Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Easy Repair Tips for Hardwood Flooring Marks

Hardwood flooring is recognized for its beauty, lasting durability and natural appeal. While hardwood floors are easy to maintain, they're still porous and vulnerable to stains. Unavoidably, spills will happen and leave marks on the floor, which may cause it to look dirty and stained. Luckily, marks can be eliminated from hardwood floors by using simple cleaning solutions. Stains ought to be removed as quickly as possible, however. The longer these marks remain on hardwood flooring, the harder they are to get rid of.

Step 1
Sweep the hardwood flooring with a household broom to remove any dust, dirt, grit or sand. Go over it with a dust mop to remove lingering debris. It's essential to get rid of surface debris from the floor before starting to remove marks and stains.

Step 2
In a bucket, pour one cup of commercial wood floor cleaner and one gallon of lukewarm water, making a diluted cleaning solution. Wet a microfiber or sponge mop in the solution. Mop the spotted areas of the hardwood flooring with the cleaning solution. Examine the full length of the floor for any remaining stains.

Step 3
In a bowl, mix together one cup of distilled white vinegar and one cup of cold water. Moisten a clean dry cloth in the vinegar solution. Wipe the cloth over any residual marks or stains. Moisten another clean cloth with plain water. Buff any spots that you treated with the vinegar solution.

Step 4
For dark marks and stains caused by standing water, you'll need to remove some of the finish and reapply it. Rub the spots with steel wool, in the direction of the wood grain. If this doesn't work, sand the areas lightly with fine-grit sandpaper. Clean the spots and surrounding areas using mineral spirits or a commercial wood floor cleaner. Let the floor dry.

Step 5
Apply a matching finish to the flooring, feathering it out into the surrounding area. Put on a coat of floor wax after the finish dries thoroughly. If you prefer just a surface finish, use a cleaner recommended for wooden flooring (such as oil soap) and buff vigorously with a clean towel.

Tip to Remove Wax Build-Up
Hardwood flooring that has not been properly cared for may acquire some wax build-up. To remove it, strip away all the old wax with mineral spirits or a commercial wood floor cleaner. Use soft cloths and fine steel wool pads to clean and eliminate all the residue before you apply new wax.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Stop Hardwood Floors From Splitting

The last thing you want to happen as a homeowner is to have your hardwood flooring split. Not only is it quite bothersome and hard to fix, it can also be quite expensive! Over time hardwood flooring can break down if not tended to, or if there is water issues. However, important and simple steps and tips can be taken to prevent this from happening.

Hardwood floor care is so important for successful home ownership. Flooring is the most fundamental aspect of a home. It is what covers the foundation and what everything else is built upon. It needs extra care and attention to be kept in the best shape. The first step in this maintenance is keeping the floors clean and free of any debris. Every room in my home has hardwood flooring with an exception of the kitchen and bathroom. One thing I find to be very helpful in keeping the floors clean and dust free is my trusty Swiffer Sweeper Vacuum and Mop. These help me keep the floors sparkling and new looking even though they are almost a hundred years old! Swiffer also makes a wonderful line of hardwood floor care items that are perfect for treating and maintaining the precious wood.

Another important aspect to keeping floors looking nice, is to keep them free of any water damage. Spills that are left unattended can be very harsh to flooring and lead to splitting of the boards. When my husband and I were looking to buy our first home we looked at several homes with bad hardwood flooring that had not been cared for. Many of the homes had stains from where pet messes were not cleaned up. Not only were they stained they also had splitting and creaky boards. Even something as simple as laying a wet towel on the floor can be damaging if left for too long.

Another important tip is to keep all crawl spaces clean of debris and leaves. Leave build up can lead to damage to hardwood flooring as it traps moisture. Many crawl spaces are damp in general due to the dark, moist soil, therefore extra attention is needed for homes with crawl spaces.

A last tip is to keep floors shiny and new with oil treatments and polishing. If wood becomes too dry and lackluster it can split and crack. One floors split it can be quite expensive and time-consuming trying to fix them or replace the flooring.