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Friday, April 18, 2014

How Not To Ruin Your Floor


Spring is finally here, and for many of us, spring cleaning is on our "To Do" list.  There is a lot of incorrect information about cleaning and maintaining your floor coverings, especially on the internet.  If you are the one in charge of spring cleaning at your house, please take a few minutes to review what the major flooring manufacturers recommend. 

Please be aware that most of the maintenance products and cleaners that are needed to take care of your flooring investment are available at Enhance Floors and More.

HARDWOOD FLOORS
First, check the legs of all furniture to see if the floor protectors need to be replaced and replace them as needed. 

It is now time for a thorough sweeping or vacuuming of your floors.  Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar or hard head on hardwood floors.  The plastic and/or metal parts can scratch the floor.  The vacuum head should be brush or felt; a wand attachment is preferable.

Be careful as you move furniture and appliances.  Do not drag heavy pieces.  You may need to use large pieces of cardboard or something similar to move the heavier items onto to protect the floors underneath.  Many people move the refrigerator to clean behind and under it as part of their spring cleaning.  Do not merely roll the refrigerator out.  The weight of the refrigerator can easily indent the floor.  You need to move the refrigerator onto something so you are not rolling it directly on the floor.  Use a large piece of cardboard, a thin piece of plywood or a piece of carpet with the fiber side down.  Over the years we have seen many hardwood floors damaged from moving a refrigerator.


Damp mop as needed using a hardwood floor mop and approved hardwood floor cleaner.  Do not use oil, wax, or ammonia based cleaners as they will dull the finish and performance of your floor.  These products will also affect the ability to recoat your floor.

Since wood naturally expands when it is wet, never wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor.  Large amounts of water can cause the wood to swell and may cause your floor to crack or splinter.

TIP:  Just because something says it is for hardwood floors does not mean it should be used on the floor.  Read the ingredients carefully.  We are amazed by what various internet sources state to clean wood floors with.  Do NOT use Orange Glo, Goof Off, bubble bath, steam mops, Windex, ammonia, dish soap, Pledge, vinegar, Pine Sol, Mr. Clean, Mop and Glo, Rejuvenate, tea, Simple Green or similar products.  Only use cleaners made by wood floor manufacturers like Armstrong, Mohawk or Bona.

Use good quality doormats at all of your exterior doors and replace them as needed.

Now is also a good time to look closely at your floors to determine if it is time for another coat of polyurethane.  Start with the areas that get the most foot traffic.  Are these areas duller than the wood in areas that do not get as much traffic?  Do you see light scratches in the finish?  If you can see superficial scratches and the traffic lanes are visible, it is time to recoat your wood floors.  Most floors are in need of another coat of polyurethane every five years or so; in some homes, another coat may be needed every 12-18 months.  If you wait too long, a screen and a coat will not be effective; the floors will need to be refinished.

LAMINATE

There is not much you need to do to a laminate floor as part of your spring cleaning.  Vacuum thoroughly and clean using the product recommended by the manufacturer of your floor.  Check the felt tips on the legs of your furniture and replace as needed.  Be sure to use a large piece of cardboard or something similar when moving large items, like the refrigerator.  Replace your exterior door mats if needed, and just enjoy how easy it is to maintain your laminate floor!

EXTERIOR DOORS
At least once a year, check your exterior doors for possible water penetration.  Check the weather stripping for tears and deterioration.  Check the sills and exterior thresholds for damage.  Is caulking needed?  Can you see daylight through the door?  If you can see light through the door, water can also get through, especially blowing rain.  Sometimes this water gets under your floors without you noticing until the damage is done.  Thousands of dollars in damage can be caused by water penetration. 

VINYL

Now is the time to vacuum and thoroughly clean the floors.  Be sure to use a product that is made by the manufacturer of the vinyl, and do not use a vacuum with a beater bar.

Many people move their refrigerator to clean behind it.  If you are doing this, lay down a piece of plywood and roll the refrigerator onto the plywood.  This keeps you from tearing or indenting the vinyl. 




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