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Monthly Archive June 2013

Protecting your Hardwood Flooring

For cleaning, make sure you…

  • Use a soft cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your floor.
  • Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt or grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.

While cleaning is easy, there are a few things to avoid:

  • Don’t use oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners.
  • Don’t use steel wool or scouring powder.
  • Don’t wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, de-lamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Don’t use any type of buffing machine.
  •  For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Do not use any type of buffing machine.

Use protective mats

Good quality entry and exit mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that can otherwise be tracked onto your flooring. Do not use rubber- or foam-backed plastic mats as they may discolor the flooring. To prevent slippage, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.

Use floor protectors on furniture

Use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector should be.

Maintain relative humidity level

Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35 and 55% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of wood.

  • Heating Season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
  • Non Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier or periodically turning on your heating system can maintain humidity during the summer months. Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.

Watch your feet

Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on the floor. They many cause indentations in your flooring.

Watch your pet’s feet

Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to keep them from scratching your flooring.

Rearrange your rugs and furniture

Periodically rearranging your area rugs and furniture will allow the flooring to age evenly. Exposure to the sun and its UV rays will soften the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees and accelerate the oxidation and aging of wood. This can cause the stain and/wood to fade and/or change color. Exotic species such as Brazilian Cherry are more susceptible to color change during the aging process and may actually darken over time. Other species such as Merabu, Pine, Oak and Cherry may also darken over time.