleaning: This needs to be done once a month with the help of a recommended cleaner for hardwood floor.
- Tri-annual deep cleaning: It is also recommended that the floor be given a maintenance coat every 3 to 5 years to maintain its shine and finish.
- Additional maintenance: The hardwood floor needs to be sanded and refinished at least once every 10 years or in a decade. Sanding the hardwood floor removes the protective layer present on the floor while refinishing it replaces it thereby leaving the floor immaculately clean.
Hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance is quite an easy task. All it needs is a little bit of patience and some dedicated time. This will keep the hardwood floor looking beautiful and as good as new for several decades on end.