Hardwood floors are a sought after feature in the home, but they require a lot more work than other types of flooring. If you want them to stay looking great, you need to care for them properly and take steps to prevent damage. There are many things that can do lasting damage to your hardwood floors, meaning that you need to refinish them, which is a big job to take on.
If you have hardwood floors in your home, watch out for these 7 things that could ruin them.
A Poor Cleaning Routine
Cleaning and caring for your hardwood floors in the right way is absolutely essential. The problem is, a lot of people don’t know how to clean them properly and they end up doing more harm than good.
Sweeping your floor on a regular basis is vital because it stops dust and dirt from building up. Miniscule grains of dirt can cause scratches on the floor as people walk over it, so if you let the dirt build-up, you will soon ruin the surface of your hardwood floors.
You also need to mop the floors but you need to be careful about how you do it. Always check the labels on cleaning products to ensure that they are suitable for wooden flooring. Anything too harsh could discolor or warp the wood. Too much moisture is very bad for wood too, so use a mop that is only slightly damp and don’t let water sit on the floor for too long before drying it.
As long as you keep up with a good cleaning routine and avoid excess moisture, your hardwood floors should stay in good condition.
Moving furniture around on hardwood floors can leave deep scratches that are almost impossible to get rid of. Even if you sand the floors back and varnish them again, you may not be able to get rid of especially deep scratches without replacing the board. Even if you are not moving furniture around, this still happens when you sit down on the sofa because it shifts slightly, causing the legs to make small scratches in the floor. Over time, this will lead to some big marks on the floor that are tough to remove. The good news is, there is a very simple solution to this problem; furniture pads. They cost next to nothing and they easily fit under the legs on your furniture to prevent any scratches.
The Wrong Rug
Rugs are a simple way to protect your floors and add a bit of warmth in the winter. However, if you choose the wrong rug, you could do damage to the wood. Rubber-backed rugs are not good for wooden flooring, especially those with a glossy finish. The rubber will cause a lot of friction, which dulls the shine and can cause some discoloration. So, when looking for area rugs for your room, always choose ones with a felt backing that won’t damage your floors. Combination rubber and felt are the best because your rug won’t slide around but your floor will be protected.
Pests are one of the biggest killers of hardwood floors and when you have an infestation, they can do some serious damage in a very short space of time. Termites are one of the most common pests that affect people with hardwood floors because they chew through wood at an incredible pace. Once they are in your home, it’s vital that you call in a termite control service immediately because they won’t just go through your floors, they’ll go through every wooden fixture in your home and can even cause serious structural damage. There are a few common signs of termites you should be on the lookout for. Firstly, blistering in your wooden flooring can indicate that termites are burrowing underneath. Any hollow sounding wooden fixtures in the home have probably been attacked already. Be on the lookout for mud tubes and small droppings too. As soon as you notice any of these signs, call out an exterminator right away before it’s too late for your hardwood floors.
Wearing Shoes In The House
Some people take their shoes off inside the house and some people don’t, it’s just a matter of personal preference. But if you have hardwood floors, it’s best to take them off. Wearing heavy shoes with mud and dirt from outside makes your cleaning routine more difficult and increases the risk of scratches. Certain shoes, like high heels, can do extra damage to the floors because they have points on them. So, it’s best to keep your shoes off inside the house or at the very least, put a mat by the door so you can wipe off excess dirt before standing on the floor.
Pets With Long Claws
Anybody with a pet knows that they make your home cleaning and maintenance routine more difficult. Dogs and cats shed a lot of hair, which plays havoc with carpets, but have you considered what their claws might do to hardwood floors. If your pets have long claws and they are skidding around on your hardwood floors, they’ll soon get scratched up. Trimming your pet’s claws is an important part of their care routine, so make sure you keep up with it, especially if you want to protect your hardwood floors.
Spills And Stains
One of the reasons people like hardwood floors is that they won’t stain like a carpet if you spill something on them. The thing is, hardwood floors are not completely immune to stains and if you leave liquid sitting on them for too long, it will soak into the wood. You can’t avoid spills completely, but if you do spill something, mop it up straight away and wipe the area down with a damp cloth before it can stain.
Hardwood floors can quickly start looking dull and scratched if you don’t care for them properly. A good cleaning routine is absolutely essential if you want to maintain them. You also need to avoid these common hazards that could completely ruin your hardwood flooring.