Hardwood floors have been installed in homes, it seems, since the beginning of time. You can see why: they’re beautiful, stunning, a selling feature, and the source of many compliments. Hardwoods are also a considerable investment, which is why it should be the goal of every homeowner to keep their floors looking like the day they were installed.
Keep the grit and water away.
There are two enemies of hardwood floors: debris and water. Debris (think stones, gravel, and other debris that gets tracked in) can scratch your floor. Water can warp and leave permanent water stains (as well as doing long-term damage). If you want to keep your hardwoods from getting damaged from either of these culprits, prevent the damage before it occurs. Place rugs by all your exterior doors to catch all the debris and water that your pets, family, and guests track in.
If you would rather that your family and guests leave their shoes by the door, provide adequate space for their shoes in an organized mud room. Train your pets to stop inside the door so you can wipe off their paws before they run onto your hardwoods.
Regularly sweep and dry mop your floors.
For any grit and water that slips past your rugs, follow a regular schedule of sweeping and dry mopping your floors. If you see a water spill, dry it up immediately; never leave water sitting on your hardwoods, which can warp or stain the wood.
If you want to use a vacuum cleaner, stop in at your local flooring store and ask for recommendations for a vacuum cleaner that won’t damage the floor or void the warranty. Some flooring manufacturers won’t honor the warranty if you don’t use a vacuum they recommend.
Be careful with a steam cleaner.
Steam cleaners may seem like the answer to your hardwood deep cleaning, but proceed with caution. Because steam cleaners use steam (water!) to clean the floors, they can cause unforeseen damage to the wood. Any damage from a steam cleaner is usually not covered under the warranty by the flooring manufacturer.
Schedule a regular deep cleaning for your hardwoods.
Even with the most consistent hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance, hardwood floors can still develop a coating of dirt and grime. You may not even notice it, but it still needs to be removed for the long-term health of your floors. Schedule a regular hardwood floor deep cleaning to remove any dirt, allergens, or residue. Deep cleaning your hardwood floors can also restore the shine of your floors and make them look brand new again—just like the day your floors were installed.