There are many advantages to adding hardwood floors to your home: they look attractive, give your space a luxurious feel, and often boost the resale value of your property. But if you truly want to benefit from your hardwood floors, it’s important to keep them in tip-top shape by protecting them against damage. Here are 5 ways you may be damaging your hardwood floors without even realizing it:
1. You’re letting spills sit for too long
Whether you have young kids, pets, or frequent guests, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with spills on your hardwood floors from time to time. After all, you don’t need someone to drop a glass of wine on your floors to end up with a spill. Liquids can pool on your floors if you have a dishwasher leak, kids who like to track through your home with their rainboots, or even a dog who likes to shake off excess water indoors.
Unfortunately, spills are a hazard for your hardwood floors, especially when they span multiple floorboards. That’s why you don’t want to leave them sitting for too long. To avoid stains and damage from liquid seeping between floorboards, clean up spills immediately.
2. You’re using the wrong cleaning products
If you want to maintain the look of your hardwood floors, it’s important to clean them regularly. However, using the wrong cleaning products on your floors can be even more damaging.
To protect your floors while cleaning them, avoid using harsh chemical cleaners and abrasive cleaning tools. Instead, use a mild detergent. And instead of pouring it directly onto your floors, use a mop or microfibre cloth to apply a small amount.
3. You’re cleaning your floors with water
Water seems like a liquid that should be gentle enough to use on your hardwood floors. After all, you drink water every day and use it to bathe your kids from the time they’re born.
But when it comes to hardwood, water isn’t so gentle. Instead, it can cause damage to your hardwood floors, particularly on the sides and bottoms of hardwood planks (the parts that aren’t sealed).
To limit your floor’s exposure to water, clean it primarily by sweeping or vacuuming it. And when you need to use water, wring out your mop thoroughly.
4. You’re dragging heavy items over it
Hardwood floors are prone to scratches. Scratches are especially likely to happen if you try to drag appliances or furniture across your hardwood floors.
What should you do instead if you need to move items around? Pick them up, carry them, and place them down gently in their new location. And for items that constantly need to be moved (think about dining room chairs), use felt pads to protect your floors.
5. You’re not using area rugs
When you have gorgeous hardwood floors, area rugs may be the last thing you want to add to your home. But if you aren’t using area rugs, you’re probably putting your floors at risk.
To achieve a balance between protecting your floors and showcasing them, place rugs in high-traffic areas or areas prone to spills and splashes. This includes entryways and areas around your kitchen sink.
Know what NOT to do with your hardwood floors
Hardwood floors may not be as durable as ceramic or natural stone. But if you know how to take care of them properly, keeping them in excellent shape doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re exposing your floors to any of the risks described above, use the alternative strategies we’ve provided. They’ll help you extend the life of your floors so you can get more out of your investment.
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