When you first get a hardwood floor for your home, you would be thrilled to have it. It looks and feels great and is just the thing to complete the look of the place. But it won’t take long for you to find out that hardwood introduces the need for maintenance, or else it will develop various issues.
Because it is a solid investment, you don’t want to see it suffer. For this reason, the best course of action is to learn of a few protective measures you can take, to ensure the floor lasts for as long as possible. Take notes:
Protection tip #1 – Always clean up any spills immediately
So you have spilt a glass of water on the floor, or perhaps someone has left the window open during a rainstorm and that area of the room is now wet. The thing you need to keep in mind is that hardwood, unlike tile or vinyl, isn’t waterproof. Cleaning up spills like that should be your top priority. What you need to do is to blot the spill from the surface gently and wipe it with a towel.
Additionally, you need to take some preventive measures to ensure that moisture doesn’t cause trouble for the hardwood floor. One particularly troublesome area is around the front door. When people come in with their shoes, they will track in moisture, which is not ideal. What you can do is install a doormat to catch as much of the moisture and dirt from people’s feet.
Protection tip #2 – Move furniture around to prevent colour fading
One of the things that can affect the hardwood floor is the sun. UV rays play a role over time, essentially causing the colour of the material to fade. Thankfully, you can prevent this in a way: by installing awnings in a room that gets plenty of exposure to sunlight.
Now, you cannot block out the sun completely, no matter what you do. For this reason, you can consider rearranging your furniture from time to time to even out the fading effect. If you don’t do it, you will see an outline as you rearrange the place after five years.
Protection tip #3 – Prevent low humidity
If you keep humidity levels too low, the moisture from the hardwood floor is going to get drawn out, and the planks will contract. Over time, this will result in gaps between the boards. Installing a hygrometer in your home is an excellent way to monitor humidity levels. A healthy goal to aim for is anywhere between 35% and 55% all year round. That is best for your hardwood floor.
Protection tip #4 – Avoid high humidity
In the summer, when humidity levels reach their peak, your hardwood floor may start to cup. Cupping occurs when the hardwood fibres begin to absorb vapour and water from the air. Since the planks cannot expand properly, their edges rise above the level in the middle. Properly cooling and heating your home is the best way to counter high humidity levels.
Protection tip #5 – always work with a reputable contractor for your hardwood floor
While many people usually attempt DIY hardwood floor installation, you can usually tell by the creaks and squeaks that they didn’t do a good job. Properly installing a hardwood floor is of utmost importance. That is why working with a reputable contractor is something you should always consider. If you’re looking for other reasons to hire a professional to take care of that, have a look at our recent blog post on the topic.
Following all of these protection tips is going to help your hardwood floor stay in good shape for time to come. It is a fine way to protect your investment.