If you want your floors to last long, you must take care of them properly. There are three things crucial for keeping your floors in top condition and they are cleaning, maintaining and prevention. The key to healthy floors is routine cleaning, and you should follow some cleaning protocols to prevent damage and maintain your floor’s appearance. Damage can also be minimized with regular maintenance and prevention. Therefore, let’s talk about these three stages in detail.
Regular cleaning is half the work
The best thing you can do to protect your floors from damage and scratches is dust them every day with a microfiber mop or swiffer. Microfiber cloths are great because they trap dirt, pet hair, particles and other allergens with static electricity. They are not only more effective, but also much safer than a broom, because some brooms have hard bristles that can scratch your floors.
Every week you should vacuum your floors with a soft-bristled floor-brush attachment. Before you begin, dust your floors with a microfiber cloth, and then carefully vacuum them. Be cautious and don’t let the vacuum’s wheels damage the surface.
Also, you can clean your floors every month with a floor cleaner. Use a damp mop with a flat microfiber head. Instead of using water to dampen the mop, use a light coat of cleaner made specifically for your type of floors and be frugal. If you have a hardwood floor, never use a wet mop or a steam mop, because they both can dull the finish and cause damage to your flooring.
If your floors have a surface finish, and most hardwood floors do, you can polish them once in every two or three months. Finishes protect and seal the wood and give your floor that glossy shine. Eventually, the finish on your floors will get worn out, there will be visible scratches, and their surface will start to look dull. Regular polishing will take care of that problem. Polishing is best done with a buffing pad that will even out small scratches and restore your floors’ shine.
If regular cleaning and maintenance no longer help, it’s time to re-coat the surface. This usually needs to be done every five to ten years, depending on the foot traffic and cleaning habits. After re-coating, your floors will look brand new.
Some floors, if properly maintained and cleaned, can last well over a hundred years. But, when your floors need a little rejuvenation, it’s best you hire an expert. They will apply a new coat of finish or sand your floors. It’s smart to sand all areas where you can see loss of color or deeper scratches. You can try to do some of these fixes yourself, but there’s nothing like a professional touch, so don’t hesitate to invest in this.
Prevention is the best cure
As always, prevention is the easiest and best cure. If possible, try to avoid walking on your floors in shoes, especially high heels. Those can easily damage the surface coat. Also, think about sticking felt pads to all furniture legs, because those too can dent and scratch your floors. Different colorful round rugs are another great solution. This way, you won’t bring so much dirt inside. It’s a little-known fact, but your floors are also sensitive to extreme temperature and humidity. The ideal temperature for hardwood floors is 15 to 25 degrees Celsius and the optimal humidity is somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. If temperature and humidity are not within these parameters, your floors can start buckling and gapping. Of course, you don’t have to keep your eyes on the thermometer and follow the humidity all the time. They have to change radically and stay that way for a longer period of time to really start affecting the floor.
As you can see, maintaining your floors doesn’t have to be difficult. If you clean them regularly and apply some basic preventive measures, your floors will be in tip-top shape for many years to come.