Tag: Hardwood Floor maintenance

Hardwood Floor Cleaning Service

Hardwood Floor Cleaning ServiceA clean shiny hardwood floor will make your home beautiful and stand out to friends and colleagues that come to visit. A clean hardwood floor adds value to your home when you are trying to sell your home. Buyers look at the floor and see how beautiful, clean and immaculate it is and love it. This floor can literally sell your home for you, even if there other negatives. Prospective home owners will over look these things if their first impression is a strong positive one.

There are a number of steps that home owners can consider to keep their floors looking fantastic without the need for a hardwood floor cleaning service. There are companies that provide professional hardwood floor cleaning services, however if home owners can do this work themselves, they will save money and their homes hardwood floor will always be glistening and looking great.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning Service

If you decide to hire a Hardwood Floor Cleaning Service, use the following steps as a guide to interview these companies regarding the process they use, the chemicals if any that they use and the machines they use to ensure that they will deliver the results that you desire.

Preparing to Clean Your Hardwood Floor

There are several steps that homeowners can consider. Take a look at these and apply those that make sense for your flooring:

Step One – determine the type of finish that is on your floor. If there is a protective urethane or polyurethane finish to your floor, there is already a thin protective layer on the floor. Other floors may be natural wood with an oil based finish, varnish or even floors with no finish on them. Check with the original owners or with the store that the flooring was purchased from to determine what finish is on your floor.

Step Two – floors that are sealed need only vacuuming and mopping with a mild soap and water solution. Never leave water on the floor and usually a damp mop is preferred rather than a wet mop.  Oil treat floors need to be vacuumed and then an application of paste wax to protect them from stains and water. For all other floors depending on the finish there are several cleaners available on the market.

Step Three – avoid water on your floors. Water causes the wood to expand and even crack in places. It may also leave water marks. If you must use water on an unfinished floor, just use a damp mop and never leave water droplets on the floor or allow water to go between the cracks.

Step Four – even protective covers will wear down over time, especially in high traffic areas. This protective cover may need to be sanded at some point and the floor recoated with whatever protective cover you are using. For sanding tips, refer to several of our other posts on hardwood floor refinishing.

Step Five – keep your floors clean and free of grit that is tracked in from outside. Remove your shoes at the entry to your home and vacuum on a regular basis, even every day in high traffic areas if there is a lot of grit being tracked into the home.

Step Six – install area mats to protect entrance areas and other high traffic areas. Vacuum these mats regularly each time you vacuum the rest of the home. The rugs will add to your overall décor and also capture any grit that is attached to the bottom of your shoes. This is the main reason that the rug should be vacuumed often.

At some point you may decide that a hardwood floor cleaning service might be a better choice. Consumers may want to hire a floor cleaning service once a month to keep their floors looking pristine and vacuuming every couple of days to avoid in long term damage. The cleaning service may also vacuum as well before they actually clean the floor.


Hardwood Floor Cleaning Services

There is nothing nicer than a gleaming shiny hardwood floor like the picture on the left. This floor obviously has been not only kept clean, the owners have taken really good care of the floor while they lived there. Consumers can hire hardwood floor cleaning services to help them keep their floors looking pristine, but it is also important to treat your floor with care and respect to keep it nice over the years. Refinishing a hardwood floor is expensive and messy, so the longer you can avoid having to refinish the floor the better. Take care of it and you will not have to worry about refinishing for many years. This is an investment in your home that maintains its value for many years.

What to Look for Regarding Hardwood Floor Cleaning Services

If you plan to use a service to clean your hardwood floors there are a few things to consider before you hire a company to clean your floors. Aside from the obvious checks that you would do regarding someone coming into your home to deliver services, you need to find out how they plan to clean your hardwood floor. Using the wrong chemicals can certainly do more damage than it cleans leaving you with a bigger problem than what you started with.

If you are unsure about what products to use or the cleaners should use, you may want to talk to a hardwood floor sales company. They are going to wan to know what kind of finish is in the floor before they can provide solid advise regarding what to use. Most newer floors come with a finish on the floors to protect them and to make them look great. you do not want to damage this finish in any way.

Always Vacuum First

First of all they should plan to vacuum the floor to remove all grit that may be on the floor and any dust particles that may have built up over time. If you try to clean the floor with a mop or a cloth, before vacuuming, there is a high risk that you will grind any grit into the floor and even scratch the finish. Over time this approach will leave your floor looking dull and scratched.

In fact it is a good idea to vacuum your floors at least once per week and more often if you feel that there is a lot of dirt and grit that is tracked into your home onto your hardwood floor. You may hire a hardwood floor cleaning service or do this yourself.

