The three main reasons why many homeowners want hardwood floors in their homes are they have unrivaled aesthetics, they can last several decades, and the presence of hardwood flooring will significantly improve the market value of any property.

 

Due to the understated charm of hardwood floors, other types of flooring are often designed to mimic their appearance. In addition to its visual appeal, hardwood flooring is soothing to the touch and effortlessly blends with a home’s interior.

 

Homes with hardwood flooring stand head and shoulders above others. This is partly because most homeowners who want hardwood floors cannot afford it. According to Keyrenter Hampton Roads Management Company, this makes any home where there is hardwood flooring even more valuable in the eyes of prospective buyers.

 

But a hardwood floor is not automatically guaranteed to make your home more valuable. Every potential benefit you can derive from a hardwood floor depends on how well you maintain the flooring. Without proper maintenance, a hardwood floor will lose its appeal.

 

The major issues you will face with hardwood floors are:

  • Wear and tear from everyday use – if the protective finish on the floor is allowed to wear off, the wood will become more susceptible to scratches, dents, and dings.
  • Water damage – this can manifest in many ways, but the most common ones are crowning and cupping. Cupping is caused by a wet subfloor, while crowning is caused by water on the floor surface.
  • Fading due to sun exposure – the flooring may fade in those parts of the house where there is direct sunlight coming into rooms. This is the effect of the UV rays in sunlight.
  • Staining caused by spills – pet stains can soak into the wood and leave a mark on the floors. The same can happen if you spill water on the floor.

 

How to care for hardwood floors

To protect your hardwood floor from possible damage, there are a few things you should do on a regular basis to minimize the risk of damage to the flooring. Here are the steps to preserve the appearance of your hardwood floors:

  • Sweep or dust your floors every day

Dust will always find a way to get into your home, dusting the floor daily will keep the dust from embedding into the floor surface. Wipe the floor with a microfiber cloth every day. Microfiber is the recommended cloth for cleaning hardwood floors because it lifts dirt off the floor and traps pet hair as well as allergens. 

  • Vacuum once a week

The floor should be vacuumed at least once every week. Do this after you have cleaned the floor with a microfiber cloth. Do not vacuum with a beater bar attachment; it will damage your floor. A floor-brush attachment poses a lesser risk of damage. Also, be careful of the vacuum’s wheels as they can leave marks on the floor.

  • Clean spills as soon as they happen

Spills are a common occurrence in the home and your hardwood floor is not necessarily going to get damaged because you spilled something on it. The problem is when spills are not removed as soon as they happen. If moisture is left on a wood surface, it will have time to penetrate the wood and can mark it permanently. Also, make sure your  HVAC is properly working to avoid AC leaking or similar issues that may damage your hardwood floor. 

  • Do not wear heels when walking on the floor 

It is not hard to understand why wearing heeled shoes on a hardwood floor is a bad idea. The heel of the shoe concentrates the weight of the body in one small area and makes it more likely that the floor will get damaged as you move. That’s in addition to the noise heeled shoes make.

  • Trim pet nails and claws regularly

Your pet’s nails or claws are harder than you probably realize. If a pet’s nails or claws are tough enough to scratch a hole in the ground with, they can certainly do serious damage to your floors. Cutting your pet’s nails or claws will not harm the pet but it will certainly preserve the beauty of your hardwood floor.

  • Protect hardwood floors with furniture pads, rugs, etc

In areas of the home with direct sun exposure, use window cover or film to block UV rays. The legs of furniture can also damage your floors. To keep this from happening, place protectors under the legs of furniture, place your furniture on rugs, and never drag furniture across the floor.

  • Use wood cleaner once a month 

Before you use any product on your hardwood floor, make sure it is made for that kind of hardwood flooring. When in doubt, always go for a non-toxic product. Avoid anything that is vinegar-based or abrasive. Also, never use the steam cleaning method on a hardwood floor.

  • Re-finish your floor every 3-5 years

It doesn’t matter how diligent you are in caring for your hardwood floors, the finish on the floor is going to wear thin eventually. Generally, it takes around 3-5 years for this to happen. You can tell when the floor needs re-finishing because it will start to look dull. 

By Terence Sewell