Hardwood floors are synonymous with stylish interiors to many people these days. They are a leading trend in home flooring and renovation tasks. Real estate professionals guarantee a higher resale value for homes that have them. But with so many people having these floors now damage reports are on the rise. They require special care compared to other flooring choices. There are often simple things wood floor owners do that lead to damage.
1. Not Having a Welcome Mat
Have a mat at every entryway into your home or even better a designated space for all shoes at the entrance. Think about walking across your gorgeous hardwood floors with sandpaper on the bottom of your feet. That is what it is like when you walk in from outside and right onto your hardwood floors. All of the rocks, pebbles, gravel and dirt are trekked across your wood floor causing damage to it. It might not be noticeable at first, but over time all of the grit and grime will have caused deep scratches in your hardwood floor that will not be easy to fix
Vinegar and water used to be a typical recommendation for cleaning wood floors with a urethane type of finish. These days, however, most manufacturers recommend cleaners that are specifically formulated for wood floor finishes; in fact, vinegar is acidic, and using too much could damage the finish.
3. Letting your Floors Sun Bathe
Strong sunlight can fade and sometimes even weaken wood floorboards. UV damage to wood creates faded floors and color degradation from exposure to direct sunlight. The best strategy is to avoid fading with strategic placement of furniture and rugs, because, once it happens, your options for fixing it are limited.
4. Flooding Your Floors
Mopping with too much water allows the liquid to seep down into the seams of your floor and build up under your floor. Cleaning products that are applied too liberally in spots can absorb into wood, cause swelling and an uneven look over time. This can cause negative movement.
5. Steam Cleaning
Wood flooring manufacturers and finish manufacturers think steam cleaners aren’t appropriate for a wood floor; in fact, some have begun to specifically mention steam cleaners in their list of don’ts. Inspectors are also starting to come across floors that appear to have been destroyed by repeated steam cleaner use. Peeling finish, whitening finish and cloudy finish are just some of the side effects being reported by people looking at floors after steam cleaning.
6. Footprints on the Sands of your Floors
Wet shoes and feet can leave wet spots that could cause damage to the wood. In areas that experience possible damp traffic extra precautions should be taken. Repetitive damp patterns leave wet damage tracks that can resemble shoes, paws and even bare feet depending on the type of traffic.
7. Poor Pet Behavior
From their innate tendency to dig and scratch to those “little accidents” they sometimes leave behind, pooches are especially tough on our cherished hardwood floors. Pet stairs are best cleaned up right away but often these stains are only discovered after carpet or rugs have been moved. Water bowls pose a potential long-term water damage risk. Not making sure that the water bowls are not on hardwood flooring or have something under the bowls to catch drips and spills lead to damage.
8. Allowing water damage to become Mold!
Mold can live on your hardwood floors whether they are new or old. When moisture accumulates in the home or floor and has no way of being expelled, often you will see mold growth. It is important to act on mold rapidly because it is harmful to your health and it can spread rapidly.