VAN RENSBURG WOOD FLOORING EST 1987
Maintenance of Wood Flooring
HOW TO CARE FOR SOLID HARDWOOD FLOORS
Solid hardwood floors repay a little care with a lifetime of value. When you first glimpse a solid hardwood floor, you sense richness, warmth and natural beauty. Gradually, you get to know its distinct personality, visual harmonies, the traces of history of the forest and in your home.
Take a closer look. Appreciate the colour and pattern of the floor’s strips, planks or parquetry. Read the grain: Is it bold-textured oak? Subdued maple or cherry? Check the condition of the underlying wood and the finish that protects it. Are there signs of neglect to erase (it’s not difficult), or do you see a well-tended surface that needs just a light touch to maintain it? Nature’s diversity lets you create dramatic looks with unique textures, colours, patterns and styles of solid hardwood flooring
PROTECT YOUR SOLID INVESTMENT
Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. Protect their warmth and character with simple, everyday cleaning techniques. It’s important to know how to prevent damage to your solid hardwood floors.
DIRT and GRIT : Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floor’s worst enemies. They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage.
WATER AND OTHER SPILLS : Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they happen.
HARD CLEANERS : Avoid oil soaps. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors are recommended.
FURNITURE : Lift the furniture to move it as opposed to dragging the furniture. Felt-contacts under the legs will help to prevent scratches.
DENTS : Vacuum with a brush attachment. Rather don’t use vacuums with beater bars.
SUN : Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect the floor from the sun’s intense UV rays.
Oak and maple are the most popular hardwoods used in flooring. Ash, beech, birch, cherry, hickory and walnut are other favorites for floors and decorative accents.
WHAT TYPE OF FINISH DOES YOUR FLOOR HAVE?
Surface Finishes: (pre-finished floors, polyurethane, water-based urethane and catalyzed)
Nearly all floors installed today have surface finishes, mostly polyurethane. They are often glossy and may look like a layer of clear plastic on top of the wood. A small amount of paint remover in an inconspicuous area of the floor will cause the surface finish to bubble (unless it is a water-based urethane, in which case there will be no reaction). Surface finishes shield floors from harm by forming a protective layer on top of the wood.
(acrylics, oils and waxes)
Oils and waxes usually have a satin or matte finish. If you can feel the wood grain when you run your hand across the surface, it’s most likely a penetrating seal. Paint remover will have no effect on a penetrating seal, but wax stripper or ammonia will soften and whiten the surface. Oils and waxes penetrate the surface of the floor protecting the wood from within.
Brooms with fine, exploded ends trap dust and grit effectively.
Canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments are the surest way to get rid of all the dirt and dust.
Use a good dust mop (one with a 12″ to 18″ cotton head) and a special dust mop treatment. Spray the treatment onto the mop head 12 to 24 hours before dust mopping.
DOES YOUR FLOOR LOOK NEW OR OLD?
Perhaps your hardwood floors were installed just a few years ago, but you life and living have taken their toll and now they look old. What can you do? Before you do anything, check the condition of the finish and the wood to see whether they need special cleaning or more involved repair.
WHAT CONDITION IS YOUR FLOOR IN?
Follow these steps to evaluate the condition of your hardwood floor and its finish.
Finish Condition: Has the finish been worn off or is it just dirty? See if the finish is dull, chipped, scraped or gouged. To test if the finish has worn off, begin in a high-traffic area and pour one to two tablespoons of water onto the floor. If the water soaks in immediately and leaves a darkened spot, the finish is worn and water can damage the wood. If the water soaks in after a few minutes and darkens the wood only slightly, the finish is partially worn. If the water beads on top, the surface is properly sealed. Repeat this test in low- and medium-traffic areas.
Wood Condition: If the finish is worn, the wood may have been damaged. Are there stains, burns, cuts, gouges, holes, cracks or warped boards? If the wood is damaged, repair or replacement may be required before you deep clean your floor or apply a maintenance coat.