Hardwood Floor Protection 101
Inside this Article:In order to find out how to protect your hardwood floors, it’s imperative that you first know what the potential damage causes are.
There are 5 things that will be your main enemies throughout your floor’s life, namely: dirt, dust, spills, sunlight and water. Let’s cover each of these factors and see how you can get some hardwood floor protection against them.
DirtDirt is usually brought onto the hardwood floor by shoes, when you or your guests walk straight in the room, after being outdoors. Dirt does not only look nasty on the floor, it also has a damaging effect that you’ll want to be protecting your hardwood floors from.
One additional problem that dirt brings into the equation is the difficulty with which you can clean it. You’ll either have to use something to scratch it off, potentially scratching the floor itself in the process, or mop it off, which is not always very effective and may also damage your floors if you use excessive water.
Your best bet in protecting hardwood floors against dirt is to stop the dirt from getting on them in the first place.
Obviously, if we’re not talking about a home-installed floor and the hardwood in question is set in a commercial space where hundreds of people walk on each day, this is rather difficult. In this case, it’s important to sweep your floor regularly and not let the dirt solidify, because it will be harder to remove afterwards.
DustIt’s inevitable to get dust from settling in on your floors, so it’s improper to talk about wood floor protection against dust. Rather, we can talk about wood floor protection against the effects of dust.
Vacuuming, sweeping and occasionally mopping the floor will make sure the dust doesn’t have time to settle in and start its corrosive and aging effects.
Especially in a household or in an office, spills are inevitable and it’s usually your hardwood floor that takes most of the beating.
One simple solution for hardwood floor protection against spills is to install mats around the areas that are bound to get spills (such as around a table, around a counter and so forth). If a spill still occurs, it’s best to try and absorb it rather than going for the sweeper.
WaterWater, like any liquid, has a negative effect on hardwood floors, as it makes them swell up and contract down, which can push the floor into the side walls, creating cracks.
Unlike your regular spill, water usually gets on the floor by 2 means: either you try to clean your floor and use too much water on your mop, or the water gets in contact with the floor from outside (rain for example).
Your best means for hardwood floor protection is simply making sure no water gets in contact directly with the floor and stays there for more than a couple of minutes.
Even after you wipe the floor with a mop, make sure there’s no water left when you’re done. If there is, absorb it with a cloth, or with a specialized material.
SunlightSunlight affects only some parts of the floor, but its effects are quite nasty. Sunlight causes discoloration, some types of woods lightening up under direct ultraviolet rays, while others darken up.
In both cases, you get an aging look to your hardwood floor. Protection comes from the windows first, so the more exposed your floor is to direct sunlight coming through the windows, the harder you’ll have to work to protect it.
If the room’s design allows it, try covering the area that gets exposed for the most time, with a mat or some furniture that will take the beating instead.
Let's talk about the enemies of hardwood floors...
What damages have your hardwood floor sustained over the years and what steps did you take to repair the damages?
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