Advice On Hardwood Floor Upkeep

Hardwood Floor Upkeep

Hardwood floors are undoubtedly a timeless choice for your home but high-traffic areas in the home can get scratched or worn out easily. Seasonal changes can also wreak havoc by exposing your floors to excess water, salt, and dirt from the outside elements. However, the following advice provides tips that can help you ensure your hardwood floors look as good as they were when you first installed them!

Clean Up Spills Immediately

Use a slightly damp cloth or a dry one to immediately wipe up any spills and avoid wet or steam mops. Avoid using string mops on your hardwood floors as these can put excessive moisture on the floor which can cause cupping and long-term damage.

Sweep Or Dust The Floor Daily

Over time, debris can form on hardwood floors. Even if you don’t wear shoes around your home, dust still forms everywhere and can settle into the grain and between floorboards. It is a solid recommendation encouraged by many experts to sweep floors daily.

Vacuum And Clean Weekly

Weekly cleaning and vacuuming ensure that any crumbs and dirt that you may have missed while sweeping don’t scratch your flooring.

It is important to use a cleaner that is made for your floor’s material and look for pH-neutral, nontoxic, and biodegradable formulas to clean hardwood floors. Avoid using  water and vinegar, wax cleaners, or soap-based cleaners. When used over time, vinegar and water can dull the floor’s finish, while soap or wax-based cleaners can leave a residue on the floors. When using a hardwood floor cleaner, make sure to always use a washable microfiber pad and avoid steam mops (this will avoid putting heat and excessive water on your floor).

Use Doormats And Carpets

Place a doormat at each entrance of your home so that visitors can wipe their feet as they come in, so you can avoid excess moisture making contact with your hardwood floors. Mats will also trap small debris and rocks that can scratch the wood flooring. In addition, we recommend putting mats in front of the kitchen sink, dishwasher, and other kitchen workstations so that you can protect your floors from water spills, food, detergent, and dropped utensils that can damage the hardwood flooring.  

Use Furniture Pads

A good way to avoid scratches on wood floors is to add furniture pads to the legs of your chairs, tables, sofas, and other furniture. In addition, when you use rugs you can protect your floors from regular wear and tear where people and pets walk regularly. Furniture can also leave deep scratches on hardwood floors and using rugs can give you a barrier between furniture and the floor. If you are rearranging furniture or moving a piece to clean underneath it make sure to use furniture sliders. In doing so, when you move things they will protect your floors and avoid causing scratches caused by moving heavy objects directly over the wood floors.

Humidity And Light

Recommended optimal humidity levels are around 45% to protect the floor from cupping and splitting; use a hygrometer (relative humidity indicator) to make sure that the air moisture content is within the recommended range. In addition, avoid exposing your floors to direct sunlight as this can cause the wood to change its colour.

Our team of flooring experts has been in this industry for decades and will offer you the best flooring options for your needs. If you are looking for a hardwood floor that will elevate the mood and appearance of your home then contact Smith Bros Floors today!

How to Keep Your Floors Looking Great in Calgary’s Dry Climate

Keep Your Floors Looking Great

Hardwood flooring adds beauty and warmth to any given space. When you have hardwood floors installed in your home, you will want to ensure that the original hardwood surface and natural beauty of the wood lasts for as long as possible. A great way to maintain hardwood flooring over time is with an appropriate care routine that includes proper maintenance and cleaning steps. Calgary has a dry climate, and the following tips will help ensure your floors continue to look great regardless of the dry environment!

Keep Your Floors Debris-Free with Regular Clean-Up

The outside environment plays a part in our indoor environment. In Calgary, this means due to the dry climate there is dust everywhere, and this inevitably ends up inside our homes. Every day accumulation of debris and dust particles can become damage-causing culprits that can create visible scratches on hardwood flooring when rubbed against the floor. Over time, even tiny particles can cause small scratches on the floor’s surface that become noticeable with accumulated wear on the floor. Hence, it is best that small bits of dirt and debris spend less time on your hardwood floor. The best material for cleaning hardwood flooring daily is a microfiber cloth or mop. Dust-mopping or sweeping the floor is a superb daily maintenance strategy. 

In addition, following up on daily care paired with weekly maintenance will ensure the investment in your hardwood flooring pays off in the long run. Weekly maintenance such as vacuuming will help with deep cleaning and accessing hard-to-reach areas, such as underneath furniture and sofas. If you choose to include mopping in your weekly cleaning routine, ensure you use a tool warranted by the flooring manufacturer. As well, it is important to use the least amount of water when using a mop, as extra moisture can become problematic to real wood. It is vital that the floor becomes dry as quickly as possible, and a microfiber cloth can be used to dry any excess moisture.

