How to Damage Your Hardwood Floors in 5 Steps (Pt. 2)

Hardwood floors have many advantages, from their longevity, to increasing a home’s value, to being eco-friendly. Yet, one common complaint about having hardwood floors is that they may be easily damaged with dents and scratches.

In our previous blog, which you can read here, we stated that the simplest and most effortless way to damage hardwood flooring is by daily wear and tear. This could mean walking on them with a damaged heel or unintentionally shifting heavy furniture. Each little action builds up overtime, and even with routine care, may still damage hardwood floors.

In last month’s blog we discussed the first two steps of How to Damage Your Hardwood Floors: using the wrong cleaning products and moving furniture. Now we’re back to mention the next three steps on how to damage your hardwood floors, and what you can do to help minimize the damage to truly get your return on investment with your floors.

Inconsistent Cleaning

Before we dive into this section, let’s be real – how often do you clean your floors?

The reality is that most people do not clean nor maintain their floors as often as they should. Not having a regular cleaning routine may cause dust and debris buildup that would damage your hardwood floors, resulting in a shorter lifespan overall. Be sure to monitor high-traffic areas as they experience more footfall and are at higher risk.

However, it’s not enough to just clean your hardwood floors periodically. As any hardwood flooring expert will tell you, it is always recommended to have a regular cleaning routine in place, whether it be weekly, bimonthly, or even monthly. The key is creating a routine that is right for your traffic and one that you can stick to.

One thing to keep in mind is that, when it comes to hardwood floors, there’s a right way to clean them and many wrong ways to clean them. As seen in the first section – DIY Cleaning Errors – certain cleaning methods and tools can actually damage your hardwood floors because they aren’t meant for that type of flooring. Thus, it’s important to research and ask flooring experts on what works best for your specific hardwood floors. Your manufacturer will also have a great deal of knowledge on this subject.

A good tip to keep in mind is that going shoe free in your home can help prevent dents and scratches on your hardwood floors. Since some shoes have wide textured soles which can trap rocks and pebbles it’s important to keep in mind that shoes are regularly the culprit behind many flooring damages. Limiting the usage of shoes in your home can also help make the cleaning process easier.

So, if you want your hardwood floors to last as long as possible create your own, personalized cleaning routine. Decades later, you’ll be glad you did!

Not Seeking Professional Help

When it comes to owning hardwood floors, there are certain stages where seeking a professional can help them last the decades they are intended to.

There are two key stages where we suggest hiring a professional to help – installation, and refinishing/recoating.

Although installation can be DIY, hiring a professional allows you to save money and time. Rather than taking the risk of making mistakes and having to redo your hardwood floors, a professional can install your hardwood floors correctly the first time. In hiring a professional with the installation, this can prevent you from having to repair mistakes that were made while learning.

Hardwood floors are meant to last several decades when properly taken care of. With maintenance, general maintenance can easily be done by yourself. This is where having a cleaning routine is essential, such as sweeping every week and lightly mopping every two weeks. 

A key part of maintenance is determining when it is time to recoat or refinish your hardwood floors. This is a good time to seek a professional’s help as professional recoaters/refinishers are able to assess what process is needed and complete the task for you. Recoating and refinishing are difficult tasks to do alone and often require special machinery/techniques. Hiring a professional who specializes in recoating and refinishing is another way to save time and money and ensure your hardwood floors last longer.

Allowing Direct Sunlight

As a hardwood floor owner, something to be aware of is that sunlight plays a significant role in the discoloration of your hardwood floors. Direct sunlight, especially when constant, results in what is commonly referred to as “sun bleaching”. 

The sun’s harsh UV rays will regularly cause damage to any material left to bask in it’s light for extended periods of time. This is consistent with wood, plastic, and even stone – turning them dull and discolored over time.  

To help protect your floors from direct sunlight (or just getting too much sunlight) is to install blinds and drapes over windows. Rather than keep your blinds or drapes open during the day to allow sunlight to get in, it is best to keep them closed. This can be done with sheer drapes so as not to eliminate all the light in your home. Not only will this precaution help protect your floors, but you’ll also be able to keep cool air in and lower your energy bill. Lastly, remember to move rugs and furniture in rooms with the most sunlight as the floors can “tan” in their shadow.

By limiting direct sunlight you can prevent your hardwood floors from dulling, discoloring, and changing colors over time.

There you have it – how to damage your hardwood floors in 5 steps. To recap, here’s the list below:

  1. DIY Cleaning Errors
  2. Moving Furniture
  3. Inconsistent Cleaning
  4. Not Seeking Professional Help
  5. Allowing Direct Sunlight

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list. When it comes to hardwood floors, there are numerous ways to damage them, but what’s important to remember is that there are ways to protect them so that they can last longer. 

Consistent maintenance and being hyper conscious can keep your hardwood floors looking new and staying in top condition. As a parting thought, if you treat your floors well, they’ll treat you even better.

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