Care and maintenance is important for every species of hardwood floors. With proper care you can keep your hardwood floor color and shine looking beautiful. Let’s talk about the ways you can start.
Dry & Wet-Tack Cloth Cleaning Methods for Hardwood Floors
It’s important to dry tack your hardwood floors daily, if you have foot traffic. Hardwood floors will collect dust particles, which cause scuffs and scratches when foot traffic is present. You should vacuum the dry tack off after each room that you tack. Avoid using vacuums on your hardwood floor area unless you buy a special attachment that is designed for hardwood floors. Ask your hardwood floor refinishing professional for details on the special attachment.
After your hardwood floors are dry tacked then you can apply the wet tack cleaning method. Only use recommended wet cleaning products that is the same brand as the finish that you have on your hardwood floors. Most hardwood floor refinishing companies will use Bona or Pallmann cleaning spirits. These two brands of cleaning agents can be used on water-base and oil-base finish floors. Be sure to avoid over-wetting the wet tack cloth.
While dry tacking and wet tacking your hardwood floors, make sure to keep a forward movement at all times. Do not drag your cloths backwards or you will loose your dust that was collected during this process. It is very important to not leave your wet tack cloth on the hardwood floor for long periods of time. This will leave a permanent print of the wet cloth outlined into your hardwood floors. This is a rule-of-thumb for all wet materials left on your hardwood floors for a long period of time. We’ve seen multiple occasions of this happening with flowerpots or potted plants that have leaked from the bottom onto the hardwood floors. Don’t let this happen to your beautiful hardwood floors.
Spills & Pet Urine on Hardwood Floors
If spills or pet urine is left unnoticed for long periods of time, they will leave a permanent imprint. This can be avoided by wiping spill and pet urine up immediately. Use a soft or lightly wet rag and put directly over the spill. This allows the spill or urine area to soak into the rag. Try not to pull the spills or pet urine over to another area and down into to the gaps of the hardwood floors.
Spills and pet urine left unattended could damage the finish and the wood itself. The damaged area will appear black in color over time. You will then need to have your hardwood floors completely refinished and stained a dark color to camouflage the damaged area. If you don’t want to change the stain color then you will need to replace the damaged area with new boards. This can cost you lots of money in repairs if you avoid spills and pet urine.
Foot Traffic & Pet Traffic on Hardwood Floors
In a perfect world, it is best to take your shoes off at the front door, back door, or the garage entry (mud room or utility room). It is important to place foot rugs at every entry point in your home. Do not use rugs with rubber backs because they will discolor your hardwood floors. You can purchase rugs for hardwood floors at certain retailers. Any type of footwear is acceptable to wedging rocks, mud, and particles that will scratch or dent your hardwood floors. Avoid walking on your hardwood floors with high heels, cowboy boots, and sports cleats.
Moving into a new home? Make sure movers put down plastic liners or a protective material on the hardwood floor areas that they are walking on. More than likely, they will not take off their shoes every time they enter your house. We’ve seen multiple cases of movers damaging hardwood floors from foot traffic.
Humans and Pets that weigh over 45 pounds will actually dent the hardwood floors during traffic. Walking on your hardwood floors with “socks only” will reduce your risk of scratches. You can reduce scratches in the finish and dents in the hardwood by trimming your pet’s nails regularly. There is a fantastic product called “Soft Paws” that we recommend to pet-owners that have just had their hardwood floors refinished. Soft Paws works great! This product is like shoes for your pets. You simply glue plastic sleeves over your pet’s nails to reduce scratches caused by their normal nails. This product works wonders!
Furniture and Appliances
Many of us like to rearrange the furniture for a new look periodically. This is perfectly ok as long as your furniture is protected with felt pads. Felt pads should be replaced on the furniture items that are being moved. Try to avoid sliding the furniture and instead picking them up and setting them down in the attended area.
Felt pads on chair legs should be replaced every month. Chair legs are moved back and forth daily. The felt pads on the chair legs will collect dust and rock particles over time. If they are not replaced monthly then you will start to see scratches caused by back and forth sliding movements.
Getting new appliances? If you are hiring a professional to install your appliances, make sure that they use the proper equipment. It is very common to see hardwood floors damaged from appliances. If appliances are slid across the hardwood floors they will scratch and possibly dent the hardwoods. Professionals should use an air-dolly to hover the appliance into the designated area. Make sure the water lines are tested before the installation is complete. Slow water drips from your fridge will be unnoticed to you. The water will settle under the hardwood floors and ruin your entire kitchen wood floors over a period of time. This will cause your hardwood floors to bow and/or cup during seasonal climate changes.