How To Care For Your Solid Hardwood Floors -pg2
Repair And Cleaning Tips
|When Your Hardwood Floor Needs Extra Care|
Your hardwood floor will eventually need extra care. It's here that much controversy exists.
Some professionals recommend that you damp mop your hardwood floor and others cringe at the suggestion. Just remember, if your floor's finish is in good shape and mopping is done correctly, the water won't penetrate even the oil and wax finishes. You're cleaning the finish, not the wood, so don't use water if the finish is in poor shape.
Damp Mopping: This is the fastest and best way to deep-clean solid hardwood floors. Depending on how much use your floor gets, you may have to mop it as often as once a week. Use a neutral pH wood cleaner and water, or manufacturer recommended products. Wet the mop and wring so it's about half-dry. Wet the floor with the mop. Dip the mop into clean water, wring it as dry as you can and mop over the floor again.
Heavy-Duty Mopping: If floors are property sealed, the little extra water and cleaner required will not injure your hardwood floor, but use common sense.
Vinegar: Often prescribed to clean hardwood floors -- does nothing for removing grease and soil.
If you can't restore your solid hardwood floor's luster with deep cleaning or by simply buffing, you may want to apply a maintenance coat. Waxing is an easy way to restore your hardwood floor's natural beauty.
Though a controversial treatment for surface finishes, floor polish or wax can give you a good-looking floor in a matter of minutes. If you don't want to apply a wax to your surface finish, consult a professional.
Pros: Wax can be easily cleaned, buffed and rewaxed to make it look like its original condition. Wear and tear will be on the wax, not the finish. It is easily stripped and reapplied.
Cons: Waxing may limit some refinishing and re-coating options down the road. If not properly stripped, the wax can cause adhesion problems when re-coating the surface.
Only wax a surface finish if the original finish is in poor shape and you don't plan to refinish your floor in the near future.
Removing Stains In Waxed Floors
No matter how careful you are a stain can still occur.
Water Stains: Rub the spot with No. 2 steel wood and rewax. For more serious water stains, lightly sand with fine sandpaper, clean the spot with No. 1 or 00 steel wool and mineral spirits or floor cleaner then refinish and wax.
Cigarette Burns: If not severe, the burn can be removed by rubbing with steel wool moistened with soap and water.
Heel and Caster Marks: Rub vigorously with fine steel wool and floor cleaner. Wipe dry and polish.
Ink Stains and Other Dark Spots: Use No. 2 steel wool and floor cleaner to clean the spot and surrounding area. Thoroughly wash the affected area. If the spot remains, sand with fine sandpaper, re-wax and polish. Stubborn stains may require that you replace the affected area.
Chewing Gum and Wax Deposits: Ice until the deposit is brittle and crumbles off. Pour floor cleaner around the stain so the fluid soaks under and loosens it.
Alcohol Spots: Rub the spot with liquid or paste wax.
Repairing Wax Finishes: Rub fine steel wood in a puddle of reconditioner or paint thinner and clean as you go. Apply wax and buff.
Always start cleaning at the edge of a stain and work toward the center so it won't spread.
Removing stains and repairing surface finishes.
Use steel wood or sand paper to remove one or two complete layers of finish along the entire length of the board where damage has occurred. Remove all dust. Apply the same type of finish that was removed, being careful not to build additional layers on top of adjoining boards.
Squeaks: When the air in your home becomes extremely dry, your floor will lose moisture and contract. Conversely, when humidity is high, your floor will absorb moisture and expand slightly. As humidity stabilizes, hardwoods regain their original dimensions. Air conditioning in summer and humidifying in winter will keep your home's humidity comfortable for you and your floor. Prolonged cycles of shrinking and swelling of your hardwood floor may result in squeaks. They can be easily corrected.
Silencing Squeaks: Apply liquid wax, powdered soap, talcum powder or powdered graphite between floor boards that are rubbing together. If that doesn't stop the squeak, drive two-inch finishing nails through pilot holes on both edges of the board then hide the hole with matching color putty or wax.
If you need to refinish or replace your hardwood floor, consult a professional for best results.
The Hardwood Manufacturers Association