Hardwood trees can take between eighty and one hundred years to reach maturity and can be harvested as lumber for floorboards. The types of hardwood trees are Oak, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Ash and Mahogany trees. These trees all have hardwood with beautiful grain patterns, making them ideal for flooring material.
Hardwood floors are very durable and easy to clean. Hardwood floors are polished with penetrating oil or sealed with a polyurethane varnish when properly treated and installed. If time permits, no professional cleaning is required to keep hardwood floors looking new.
The key to maintaining the hardwood floors in prime condition is to sweep and dust them to remove all loose hard dirt that can become ingrained in the wood and use the minimum amount of water possible to clean up any residual grease or grime.
Moisture can penetrate the fiber structure of the wood and lead to wood rot and fungal growth. Let’s look at simple ways to keep your hardwood floors looking like new.
How Do Professional Cleaners Clean Hardwood Floors?
Professional floor cleaners will use specialized equipment to brush and vacuum up the dirt from the grain of the hardwood floor.
They will use minimal water during the cleaning process and thoroughly vacuum the wood surface to ensure that all moisture has been lifted from the floor.
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Finally, a good quality durable polish will be used to provide a protective barrier and leave the floor shining like new.
The main ingredient of their service is to provide the labor and care to do this task. It may be very convenient as a thorough deep clean of your hardwood floors will require some work, but it is not beyond the means of any homeowner to do this task themselves.
Deep cleaning hardwood floors is not frequently required if simple daily care is taken to sweep and dust daily. Other steps can be taken to limit the amount of dirt carried into the house.
Dirt traps at the entrance doors can be installed where shoes can be wiped clean of mud and dirt before entering the house. Setting up a mudroom where you can remove your shoes when coming in from outside is also a great way of keeping the dirt from getting on the floors.
Did you know? In many European and Asian homes, it is customary that guests remove their shoes upon entering their host’s home. This custom is designed to keep dirt from the outside from being trodden into the home.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that we will have to introduce more demands on visitors and family members to limit the introduction of harmful pathogens from our houses. Asking your visitors to remove their shoes may be one of the least objectionable things to expect from visitors in the future.
How Often Should Hardwood Floors Be Cleaned Professionally?
Hardwood floors are prevalent in old properties, and by their hard and durable nature, hardwood floors can last for decades. When buying an old property with hardwood floors that have not been well cared for, it is prudent to call in an expert floor cleaning service to inspect, repair and clean the floors.
Professional floor cleaning and restoring companies will conduct a proper survey to look for signs of dry rot, mold or borer beetle. They will be able to remove built-up layers of polish and dirt without doing further harm to the wood. They will also advise you on how to clean and take care of your hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors are one of the most expensive floor types and will warrant that you use a professional to assist you on a once-off basis to assess the condition of the floors and bring them back to their optimal luster.
REMEMBER: Using harsh chemicals, water and excessive scouring may cause irreparable damage to your hardwood floors.
Once you have had the professionals in to restore the floors and give you advice, you will be able to take care of your hardwood floors without further professional cleaning services. It may be prudent to make use of professionals to clean your hardwood floors once per annum and for them to conduct a full survey of the condition of the floors.
How To Clean Your Hardwood Floors By Yourself?
- Sweep and vacuum the high traffic areas of your house daily and include the floors of the entire house at least once per month.
- Use a broom or duster with soft bristles to prevent the wood from being scratched by the action of the dirt and the broom.
- Mix a mild soapy solution made of one gallon of lukewarm water and a few drops of mild soap. Mix the solution gently to prevent foaming and lightly wet a clean microfiber mop in this solution. Dry the mop so that it is only damp to the touch.
- Mop small squares of the floor and dry them with a clean, dry microfiber towel. Repeat this process over the entire surface of the hardwood floor, making sure to rinse dirt off the mop and wringing out the excess moisture before cleaning each square.
If you do not know the recommended floor-cleaning product for your specific hardwood floor, opt for the mild soap and lukewarm water solution. Soap with a neutral pH like liquid dishwashing soap or Murphy Oil Soap can be used.
TIP: Do not apply furniture oils or waxes to the floor after cleaning. The oil may leave a residue that will build up over time and trap dirt. Abrasive and aggressive chemicals must never be used on hardwood floors. They will cause scratching and make the wood appear dull.
Proper care and cleaning of hardwood floors are essential to maintaining a high-value attribute of your house. Daily sweeping and dusting are essential to get rid of the dirt before it has a chance to become ingrained in the floor surface.
Depending on your time constraints, you can quite easily take care of the day to daycare and maintenance of your hardwood floors.
Suppose you have pets and children placing an extra burden on the dirt borne into the house, and the health of your family and the protection of your investments is at stake. In that case, it may be worth your while to have a periodic floor cleaning conducted by a professional company.