Wash Your Floor

This is a very important step and must be done properly to avoid any damage to your floors. Basically hardwood floors do not like water and to avoid any damage, always use a damp mop rather than a wet mop to wash your floors. If you do get a few drops or a small puddle of water on the floor, wipe it up immediately. Run the damp mop across the floor several times and then rinse it thoroughly in a pail or in the sink. Plain water is find or you can use a little bit of dish soap that is really diluted. We also suggest that you use a paper towel to dry the floor, however if your mop is only damp , any moisture will dry almost immediately as you are mopping the floor.

Do not use any chemical based cleaners, such as pledge and other sprays or chemicals. They can sometimes remove the coating on your floor or leave a dull finish to your floor which is very difficult to remove afterwords.

Washing your floor with a damp mop is by far the best approach. The frequency will depend on how much traffic the floor receives and whether you were your shoes in the house.  We really recommend that owners of hardwood floors do not walk inside with their shoes, especially if they have been warn outside. They track too much sand and grit into the house and over time this will wear the finish off of the floor.

Make Sure Your Hardwood Floor Cleaning Services Avoid These Cleaning Products

If you are going to hire a cleaner to clean you hardwood floors, make sure they do not plan to use the following products:

  • Oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammonia-ted or abrasive cleaners.
  • Steel wool or scouring powder.
  • Wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Buffing machine.

All of these products can harm your floor. When you interview your cleaner, you will quickly get to know which cleaners know what they are doing when it comes to hardwood floor cleaning and which ones do not. Remember it is your home and your floor. It is always a good idea to stay informed and take charge rather than let someone else make the decision on your behalf.

 

 


Cleaning Surface Sealed and non Surface Sealed Floors

Cleaning Surface Sealed and non Surface Sealed FloorsOur last post, ” cleaning hardwood floors”, discussed the different types of floors in terms of the type of protection each floor may have and how to tell the difference between the major types such as surfaces sealed and non surface sealed floors.  This post will discuss specific cleaning instructions for each type of floor sealant. The major types were:

  • Surface-sealed floors
  • Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors
  • Lacquered, varnished, shellacked and
  • Untreated floors

Cleaning Surface Sealed and non Surface Sealed Floors

Surface-sealed floors

First of all you should use a floor cleaner that is recommended by the floor finisher or the company that installed your floor. You can check with a flooring company that sells the type of hardwood floor that you have for specific recommendations. Since the floor is sealed, you can also just use a very mild soap and water to clean your floors. Be careful to not leave any access amounts of water on your floor.

Never use ammonia or alkaline products or abrasive cleaners. They will remove some of the surface sealer and leave your floor looking dull and they may even scratch the finish.

If you just use water to clean your floors, you will not be able to remove all of the dirt and your floors will still end  up looking dull and the dirt will just build up over time.

High traffic areas collect a lot of dust and grit. It is really important to sweep this grit up and or vacuum it up to avoid scratching your hardwood floor finish. You may even want to mop every week as well if your floor collects a lot of dirt and dust. other areas can be swept and mopped less often.

When you mop on any floor, it is important to remember that water is the worst enemy of all wood floors. never leave puddles of water on the floor. Only use a damp mop to wipe the floor leaving no excess water at all. Always go back over the floor with clean water and a mop to wipe up any remaining soap and dirt that might not have been caught on the first mopping.

Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors

If you need to remove the old wax,  use a stripper design for that purpose and always use a product that has been recommended by the floor manufacturer. Use liquid wax or paste wax to protect your floors. Acrylic and water based waxes can turn floors white, while furniture wax can make floors slippery. One step waxes can also trapped dirt so only use those products that are recommended by the floor manufacturer and speak to someone who has experience in the business.

These types of floors should never be damp mopped. Instead just sweep them or vacuum them every week. You may have to strip the old wax and re-wax the floor once a year or more often depending on the amount of traffic on the floor.

When it comes time to wax the floor, follow these steps:

  • Vacuum the floor to remove all dust and grit
  • Strip the old wax with a stripper (following the manufacturer’s instructions)
  • Always keep the area well ventilated as you work and as the floor dries.
  • Once the floor has dried, apply a thin coat of wax, using an applicator (if you’re using liquid wax) or a cloth (if you’re using paste wax).
  • Let the wax dry.
  • For added protection particularly on high traffic areas, apply a second coat of wax.
  • Finally, buff. Use a cloth or, to make the job easier, rent a buffing machine.
  • Remember to always buff in the direction of the wood grain.

