How to Care For Wood Floors

how to clean wood floors picture1. Water is the Enemy of Wood: Avoid applying water directly to wood. Use damp cloth to wipe floors clean. If needed, a manufacturers’ recommended cleaning product can be picked up at the nearest hardware store.

2. Humidity: Manufacturers require humidity to be kept in the range of 35% to 55%. Temperatures should be kept between 60 and 80 degrees.

3. No Wet Mopping/Steam Cleaners: Do not use string mops, sponge-mops or steam cleaners to clean wood floors. Unauthorized Maintenance Products: Do not use two in one cleaners or polishes that may contain acrylics or urethane. These products will damage the finish and invalidate the factory warranty.

4. Do not use unauthorized maintenance Products: Such as oil soaps, paste wax, or other cleaners containing , lemon oil, citrus oils, Tung oils, ammonia, or cleaners containing silicone. Do not use two in one cleaners that contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss. These products may damage the finish.

5. Pets: Keep nails well trimmed and paws free of dirt, gravel, grease, oil, and other staining agents. Wipe up pet urine and waste immediately to prevent stain damage to wood.

6. Regular Maintenance Dust Removal: Since hardwood flooring has a hard, non-porous, finished surface, dust and household allergens can be easily removed. However, grit and dust left on the floor long term can be abrasive to the finish. Maintenance should include regular vacuuming with a canister vacuum and a soft brush attachment. The brush must be replaced periodically when the brush wears out.

7. Clean Up All Spills: Spills can be cleaned up with a moistened, well wrung out soft cloth or sponge, then cleaned with manufacturers’ recommended cleaning product. All spills must be cleaned up immediately to prevent damage to the floor.

8. Dent/Scratch Prevention: Wood flooring is susceptible to dents and scratches. Cloth glides must be applied to chair and furniture legs. Double barrel coaster wheels should replace hard rubber or metal wheels. Available at Amazon or EZ glide websites.

how to clean wood floors pictre 29. High Heel Shoes: High-heel shoes can damage a hardwood floor. It is important to keep the tips in good repair. An elephant has a force of 50 to 100 pounds per square inch (psi) on a floor, while a 125-pound woman in high heels has the force of 2,000 psi. That’s 20 times greater than the elephant. Such force can damage any floor, not just hardwood. Exposed nail heads are especially brutal to a floor – their 8,000 psi is damaging enough to pulverize hardened concrete.

10. Rug Backers & Pads: Rugs with solid rubber backs should not be used as they cannot breath and could discolor or make the surface of the floor more slippery. Jute back rugs can scratch a floor unless a rug pad is placed underneath. Pads containing PVC can damage floor finishes. Bonding agents in PVC pads can off-gas and damage the finish.

11. Moving Kitchen Appliances:
Refrigerator wheels are generally about 1” in diameter. When factoring the weight of the refrigerator the force at the wheels can amount to thousands of pounds per sq. inch. As the refrigerator is moved this can create dent trails in the wood floor. To prevent such damage use Glide N Guard protectors. These glides are widely available on line for between $20 and $30.

12. High-Traffic Areas:
To minimize scuffing and scratching, some additional precautions can be taken. Place area rugs in high-traffic areas. Place walk-off mats both outside and inside exterior doors. Also place mats at the kitchen sink and stove.

13. Desk Chairs: Chairs with double barrel wheels must be used. A clear floor protector mat must be used in combination with the proper wheels. Chair pad must have a smooth bottom. No pads with barbed bottoms can be used.

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