Hardwood floors are, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful and durable flooring options out there ? and they can also add a great deal to the resale value of your home! Like any other home investment, however, they do require routine upkeep to keep them looking their best. If you have no idea what you are doing, it is all too easy to wreak havoc upon your hardwood floors.
Don?t learn your lesson the hard way? In this post, we will blow the whistle on seven things that are destroying your hardwood floors. When you recognize the source of the problem, it will be easier to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Too Much Sun
You thought the sun?s damaging UV rays were only a threat to you? Well, they can also wreak havoc on your hardwood floors. Over time, direct exposure to sunlight can bleach and discolor your floors ? and can even cause warping in more severe cases. Fortunately, you can easily prevent the sun from stripping the luster off your hardwood floors by:
?Closing the drapes, curtains, shutters or blinds during the daytime
?Installing UV resistant tinted windows
?Planting trees or shrubs in front of windows to help block the sunlight
If you frequently wear high heels inside your house, we have got some bad news for you. Did you know that a 125-pound woman exerts a pressure of about 4 pounds per square inch (PSI) when standing on one flat foot and about 2,000 PSI when on a 1/4-inch stiletto tip? If that does not make things clearer, this will ? the pressure exerted by a 125-pound woman wearing high heels surpasses the naturally dispersed weight of a fully grown 6,000-pound elephant!
In summary, high heels can spell trouble for your hardwood floors that, while durable, are subject to damage from nasty scratches, dents, and holes, all of which can eat away at your floor?s finish. Practice a little prevention, it is always a good idea to take off your shoes before walking inside.
Medium or large dog breeds can exert a high enough pressure on the hardwood floors when playing or running around inside, resulting in unpleasant scratches and dents all over the surface. Scratches and dents are less of a concern when allowing your pet cat on hardwood floors because they are just too light to cause much damage. But your feline friends can still damage floors when roughhousing and chasing. The obvious way to minimize this damage is by keeping the nails of your pets routinely clipped and trimmed.
If there is one thing that can ruin your hardwood floor beyond all hope, it is your pet?s urine. The puddle your pets leave on the floor contains uric acid and ammonia ? two organic enzymes that can eat away at your floors? finish and cause the wood to look dull. Immediately clean up all accidents to keep damage to a minimal. You can also consider putting down water-resistant pads if you are house-training a puppy or if your pet has a favorite spot to go.
Wrong Cleaning Products
How you clean your floors can have a significant impact on how they look and how long they will last. Do it wrong, and you risk doing more harm than good. Call it unawareness or lack of knowledge, but many people end up using cleaning products that claim they are ?wood safe? while they are actually not.
Here are some types of cleaning agents that promise to make your wood floors glow, but in reality, only make them look worse:
?Abrasives like baking soda, scrub pads, and bottled cleaner that can sabotage the wood finish by scratching away at the protective surface.
?Harsh chemical solutions such as vinegar, ammonia, or other alkaline products that can strip away the finish exposing the bare wood of your flooring.
?Polishes and other wood renewal-type products that can leave a residue or build-up on your floors, making them look dull and waxy.
?Oil soaps and waxes that can cause a hazy build-up and are very difficult to remove.
Never bring out a bucket of water and a mop to clean your hardwood floors. Excess water can rot the wood from the inside and cause unsightly stains to appear on the surface. Plus, leaving dirt on the floor will mix with the mop water and end up leaving you with even more gritty, dusty, and dirty floors. Instead, use a damp mop (one that has been just about completely rung out) to keep your floors clean.
Sliding Furniture Around
Moving your furniture around without proper care can lead to unwanted nicks and scratches on your solid hardwood floors. So, always take the time to lift furniture when you are moving it around. Oh, and don?t forget to slip an appropriate-sized rug, towels, or felt pads (our best recommendation) under the furniture you need to move as an added safety measure.