Real Wood Flooring Care
Day to day cleaning of real wood floors is simple with just a quick vacuum doing the job, however longer term care takes a little more effort and consideration of the right tools!
Vacuum cleaning is the quickest and simplest way to keep real wood flooring installations clean, picking up loose hairs and dust in no time. An alternative is to use an impregnated mop sweeper, however these should only be used on smooth wooden floors to avoid residue build up in textures or feature ageing. Use the mop sweeper as per the instructions which vary slightly for each brand, importantly they should be impregnated the day before use and kept wrapped in a plastic bag over night, this ensures the solution is fully impregnated.
Regular cleaning of your floor mop is essential; brush or vacuum out loose dirt and wash if necessary, equally ensure your vacuum cleaner is regularly emptied to maintain suction and performance.
Stiff brooms and brushes should only be used on floors with a rough surface as they tend to flick dust into the air, and sweeping compound is no longer recommended for real wood floor care. Over time abrasive methods of sweeping will wear down and mark the floor surface or polish so vacuum or impregnated mops are a far better choice.
Wet mopping of real wood flooring needs to be conducted with care and kept to an absolute minimum; liquids cause wood to swell and warp and can also leave a streaky finish to the surface. Make sure you use truly clean water with the suitable amount of dilution for the detergent you are using and do a really good job of mopping up so that excess damp quickly evaporates off.
Real wood floors need to be sealed before polish is applied using sealant specifically for the job. Similar to varnish they penetrate the wood creating a smooth and very touch surface for emulsion polish to be applied to. Simply clean and re-seal any area worn down by foot traffic; always follow the instructions on the sealant for the best results.
Spray burnishing or buffing is a popular modern technique that focuses on maintenance rather than cleaning; maintain the surface and less cleaning care will be needed. A high speed floor polishing machine used regularly will harden the surface of the polish and help protect the wood underneath, most models have integral vacuums which will take care of any dust and debris at the same time.
Over years polish will wear down more in high traffic areas but not close to the walls which can build up and discolour requiring stripping. Using an alkali stripping agent to soften the polish it can then be scraped off with a scrubbing machine and any residue taken care of by an upright vacuum cleaner; it’s important to wear protective clothing as floor stripper can be harmful. When re-applying polish it can make sense to apply less at the edges to avoid future build up.
The floor must be thoroughly washed to remove the stripper for future coats of polish. Removing seals from wood flooring requires professional advice as it is very easy to damage the actual wooden floor in the process.
It may sound like a lot of work, but for the sake of a few days throughout the year you can get years more life from your real wood flooring installation. To learn more or arrange your own new wooden floor contact us today and speak with one of our friendly team.