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Hardwood Floor Care

Preventative Maintenance

  1. Use throw rugs or area rugs inside and outside doorways to collect soil before it is tracked onto the wood floor. This helps prevent soil build-up, as well as scratching and scuffing. Avoid the use of rugs with a latex coated backing over wood floors as the preservatives used in the latex can sometimes discolor wood floors. Do not use rubber mats over wood floors.
  2. Avoid walking on wood floors with cleats, sports shoes, golf shoes and high heels. This kind of impact can leave indentations in the floor. If you have dogs, keep their toenails neatly trimmed short. Long toenails can scratch and abrade the finish on a wood floor, as well as leave indentations.
  3. Do not use wax finishes on wood floors. Wax finishes dull quickly and require more frequent and expensive maintenance. Once a wood floor has had a wax finish applied, no other kind of finish can be applied without sanding.
  4. Use soft plastic or fabric protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. When moving heavy furniture across a wood floor, do not slide it. Either lift the furniture totally off the floor or use protective skids or glides.
  5. Protect wood floors near the kitchen sink from spills and over-sprays.
  6. Using a humidifier, particularly in cold, dry climates, in the winter months will help protect your wood floor from shrinkage.

Regular Maintenance

  1. Sweep with a soft bristle broom, dust mop and/or vacuum (with a soft floor attachment) your wood floor on a frequent basis.
  2. Avoid wet mopping a wood floor. Too much water can dull the finish, potentially damage the wood floor, or leave a discoloring residue.
  3. Use only cleaning products specifically designed for wood floors. The highest quality and safest wood floor cleaners are available exclusively from your wood floor care professional. Do not use cleaning solutions designed for other flooring surfaces such as vinyl or tile. They can damage your wood floor finish and cause the floor to become dull and slippery.
  4. Wipe up all spills immediately. Your protective finish should protect your wood floor from most stains caused by spilled liquids as long as you wipe them up rapidly. In the event of a stubborn spot, use your professional wood floor cleaner. If a spot or stains persists after applying wood floor cleaner, consult your wood floor care professional.
  5. Clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaner. Use a slightly moist or near dry mop or absorbent towel to apply and remove the cleaner.

Restorative Maintenance

  1. When cleaning the floor no longer restores the shine, call your floor care professional for refinishing and/or preservation re-coating services. Make sure that your floor care professional offers dustless wood floor cleaning and preservation refinishing as an option to sanding and refinishing the floor.
  2. The frequency of required preservation re-coating or refinishing depends upon how well you have employed preventative maintenance procedures. It also depends upon the amount and type of soil and traffic that the floor has been subjected to.
  3. In most cases, it is not advisable to refinish or re-coat your wood floor with finishes available from your flooring retailer or home improvement center. In order for a new finish to properly adhere to an old finish to achieve the desired results, special agitation brushes are used by a trained floor care professional.
  4. Most wood floors require the application of a professional preservation wood floor finish by a trained floor care professional every eighteen months to three years. Professional floor care professionals have higher quality, more durable finishes, as well as the right kinds of application equipment.
  5. As a general rule, avoid the application of high gloss commercial wood floor finishes to residential wood floors as the glare can be annoying and the appearance too difficult to maintain. A matte or semi-gloss finish is almost always preferred.
  6. Some scratches and indentations in a wood floor can be corrected by a trained wood floor care professional using special repair putties and/or crayons. Some deep scratches and discolorations can only be corrected by sanding and refinishing the floor. In addition, if a wood floor has been worn completely off, refinishing is not a viable option. In these cases, complete sanding and refinishing may be required. Your trained floor care professional can consult with you on these matters.
  7. If your wood floor is exposed to flooding, water intrusion, or water damage, contact your floor care professional immediately. Many wood floors can be effectively dried without cupping or buckling if a trained, certified water damage restoration professional employs the use of professional floor drying equipment as soon after the water intrusion occurs as possible.

Copyright 1999, Revised 2005 – Hydro-Force. All rights reserved.