Hardwood floors have always been an asset in any place. Chances are your guests and customers love them. But caring for and maintaining wood floors can be tricky. In this article, we’ll explain how to properly care for your hardwood floors in order to reduce involved and expensive fixes down the road. We’ll also explain how to refinish your hardwood floors when the time comes.
Hardwood Floor Maintenance
Here are a few rules of thumb for caring for your hardwood floors.
- Sweep regularly. One of the simplest and quickest ways to keep your floor looking its best is to sweep or vacuum it regularly. This will reduce the amount of small debris that can scuff the floor, especially in high-traffic areas. Just be careful to use brooms and vacuum brushes that do not damage hardwood. You should also consider using a floor treatment to reduce the amount of dust that gathers on the floor (see below).
- Clean scuffs and heel marks when you see them on a regular basis. Scuffs and heel marks are unavoidable, but removing them from the floor as soon as you see them will prevent permanent damage, or at least damage that is more difficult to remove later on. To keep scuff marks off the floor, clean the wood floor monthly with an appropriate cleaner.
- Avoid the wrong cleaning products. Not all floor cleaning products are meant to be used on hardwood floors. Avoid cleaning products that are silicon-based, such as silicon-based waxes, polishes, or oils. Only use cleaning products designed especially for hardwood floors.
- Repair scratches as they happen. Scratches are unavoidable, but fortunately they can be repaired. One great way to repair a wood floor is with a walnut or pecan (both are soft nuts that contain a lot of oil). Gently rub the walnut or pecan into the scratch on the wood and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. The wood will absorb oil from the nut. Then use a soft cloth to wipe the surface of the wood.
- Avoid cleaning with or exposing wood to excess water. It’s ok to use a damp cloth to clean your wooden floors. But allowing liquid puddles to form and stay on your wooden floors or cleaning with soaking wet clothes will warp and damage your floors. Use a dry cloth that contains only your cleaning product. A damp cloth for cleaning up messes is ok. Otherwise, avoid using water on your wooden floors.
Preventing Dust and Weekly Maintenance
Each week, use an appropriate cleaning product to clean your wood floors and keep the looking shiny and attractive. One great product for use on wood floors is Worldwide Janitor’s Floor Oil, an oil-based treatment specifically for wood surfaces. Apply using a dust mop or a cloth, then leave it to soak into the wood.
You can also use a commercial product to reduce the amount of dust on your wooden floors. It will prevent damage and add shine. Worldwide Janitor’s Dust n’ More works to reduce dust and keep your floors looking clean.
How to Refinish Hardwood Floors
Despite good maintenance, you may at some point need to refinish your hardwood floors. This is an involved and somewhat expensive process, so regular cleanings are important to help reduce the frequency of refinishing.
Should you need to refinish your wood floors, follow these steps:
- Remove all furniture, light fixtures, trim, and anything else that could be damaged by the wood finish.
- Seal all vents, windows, electrical outlets, and other openings to avoid damaging them.
- Sweep the floor thoroughly to remove any dust that might be on the floor.
- Sand the floor manually or with an electric sander. Since you will hopefully only be performing this process no more than every several years, it might be best to rent an electric sander to make the process more thorough. While this will also be more labor intensive, make sure you have someone who knows how to operate a sanding machine before you commit to this route.
- Begin sanding first in an inconspicuous area in case there is a problem. Then, begin sanding the room from the middle moving outward to the walls.
- Repeat sanding until the floor is level, all scratches are removed, or other unsightly blemishes are gone.
- Vacuum or sweep again thoroughly. Wipe the surface with a dry rag or cloth.
- Apply a floor sealant. Follow the directions on the label carefully.
- Finally, apply the finish in thin coats, being careful to follow the instructions on the label.
Beautiful hardwood floors will not stay beautiful on their own, but with just a little preventative maintenance and infrequent updates and finishes, you can have hardwood floors in your facility that you are proud of. Get all the products you need to maintain hardwood floors from Worldwide Janitor.