Wood Floor Acclimation
Caring for your hardwood floors is piece of cake when you know what to use (and what not to use) and how to do it. Long gone are the days of slaving away on hands and knees, scrubbing or waxing the hardwoods. It is important however to understand the right way to take care of your floor, because mistakes can be costly.For starters, let’s assume that your floors have been recently refinished and they look great.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN THE FLOORS?
This one is simple…as often as you like. There is no pressing need to clean them once a week, unless you have a busy home with lots of traffic. What you want to avoid is dirt/particles that will abrade the floors finish under foot traffic.
WHAT SHOULD I USE TO CLEAN THE FLOORS?
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CLEANING THAT I SHOULD DO?
Most of the time, it is sufficient to simply dry mop the floor to keep them particulate free. My favourite type of mop is called a Microfibermob, that has some type of electrostatic charge that attracts dust, pet hair, etc.
Should you have scuffs/spills etc. that require wet cleaning, you can simply wipe those spots with a water damped towel (add a little dish soap to warm water for a better cleaner) and then continue to dry mop the floor.
Every other week or so it makes sense to wet mop the entire floor, but make sure to follow these important rules for wet mopping:
1) No wax or oils – waxes and oils (Murphy’s Oil Soap) leave a film/residue/build on your floors that becomes unsightly after several applications. Moreover, the residue makes it very difficult and often impossible to re-coat the floors in the future – We will talk more about re-coating floors a little later.
2) Don’t clean with vinegar…I don’t care what your mom says! Vinegar mixed with water is a proven cleaner that really works. It works so well that it eats right through polyurethane. Cleaning with Vinegar and Water is not necessary and too abrasive.
3) Products that advertise that they will bring back that illustrious”shine” to your floors DON’T WORK and will screw up your floors! I’m not kidding here, and there are dozens of products on the shelves everywhere that people are putting on there floors to try and bring back the shine. If the shine is gone, call a flooring pro!
We can clean, screen and re-coat your floors for less money than most people spend on cleaning carpets. 4) When I say wet mop, that doesn’t mean an old school mop and bucket. DO NOT allow standing water on the floor. Remember when you were a teenager working at Taco Bell (guess where I worked as a teenager) and it was your turn to clean the lobby after the store closed? That type of mopping is not what you want to do to your floors at home. When I say wet mop, I mean a damp mop, and again, not the old-school type.
HOW LONG WILL MY FLOORS LAST BEFORE THEY NEED TO BE REFINISHED?
The answer here will totally shock most of you…if you follow the simple cleaning instructions above, and have your floors re-coated every 1-3 years, you may NEVER need to refinish your floors.
Now, if you would like to change the color of your floors, you will have to have them sanded, but assuming you like the color they are now, we can help you keep them looking great indefinitely.
If you never have the floors re-coated, they should last 2-20 years, depending on traffic. I know this is a wide range, but traffic really does vary a ton from house to house. If you live in a house where every square inch of the wood is covered with soft-backed areas rugs, you have no kids/pets and you never wear shoes in the home, theoretically these floors will last forever. In my house – 5 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat and Dad is The Flooring Guy, so he can fix them, which means I can ride my bike and roller blades through the house at will – every 12 months they need to re-coated.
PLEASE TELL ME WHAT THIS RE-COAT THING IS…I’M CLUELESS
May I start by saying it is virtually painless, if you hire the right company to do it. In almost every home we work in, this procedure takes less than a day. We take care of all the furniture. You are back on the floors 2-3 hours after we are done. No sanding, no mess. If done at the right intervals, they will look like they did the last time they were refinished.Basically, what we are doing is scuffing the finish and applying a new top coat of water-based polyurethane. This will address most, if not all of the scratches in the existing finish (provided you haven’t dropped an anvil on the floor, and you are having this service done at regular intervals).
And the best part is that this service typically costs about a third of what a full refinish costs. In most US markets, this service costs $1.25 to $1.75 a square foot. So, for less money than what the average household spends on carpet cleaning each year, you can keep your hardwood floors looking great by having them CLEANED, SCREENED AND RE-COATED every 1-3 years by a local hardwood flooring professional. In and around Denver and Houston, your choice is simple: Proworks Flooring!