Taking Care Of Your Wood Floor After It Has Been Refinished
Floor sanding and restoration is one of the massive home improvement projects. A lot goes into the process, thus the need to hire professionals for the task. From the heavy machinery involved to the skill required to ensure that a uniform surface is obtained from the floor sanding, and that the coats of finish are applied properly for optimal bonding with the wood structure, it’s an intricate balancing act all through. During this time the floor will be out of commission. When handled as a DIY project, it can take over a week, and come with a whole range of frustrations for the individual. On the other hand, the professionals can complete the task in a fraction of that time, while ensuring that quality results have been optioned from the process.
After the pros have worked on your floor and normalcy has been restored into the establishment, you shouldn’t neglect the floor. While wood itself is durable, and the finish coats are formulated to increase the protection to the underlying structure, it doesn’t mean that the floor is now invincible. It comes under attack from lots of angles, ranging to everyday foot traffic, to spillages and effects of solar radiation. Neglect will cause the floor to deteriorate fast, while proper care will enable you to enjoy it for longer. In fact, when properly taken care of, it can be over 7 – 10 years before another round of floor sanding and refinishing is required. Let’s break down what you should keep an eye out for, and the measures that should be put in place.
Protecting The Wood Floor
The goal is to prolong the life of the installation, and avoid unnecessary wear and tear. Here are issues that you should take note of when caring for your wood flooring:
- The dusting and vacuuming
To get rid of the dust particles that build up on the floor surface around the clock, give it regular passes with the broom or a dust mop. When these particles are allowed to continue accumulating, they will be abraded against the wood itself especially under foot traffic. In case you want to vacuum, you should use the bare floor setting.
Stick to floor cleaning solutions that have been specifically formulated for use on wood. You don’t want to damage the finish because of relying on harsh chemicals that attack its structure, especially abrasive agents. Sure, some of the messes will need powerful cleaners to break them down, but reaching for that bleach or ammonia-based solution can wreak havoc on your wood. The pH of the solution being used is key. Your safest bet is using wood floor cleaning products, whose chemical composition enables them to deal with the grime without posing a risk to the floor itself.
Note that the mops being used for the cleaning should just be damp. Wring them out before proceeding to mop the floor. This is because of the wood’s hygroscopic nature that causes it to absorb or lose moisture from its immediate environment depending on the moisture gradient. Certainly, when the mop is soaking wet, the excess moisture will be absorbed by the wood, and this can lead to an assortment of water damage problems, from cupping and warping, to intensifying the seasonal changes that lead to issues like gaps forming between the planks of wood. In addition to this, it is recommended that you avoid steam mops, as these can also lead to the finish becoming dull.
This should be done as soon as possible. The longer that you allow liquids to remain on the wood surface, the more the amount that slowly gets absorbed – which even makes the stain more difficult to remove. From drink spills to issues like urine stains, you should get them handled immediately they are noticed, in order to protect your wood. Additionally, having the floor treated with lacquers or varnishes that have strain-resisting attributes will boost the protection of your floor. These formulations prevent the spills from being readily absorbed by the wood, giving you more time to clean them up. However, just because the finish product has been applied on the floor does not mean that you would let the spills remain for long on it. Sure, over time there will be a couple of permanent stains that have formed due to the numerous spills witnessed over the years. Fortunately, you can still give your wood floor a new look and feel. Here, have the floor sanding carried out to remove the old finish coats, then have the new treatments applied.
Products have their intended purposes. Furniture polish is meant for the furniture – not your wood floor. There have been specially developed wood floor treatment products, including wood stains, lacquers and varnishes. It’s not just about the looks. Slip resistance is a core factor in the products. Furniture polish will make the floor too slippery, affecting normal usage.
- In order to reduce the amount of debris that is being brought into the house, it is recommended that you use throw rugs or mats at the doorway. That way, people can scrape off the grime that is under their shoes before proceeding to get into the house.
- Speaking of shoes in the house, it is further recommended that you get your family members and guests to switch to slippers or indoor sandals. Position these at the entrance of the house, that way they can take off their shoes and put on the indoor footwear, which reduces the amount of grime that eventually gets tracked onto your floor.
- Get stick-on felt protectors for the furniture. These are put under the legs of the sofas, dining sets, tables and other furniture in order to protect the underlying wood floor from scratching and scuffing.
- Whenever you want to move the furniture, it should be lifted and shifted, as opposed to being dragged across the floor.