How Do I Care For My Wood FLoors?
Wood is natural, care includes moisture management
Wood is a natural product that resonds to its environment. It is a hygroscopic material, which means that it will lose or gain moisture until it is in equalibrium with the air surrounding it. In dry conditions, such as during winter months when heating systems are in use, wood floors will shrink, which will result in gaps between floor boards. In wet conditions, such as during summer months when humidty is higher, wood floors wil swell. This is a normal reaction of wood floors that will occur from season to season. You can minimize these changes in your wood floor by maintaining your home between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit and 30-50 percent humidity year-round.
Maintenance do's and dont's
Wood floor maintenance is quick and easy. Routine cleaning invovles sweeping, dust mopping, or vacuuming using the bare floor setting to remove dust and dirt. Clean spill immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth. Don't use wet mops or steam mops, shich will damage the finish or even the wood over long periods of time.
To avoid scratches, place breathable throwrugs at all entrances, put floor protector pads on the bottoms of the legs of any furniture that comes in direct contact with you floors, and avoid walking on the floors with sports cleats or high-heel shoes.
When the floor begins to look a little dull, use a wood floor cleaner recommended by your installer to maintain finish. Use the product as directed, and only use products reommended by your contractor, flooring manufacturer, or finish manufacturer. Using the wrond type of cleaning product could damage the finish, and possibly the wood.
Kids, dogs, and cats
Today's wood floors are designed to withstand the traffic of a busy family life. For pets in particular, you can minimize scrathes by putting breathable rugs at all doors to minimizes dirt and debris being tracked in from outdoors. You should also trim their nail regularly, but need to understand that scrathes can and will happen with pets. When scratches do occur, they most likely will be in the floor surface only, and are easy to repair.
Troubleshooting and repair
Over time, you may experience subtle changes in your wood floors that you are not sure how to repair. These changes can include things like squeaks, gaps that don't close with seasonal changes, pet stains, or finish wear in high-traffic areas. These issues can usually be repaired by a wood flooring professional.
Recommended maintenance schedule
These maintenance recommendations are provided as a general guideline.
Your personal maintenance requirements will vary depending on the wear and tear on your floors. You may need to perform maintenance more frequently, or less frequently, depending on your lifestyle.
Sweep or dust mop.
Vacuum using the bare floor setting
Clean with recommended floor cleaner
Every 3-5 years or as needed
Every few decades or as needed
Sand and refinish
FAQ information provided by the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association)