Comments are welcome that will help our readers. We even accept links if your comments are constructive and helpful to our readers. Our next post will be about how you can protect your floors and tackling simple wood floor problems.

Lacquered, varnished, shellacked and

Untreated floors


Hardwood Floor Upkeep

Regardless of whether you purchase a new home with hardwood floors or you have just installed new hardwood floors in your home, you have a valuable and considerable investment in your home in hardwood. Most buyers are looking for hardwood flooring to be already installed when they buy a new home. They really do not consider hardwood floor upkeep requirements.

Keeping the hardwood floor clean and avoiding marks on the floor will go along way to maintaining your hardwood investment. Cleaning a hardwood floor is an important task with lots of benefits. It will help to maintain the natural beauty of your flooring and also extend the life of the floor, which saves you money in the long run. It will also help you avoid many headaches in the future. Here is a helpful guide to show you how to clean hardwood floor and make the most of your investment.

Why You Want to focus on Hardwood Floor Upkeep

Hardwood flooring is sensitive to heat and moisture but it is also sensitive to the harmful effects of dirt and grit. As dirt and particles work their way into hardwood surfaces they have a grinding effect as you walk on the floor, which is detrimental to the lifespan of the wood.The floor changes color, scratches and gradually the finish will be removed.

Who wants to have to sand a hardwood floor by hand?

Dirt and grime can scratch away at the surface of the wood, dulling it and taking away from the look of the surface. For these reasons it is important to know how to clean hardwood floor.

Cleaning the Hardwood Floor

But before you begin you will need a few tools. A soft fine-bristled broom, a vacuum with a hardwood safe attachment, along with a mop of your choice are essential.

Once you have everything you need we can get into how to clean your hardwood floor. You should have a routine in place for caring for your floors. This routine must include sweeping often with the fine-bristled broom in order to keep everyday dirt and dust from accumulating. Also, time should be taken to vacuum the floors at least once or twice a week. This will help to lift any sand or other abrasive particles that may want to settle in the floor cracks where they will do their damage.

When mopping your hardwood floors you should use a very dry-damp mop. This is because of the floor’s intolerance to excess water. Any extra water may seep down into the floor which is very harmful. This is practically everything you need to know on how to clean hardwood floor.

Avoid Women’s High Heels with Narrow Heel Points

We have had this situation and before we knew what happened there were little heel marks all over our floor. The women even asked us if it was ok to wear her shoes indoors. foolishly we said yes. What a mistake. We have not corrected the situation yet, but it will take some serious sanding and refinishing to fix this.

Do not allow people to wear their shoes inside your home on hardwood floors if you want to maintain the luster of your floors and avoid marking the hardwood on your floors.

As you can see, when finding out how to clean hardwood floor, there are only a few simple yet important steps. Cleaning hardwood is best done with regular care and attention. Once you have all of this in place, your floors will be long lasting and great looking.


Hardwood Floor Cleaners

Hardwood Floor CleanersA hardwood floor is one of the most enduring floor surfaces and provides many benefits compared to all other surfaces. These benefits can be enhanced even more if you keep your floors clean by vacuuming regularly and cleaning weekly.

For example if you never wear your shoes inside your home on your hardwood floors you will avoid tracking a lot of dirt into the home and you will avoid scuffing the floor with your shoes. Any dirt or grit on your floor can be ground into the floor and acting like sand paper on the floor. Avoid wearing shoes any time inside the home on the hardwood floors. Here are a few of the reasons why you would want to make sure that your floors are always clean in addition to the obvious.

  • Longevity
  • Reduces dust accumulation
  • Improves the decor of many homes.
  • Can be easily repaired
  • Can be refinished

By providing a little care and maintenance to your hardwood floors you can expect your flooring to last a lifetime. If you are new to hardwood flooring, here is some information about hardwood floor cleaners and other maintenance tips that will help you get the most from your investment.

Maintenance Tips

  • Never wear outdoor shoes on your floor
  • Never go barefoot on your hardwood floor
  • Wear soft soled slippers or just wear socks while walking on your floor
  • Clean up spills, especially fluids, immediately
  • An option is to add throw rugs in heavy traffic areas
  • Clean with proper tools regularly

Hardwood Floor Cleaner Tips

For almost every kind of spill, smudge, stain or any other type of mess, you will find a hardwood floor cleaner for the job. If all of these chemicals and solutions are confusing to you then perhaps an all-in-one hardwood floor cleaner kit is right for you.

You can find many of these kits for both laminate flooring and hardwood. They usually come with an all purpose cleaner along with a specially designed mop.

