How to clean & maintain hardwood flooring
Getting hardwood flooring would be one of the best investments for your home, especially in Malaysia where flooring getting scratched by shoes is almost a non-existent concern, as it is customary to take shoes off before walking into houses; as with everything else, maintenance will be required if it were to last, and here are the points to take note of.
- Clean your hardwood floor at least once a week, by dust-mopping, sweeping or vacuuming with a floor-brush attachment.
- Clean spills of any kind immediately if possible.
- Use wood-cleaning products at least once in two months to remove dirt, oil, and grime build up. Rinse with water only if the product requires it.
- Place doormats and rugs at entrances and high traffic areas to reduce dirt and moisture falling onto the flooring itself, especially where water could be splashed easily.
- Regularly trim nails and claws of pets to reduce chances of floor scratches.
- Avoid rolling heavy appliances and furniture on the floor if possible.
- Use window treatments or install blinds and curtains to avoid exposing your hardwood floor to sunlight.
- Use ammonia based cleaners, wax based products, detergents, bleach, oil or abrasive cleaning soaps or acidic materials for cleaning, as they would damage the finish.
- Use more water than necessary for cleaning and let it sit for prolonged periods.
- Allow furniture with rough and sharp tips to sit on the floor.
- Use mats and rugs non-ventilated materials, like rubber and plastic, which trap moisture.
- Use vacuums with beater bars or hard heads.
In the event where your hardwood flooring deteriorates into a less-than-desirable state, here are some measures you can take depending on severity. Should your hardwood floor begin to look old, dull and lacklustre as in some old, poorly maintained wooden building, consider the screening and re-coating method, which is done by grinding down your floor's polyurethane finish, then applying fresh coats of urethane.
Should the damage to your hardwood floor be severe enough that screening and re-coating prove inadequate; you should take it further and consider sanding and refinishing. This is done by your floor down to the bare wood and refinishing it altogether.
Take these pointers in mind and abide by them steadfastly, and the hardwood flooring in your home would remain in good, if not newly installed, conditions for years, even decades down the road.