Wood floors ought to last for many years and stay splendid with proper care and maintenance. This entirely depends with the type of surface finish. Finishing is the process of protecting a wooden surface against exposure to environmental factors such as moisture, humidity, wear and tear.
Unfinished wood surfaces lacks a protective seal and are highly exposed and therefore hard to maintain. When exposed to water or moisture, the wood easily grays, warp or. Finished hardwood floors on the other hand are easy to clean and maintain due to a protective seal on the surface.
Wood floor finishing is mainly done after installing the floor boards or wood planks. It is usually an involving process where a sealant substance is added on the surface to protect the underneath wood. Urethane sealants are commonly used in modern wood flooring.
To save on time and even cost, manufacturers decided to do the whole process of finishing the wood before it is installed. Such flooring is called prefinished, and it will not require any finishing treatment after installation. It comes in various colors and design and shapes where you can choose from.
To maintain the sheen and make them remain intact for all years, prefinished hardwood floors should be cleaned on regular basis using the right cleaners and protected from scratching as well. Therefore, how do you deep clean prefinished hardwood floors?
1. Use a microfiber material to clean dust, pet hair and debris
Dry mopping with a microfiber mop or cloth on a regular basis keeps your floor clean without causing any damage. Microfiber materials are soft, easily attracts and collect dust, debris and completely remove pet hair form a hardwood floors.
Failure to clean on regular basis makes tracked in soil to scratch the finish and no sooner you realize it is already late. Fixing scratches in hardwood floors is a really hard task. Dirt and grime can also dull the finish and will also give you tough times when you are deep cleaning your prefinished wood floor.
Sweeping can also be done using a soft bristle broom that is gentle on the surface. Avoid using traditional broom with hard bristles which can create scuff marks on the surface and make dust and hair to fly everywhere in the house.
Vacuuming could also be a good option but only once in a while. A vacuum with a soft brush hard floor attachment is ideal. Those with beater bar will cause scratches and minor damages to the floor. Robotic vacuums are also the best due to convenience of use.
2. Deep cleaning with a cleaner recommended by the manufacturer
Most commercial cleaners have a dulling effect on hardwood floors. Others contain harsh chemical ingredients that are not safe. The wood manufacturer will always recommend the best cleaner for a prefinished hardwood floors which is gentle on finish and effective in dealing with dirt.
Deep cleaning once in a while or on monthly basis helps in disinfecting the wood floor surface by killing household germs and bacterial. This will also remove sticky dirt and in the process you will also be dealing with stains and lighter scratches.
When mopping with a recommended cleaner, remember to completely wring out the solution to avoid leaving the cleaner or water standing on the surface. After mopping, dry the surface using a dry towel or rinse the cleaner as advised. Water easily destroys wood floors by penetrating through the wood seams and causing warping of the wood.
Steam mops designed for hardwood can also be used for deep cleaning. Steam naturally sanitizes floor surface at the same time clearing dirt and grime. The high temperature of steam will kill 99.9% of bacteria and germs during mopping.
Steam mop can damage your prefinished wood floor is incorrectly used. You should be very cautious when you opt for this method. While using, you should set the machine to produce only dry steam which can dry faster without endangering the wood.
Do not keep the steamer at one point on surface for longer, keep it moving. A lot of heat or moisture will be dispensed at that particular point and cause damage. Consider using a microfiber cleaning pad with the steamer to create a barrier that reduces chances of too much water getting on floor.
Care and Maintenance of a Prefinished Wood Floor
Apart from cleaning, how do you ensure that your prefinished wood floor is staying beautiful before you think of refinishing? With proper care and maintenance, the finish can stay shiny and intact for years to come. Although due to normal wear and tear you may want to refinish.
Refinishing is usually done after 5 to 10 years. This is to reinstate a new look of a wood floor. The old protective later is sanded and removed and a new one is applied. Wood floor polishing with the right product is the best alternative to refinishing in terms of cost and time.
Here are further tips:
- Using only recommended cleaning products will make your floor to maintain its sheen and remain intact for many years.
- Regular cleaning and possibly on daily basis based on high traffic in your house. Use a microfiber dust mop or a soft bristle broom.
- When deep cleaning, do not leave any water standing on your floor. Damp mop and dry with a dry towel.
- Avoid spills and stains from drying out on your floor. Removing them immediately is easier and safe to the floor finish.
- Place door mats at the entrance of your house to avoid tracked in soil and moisture from outside.
- Avoid dragging heavy objects on the surface to prevent scuff marks on the floor. Place protective pads under the legs of your furniture.
- Use rags in areas with high traffic such as areas where kids play or study from.
- Pet owners should groom their furry friends by bathing, cutting long claws and brushing to avoid hair from piling on the floor.
- Do not use any product you have no knowledge about on your floors. It can either harm you or have detrimental effects on your floors.
- Before trying out any new idea, always test on a small hidden area of the surface before you go full blast on entire floor.
Hardwood flooring is a pricey investment happening in most modern homes. Apart from creating elegant appearance in your house, wood is natural and safe. To add on that, it is can last as long as you wish. What is important is proper care and maintenance with the right products and techniques.