Some general purpose hardwood floor cleaners can  remove some of the shine from the floor or even leave a residue. To avoid this, make sure you choose a cleaner that is specially designed to clean finished hardwood flooring. Other hardwood floor cleaners that you should avoid are oil soaps that can build up over time.

General Suggestions

Maintain proper levels of moisture in your home with a humidifier in the winter time. Winter air tends to dry everything out and will cause gaps to appear between the floor strips, unless you maintain the humidity level in your home between 30% to 50% at all times. Clean your humidifier at least once a month as well to avoid any chance of mold buildup in the humidifier.

Along with a proper hardwood floor cleaner you should practice regular care and maintenance of the floor. Dirt and grit tracked onto hardwood floor acts like sandpaper and will cause problems over time. Clean your floors at least once per week and immediately  after you have had a party or guests in your home.

This means it is important to either sweep away this dirt with a fine bristles broom or vacuum with a specially designed hardwood attachment. Using the incorrect tool could scratch the surface of your floor causing more damage. This is especially true in high traffic areas. Another important thing to remember is that you should never allow water to remain on any hardwood surface. Wipe up any spills as soon as you notice them.

With only the most common sense cleaning and proper hardwood floor cleaner you will have great looking floors that will last your whole life. Over time you will gain more appreciation of the subtle details and warmth of the wood.  Hardwood floors can be re-sanded and refinished, however if you look after them this may be avoided for many years. The more you give to your hardwood floors the more you will receive in return.


Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Hardwood Floor CleanerWith only a small amount of care, a hardwood floor will provide many years of service and look good in your home. Cleaning hardwood is an important aspect of the care and maintenance necessary to protect your investment. Placing throw carpets in high traffic areas is another way of protecting your floor as well. In this post we will discuss some of the ways to protect your hardwood floor as well as keep it clean. Using a hardwood floor cleaner makes taking care of your hardwood flooring even easier and there are products that  cover a variety of cleansing areas.

Protecting Your Hardwood Floor

Actually the best way to keep a hardwood floor clean is to protect it from dirt and traffic. For example, in the winter time we place salt and sand in a mixture on the driveway to prevent ice from forming and people slipping. Of course some of this material is tracked into the house on our boots and if we are not careful it ends up on our floors as well. This material will ruin your floors over time and rob them of that shiny new look that we all love to see. Keep them clean and vacuum often.

Sand is like a sandpaper to wood. Every time you step on it, small particles of the wood wear away and over a couple of years you will notice a difference. Always keep your boots on a mat and never wear your boots or shoes inside. Vacuum your floors regularly, at least once a week and more often in high traffic areas. We are not supporting one vacuum over another by using the above picture, just make sure that you use one that does not scratch your floor.

Some people will place throw rugs on the floors were there is a lot of foot traffic. This is an excellent way to protect your floors. Just remember to vacuum under the rug each time. If there is a lot of sun from a window in that area you may notice some discoloration over the years as well from fading due to the sun.

Cleaning your Hardwood Floors

Whether you have laminate flooring, or any kind of hardwood floor there are hardwood floor cleaners for the job. From basic floor cleaning solutions to all in one floor cleaning kits, there are  products that  will help keep your floors looking their best.

Avoid products that leave residue or are harmful on your floors with  hardwood floor cleaner products like basic coating squeaky cleaner, intensive floor treatment or Swedish formula laminate floor cleaner. A hardwood floor cleaning kit is also ideal as everything you need comes in one package including specially designed cleaning mops.

Taking Care of Your Floors

Along with the helpful cleaning power of  hardwood floor cleaner, here are some other steps you can take to care for your floors.

  • You should sweep your floors with a broom that has fine bristles that are soft so they won’t damage or scratch the surface.
  • It is also recommended to vacuum at least once or twice a week to keep dirt and sand from causing damage.
  • Water should always be removed from hardwood surfaces right away. Always wipe up and dry any spills as soon as possible.
  • For high traffic areas, rugs or mats can be used to avoid wear but these must also be kept clean and free from dirt or grit that may eventually harm your flooring.
  • Vacuum once a week or twice a week if there is a lot of people and pets in your family
  • Avoid dragging dirt and grit into your home as much as possible. Remove your boots and shoes prior to entering your home.

As long as you take some time and use a common sense approach to cleaning your hardwood flooring you can expect it to look as good as new for a long time. Using a  hardwood floor cleaner will help to make this cleaning even easier and will help protect your investment.

Obviously we cannot support one hardwood floor cleaner over another, so talk to your flooring representative to find out what they recommend to maintain your floor in optimum condition.


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