Ensure Optimal Humidity Levels Inside the Home 

Calgary experiences a dry winter with low humidity conditions as low as 5-10%. However, during the summer months, humidity readings are around 50-55%. There is a noticeable variation in seasonal humidity, and these conditions cause hardwood flooring to expand and contract. Wood is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs and releases moisture depending on the surroundings and its present environment. Dry air can be problematic and damaging for hardwood flooring, as dry air causes the wood to lose moisture and this leads to the wood planks eventually cracking as a result of shrinking. Conversely, high humidity can cause hardwood floors to swell and this results in ‘cupping’, a term used to describe planks that rise above the rest of the wood. Using a good quality humidifier in the home can help lessen the damage to hardwood flooring inside your home. Maintaining an ideal humidity level will reduce movement within the flooring and as a result, reduce damage to hardwood flooring. Experts recommend that the humidity should be maintained as close to 30% as possible all year round.

We are a family-owned and operated business with decades of experience that helps us ensure we offer the best solutions to keep your floors looking great. If you are looking for a beautiful collection of hardwood floors, contact Smith Bros Flooring today! 

Simple Tips to Protect Your Hardwood Floor this Winter

Protect Hardwood Floors this Winter

Winter brings snowy landscapes, ice skating, snowmen and the holiday season. Unfortunately, it also brings tracked in snow, excess moisture and road/sidewalk salt. Winter conditions are harsh on your hardwood floors, causing scratches, stains, gaps and cracked floorboards. How can you care for your hardwood floor to protect it from winter damage? The following are some tips to prevent disaster and keep your flooring looking great. 

  • Place rugs at all entrances: Begin with a bristled welcome mat on your step to reduce the snow and salt that is tracked in. Encourage family and friends to wipe their feet as they enter. Place mats in your entrance and down high traffic hallways to absorb moisture and create a slip-free surface. Avoid rubber-backed or non-ventilated rugs, as they can damage hardwood floors. Vacuum the rugs often. Regularly wash rugs/mats to ensure they are protecting your floors instead of causing damage.
  • Remove shoes at the door: Keep a shoe rack near all entryways and ask your family/guests to remove their shoes when entering the house.This protects your hardwood flooring from moisture, dirt, salt, scratches, skid marks and excess wear.
  • Clean up quickly: Promptly wipe up spills, drips and puddles to avoid allowing liquids to soak into the wood. Pay particular attention when a pet enters the home. Never use vinegar to remove stains.
  • Use a humidifier: Changes in temperature and humidity can cause wood to shrink, crack and/or warp. Keep the temperature in your home moderate and run a humidifier to help stabilize your hardwood flooring. Maintain the humidity level between 30 to 50%. On the other hand, If the humidity level inside your home is regularly above 50% invest in a dehumidifier.
  • Sweep/vacuum daily to keep as much dirt, sand and salt off the floor as you can. This is the best defence against scratches from small particles and debris. Regular cleaning is the most effective way to extend the life of your hardwood floors.
  • Train your family to wipe their feet, remove their shoes and wipe up puddles. Establishing good habits helps preserve the life of hardwood flooring. 
  • Train your pets to stop and stay at the entrance until you have wiped dirty wet paws. Keep an old towel handy for the job. Reward patience and good behaviour with a treat.
  • Use appropriate cleaners: Look for a cleaner that doesn’t leave a residue, is safe for kids/pets and is recommended for hardwood floors. 
  • Invest in the proper tools: A high-quality microfiber mop traps particles without pushing them around your floor. A soft bristled vacuum works well for cleaning debris. 
  • Protect your floor from your Christmas tree: Tree stands and branches can scratch your hardwood floor. So can sap and overflow from the tree base. Invest in a quality Christmas tree stand, put protective padding beneath your tree and place mats around your tree to catch the sap. 
  • Do an end-of-season checkup: At the end of a long winter, check for stains, scratches and/or water damage. Address issues immediately.

Do your part and let the beauty and charm of your hardwood floors shine for years to come. Prevent scuffs, scratches and a dull finish with frequent proper cleaning, protective mats, the use of appropriate cleaning supplies and tools, an eye on humidity levels and an end-of-season check-up. Enjoy the beauty of your home’s natural wood floor for many years.

Looking for quality wood flooring? Contact Smith Bros. Floors, one of Canada’s oldest hardwood flooring companies; family-owned and operated. We use industry-leading flooring and finishes because we want your flooring to last! With a tested crew of installers and finishers and a lifetime guarantee on workmanship and longevity, Smith Bros. quality cannot be beaten! Call us at 403-255-7791 for a free consultation.