10 Ways In Which You’re Ruining Your Wood Floor
While it’s a highly durable material that withstands high levels of foot traffic, and with a strength that enables it to retain its structural integrity for decades, wood is not invincible. Under the barrage of abuse it receives on a daily basis, it is bound to get deteriorated, hence the need for proper care. This includes cleaning, to scheduling a complete refinishing process when the existing finish treatments get dilapidated- where a floor sanding is carried out and fresh new coats are applied. There are the major blunders that cause damage to the unit, which are typically witnessed during the DIY projects. For instance, during the floor sanding one may move the sander too slow, resulting in more of the material being removed, or work with a poorly tuned machine that creates swirl marks. These are major blunders, which is why it is recommended that one seeks professional services to have the task carried out. There are also those minor oversights that are made during the day-to-day living, which negatively affect your floor. Here is a look at the common ones:
- When you bring the outdoors in
Perhaps you’ve just come from a fun day at the park, and you get into the house, tracking in the mud with you. It may be a case where the guests that you have welcomed into your home don’t find slippers to switch to, hence they remain with their shoes- spreading whatever gunk is at the bottom of the shoe soles. Your kids, wet and happy from the pool, rush into the house and form a puddle at the section where they stand and dry off. The pet that has been rummaging in the backyard brings in soiling under its paws, strutting all around the floor. That spot where you take off the rain boots after coming in from a heavy downpour, the snow that was stuck to the shoes during those cold winter months which ended up being brought into the house- these all contribute to the deterioration of the floor.
- Ignoring the walk-off mat at the front door…
Your floor needs it. A rug at the entrance into the home or business premises is key to reduce the gunk that is at the bottom of people’s shoes before they get to the floor. The soiling is gritty- like walking around with sandpaper underfoot. These particles get ground against the floor surface, contributing to the wearing down of the finish treatments that had been applied.
- …and an area rug at the sink
You already know that water is a threat to wood floors. At the sink, there are bound to be frequent splashes that get to the surrounding floor. Without an area rug, your installation is at a higher risk of damage.
- Trying to tape the rugs in place
It can be annoying when the throw rugs keep slipping underfoot. There are those who choose to use double-ended tape to hold them in place. This poses a risk to the flooring, and when pulled up it will come off with some of the finish.
- Wrong mopping technique
Working with a mop that’s soaking wet results in too much water being transferred to the wood floor, which can then seep down into the seams, building up underneath the flooring. The destabilization in moisture levels poses a threat to your installation.
- Using vinegar on the floor
Sure, vinegar is a wonder-cleaner, being used everywhere from countertops and cabinets, to working on laundry. However, when it comes to wood flooring, it does more harm than good. Using that vinegar and water mixture for your floor will dull its finish.
- Working with harsh chemicals
It’s not just vinegar that is a threat to your wood floor. Ammonia, citrus-based formulations that are popular DIY hacks, and the conventional soapy products used on other sections of the building- these can wreak havoc on your wood floor. In fact, it is particularly recommended that you use cleaning products that have been specially developed for use on wood floors. This is due to the susceptibility of the structure to pH variations, and also to avoid the applied finish treatments from being corroded.
- Skipping out on furniture pads
That heavy sofa puts a strain on the underlying floor. In addition, when people sit on it, it moves ever so slightly. This will not be obvious in the moment, but over time, that aggressive wear will be hard to miss- especially at the sections close to the furniture’s feet. Investing in furniture pads prevents this sliding action with the sofa, thus protecting your installation.
- Ignoring your pet’s claws
These are some of the most common causes of scratches on wood floors. As Fluffy runs around the house, it uses its sharp claws to create traction. While this increases its agility, it also leads to unsightly scratches all over the surface. It takes away the beauty of your installation, which is certainly not how you want things going. Routine pedicure for your furry friend- where you simply trim its claws, will go a long way in avoiding scratches being formed.
- Putting off the maintenance
Procrastination is not good for your floor. Those scratches being ignored, that dull finish that demands your attention but ends up being put on the back burner- these will accelerate the wear and damage to the floor, necessitating costly repairs down the road. Cracks and gouges developing due to heavy furniture being dragged across the floor or gaps that are a result of the routine expansion and contraction of the wood planks, solar radiation that deteriorates the finish coats that have been applied- these will all need to be addressed. As the finish treatments weaken, the underlying flooring is put at risk of anything from permanent staining to structural damage from abrasion under the everyday abuse that is meted out onto the floor. Having a floor sanding carried out, then re-staining and refinishing the surface, will revitalise your installation, providing additional protection and prolonging the life of your floor.