Learn about the safe and effective strategy for cleaning new wooden floors.
Wooden floors are extremely popular for many justifiable reasons. Wood is an elegant material that is relatively easy to care for. It also lasts quite a long time, and some become even more beautiful as they age.
Since wood is not exactly the cheapest material available, you should make sure to care for it properly. You need to be aware of the correct cleaning and maintenance methods to keep wood in top shape.
What Can Damage Your Wooden Floors?
We’ve all seen the elegance that newly-installed wooden floors give off. Luckily, with proper maintenance, you can still keep them looking deceptively new for a lot longer.
Wood floor care starts from the moment they’re installed, and keeping them safe is an absolute necessity. To do this, you need to know about the things that can damage your wooden floors. Be aware of the following when you clean:
Abrasive objects are among the greatest enemies of wooden floors. The damage that these objects cause range from scratches on the surface to deep gouges on the wood itself. Some abrasives that you should watch out for include sand, debris, furniture, and sharp objects.
Different chemicals have varying effects on materials. For example, many acids aren’t too problematic when spilled on concrete. Wood, however, is a bit more sensitive to some chemicals. Among the ones to watch out for include fire retardants or chemicals that are strongly acidic or alkaline.
- Temperature and moisture
Heat can cause wood to expand, whereas cold can cause it to contract. Take note that this contraction and expansion are natural, but extremes in temperature can cause permanent damage. High moisture can also cause wood to expand, with excessively high humidity being damaging to your floors.
Pests like termites and other wood-boring insects can eat away at your wooden floors. If left unchecked, these insects can reproduce uncontrollably and further colonise the other parts of your home.
Pets, while adorable, can also cause damage. Their sharp nails are considered abrasives and can leave scratches on the floors’ surface.
Water damage is among the most serious ones that can completely destroy your wooden floors. Continuous water exposure weakens the wood and makes it more likely for mould, mildew, and fungi to grow.
8 Care Tips For Your New Wood Floor
Wood can last you a long time only if you care for it the right way. Here are some excellent tips to make sure that your new wooden floors stay in good condition:
1. Take note of the dry-wet-dry cleaning phases.
When cleaning your wooden floors, make sure you take the following in mind: dry-wet-dry.
Always start out with dry cleaning methods, like the use of a vacuum cleaner or a broom. Once the dry phase is done, you can proceed to wet cleaning methods, like mopping and using cleaning agents. Take note that most wooden floors do not appreciate being exposed to water for too long. To prevent this, make the wet cleaning phase as short as possible without compromising cleanliness. Finally, once you’re done with the wet cleaning phase, see to it that the floor properly dries.
2. Use gentle cleaning agents.
We have mentioned earlier that many chemicals can be extremely damaging when applied to wood. Cleaning agents are no exception. When choosing between wood cleaners, DO NOT USE ones that have any of the following:
- Sodium hypochlorite, also known as liquid bleach.
- Sodium percarbonate, also known as oxygenated bleach.
- Oxalic acid
- Detergent-based cleaners.
Many would also rather use cleaners that are homemade as these are usually much gentler. You can mix up a cleanser by combining white vinegar, water, and olive oil in a spray bottle. Simply spray this on wood surfaces, then wipe it off afterwards.
3. Apply furniture pads.
Contact between the bottom of your furniture and your new wooden floors can cause scratches on the floor surface. To prevent this, when moving furniture, make sure to lift them off the ground instead of dragging them. Applying furniture pads on your furniture also helps since these minimise the contact of abrasives with your floor.
4. Rugs can help.
Rugs aren’t just decorative. They also protect your floors from abrasion. Just see to it that you regularly clean both above and below the rug. Any abrasives trapped beneath can still cause scratches on your precious wooden floors.
5. Be on the lookout for pests.
Pests are on the list of things that can cause serious problems to your wooden floors. Whenever you clean, make sure that you’re on the lookout for any traces of these pests. Important signs to look out for include shaved wood dust, small holes, and insect droppings. Also, watch out for hollow-sounding wood as this is the most tell-tale sign of the presence of termites.
6. Clean up spills immediately.
Spills should always be addressed immediately. Water-based spills aren’t too problematic — all it takes is a simple wipe-down. Food and chemical spills are usually more tedious to clean up. Use a mop to soak up the spill, then a moist cloth to get rid of whatever remains. Dry the area off properly afterwards.
7. Sand and polish the floor if necessary
Over time, your wooden floor will appear fuzzy. This is because of repeated abrasion or cleaning, coupled with wear and tear. If this is the case, then your floor will need sanding. This involves stripping off the protective layers of the wood and re-polishing the wood layer itself.
Sanding is best done by an experienced professional. Be sure to polish the floor after to protect the wood layers.
Let Modern Floor Sanding and Polishing Help Keep Your Wooden Floors in Top Shape
Wooden floors aren’t cheap, you should keep yours in top shape for years to come. Be sure to follow the tips we’ve given above if your floors are to last a long time.
Sanding and polishing can be quite challenging for the inexperienced. If you feel that your floors would benefit from these, then find a professional that can help. Those in New South Wales will find that Modern Floor Sanding and Polishing is an excellent choice. Contact us at 0467 029 131 for enquiries.