5 ways to maintain beautiful hardwood floors

Phantom Screens / May 30, 2016

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Hardwood flooring is a durable and stylish design choice for your home, but requires consistent maintenance that other flooring types don’t need.

Make sure you’re correctly cleaning and repairing your floors with these tips:

1. Block the sun

The sun’s UV rays are harmful for many of the items in your house like fabric, rugs, art and wood. To help maintain the color and radiance of your wood floors, consider installing Phantom’s motorized screens. Unless you’re home all the time, you may not be able to lower the screens when the sun is streaming in through the windows. Pair your screens with a sun sensor, which lowers the screens when it detects a pre-set intensity of sunlight.

If you have a rug on top of a section of your floor, be sure to move it around couple of times a year. If the sun starts to fade the floors, the area under the rug will have been protected. This leaves a patch of darker wood surrounded by faded areas. By moving the rug, you allow the wood to age at the same rate as the rest of the floor.

2. Keep a steady temperature and humidity level

Both moisture and temperature can expand or contract the wood, which can cause splitting over time. The best way to prevent this natural occurrence is to control the temperature and humidity inside your house. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to create a pre-set temperature that doesn’t vary. Avoid constantly changing the temperature in your home, as it will affect the wood.

For controlling moisture in your home, consider installing both a humidifier and dehumidifier. The dry months of winter can contract your wood floor, but using a humidifier will put water back into the air. If too much moisture is the problem, a dehumidifier is a better choice.

3. Check for cupping

You won’t be able to completely control the atmosphere in your home, so it’s natural for some changes to occur in your hardwood floors. Cupping happens when the wood expands or contracts, pushing some areas of the floor upward. Pay attention to small changes in the wood so that you can repair them before the damage is too great to fix.

4. Prevent scratches

Sliding furniture and high heel shoes can easily damage your hardwood floors. You can prevent scratches by using area rugs, but remember to move the carpet every now and then. You can also attach small felt pads to the bottom of your furniture so that they glide along the floor rather than scratch it.

5. Clean frequently

The more you clean, the longer your floors will last. The easiest way to prevent additional scratching is to sweep frequently. Dust and other particles get stepped on and pushed around the wood floors, eventually leaving small marks.

Mopping is a great way to keep your floors clean, but it should be done with the proper supplies and as little water as possible. Excess moisture can soak into the wood and cause it to expand, so make sure to wring your mop well before placing it on the ground. Use nontoxic and pH neutral cleaners to wash the floor as other varieties can break down the sealant leaving the wood exposed.