Hardwood Floors: 9 Tips for Protecting and Minimizing Damage

Hardwood Floors

Maybe the hardwood floors you put in have a few bad scratches. Or, perhaps you are thinking about installing new hardwood floors and you want to proactively work to prevent damages before they happen. Either way, you’re in luck, as I’ve got some proven tips for how to protect your hardwood floors from costly damage.

1. Seal Your Hardwood Floors Correctly

Keeping excess moisture out of the wood in your hardwood floors is essential to keep the boards from warping or becoming discolored.

2. Clean Up Spills on Hardwood Floors Immediately

Your hardwood floors shouldn’t become damaged if only a few drops are there for several minutes. A lot of water, juice, cleaner, other liquid, or even a damp mop left there can stain hardwood floors in a way that is very tough to fix without refinishing.

3. Keep Hardwood Floor Scratches From Happening With the Right Finishes

A tough, durable finish will help prevent damage from pet claws, furniture, kids toys and dropped items.

4. Use Throw Rugs on Hardwood Floors in the Main Areas of Your Home

Over time, hardwood floors can wear like any other type of flooring, though not as quickly as carpet or vinyl. If you use a run in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic you can help in the reduction of wearing them out prematurely.

5. Place a Rug in Front of the Sink

Floors that are right by sinks get tons of fluids and other utensils such as forks and knives dropped on them. Rugs help in protecting your floors and will also keep slip and fall injuries from happening.

6. Inspect Roofing for Leaky Spots

If you don’t keep your roof in good repair, then there is more likelihood that small leaks could turn into big problems. Be sure to have your roof inspectedonce a year to make sure you don’t run into any costly repairs on the roof or your beautiful floors!

7. Put Felt Padding On the Bottom of Furniture

These will reduce floor damage when chairs are being move up to the table or a desk is being repositioned. Check felt padding periodically because they wear out over time and will need to be replaced.

8. Keep Direct Sunlight Off the Hardwood Floors

UV rays will fade wood floors over time. To prevent damages from ultraviolet rays you should use a horizontal blind on the window & a vertical blind on your sliding glass door.

9. Add a Humidifier

Wood flooring expands and shrinks over time as they take in and lose moisture. In the winter, if the furnace is running consistently, wood floors may dry out to the point of shrinking noticeably or even splitting. Have a quality humidifier installed as part of your HVAC system will alleviate this danger.

 Hardwood floors are a significant investment and one youll want to keep in top shape. When you make the decision to install wood flooring, make sure you follow the above tips to keep them in good shape and help them last a long time.

Hardwood Floors

Protecting and Maintaining Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring in Santa Rosa is an investment and as such, it should also be properly protected and maintained. There are many simple ways to keep hardwood floors looking like new, but besides the great appearance, the right care also has other benefits that should not be overlooked.

One of the most important steps to protecting and maintaining hardwood floors is cleaning. Good hardwood floors need to be cleaned on a regular basis and that includes removing all dust. In order to clean hardwood floors, it is important to have the right tools that will not scratch or damage the sealing or wood.  A mop with a microfiber or disposable pad suffices.

When cleaning, it is standard procedure to use cleaning solutions. Not all cleaning liquids are suitable for hardwood flooring, though, and certain kinds will actually cause damage. For example, vinegar contains acid that can eat through the seal finishing that is applied to all hardwood floors and even water can pool up and eventually get through cracks to eventually rot the wood.  Special, non-toxic hardwood flooring cleaners are available from a number of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County hardwood flooring supply companies.

Another great way to protect hardwood flooring in Santa Rosa is to put down a protective mat or thick area rug in places that are considered high traffic, such as entrances or where seating is located. This is important to do, because this added layer will reduce the wear and tear on the floor and greatly extend its life.

However, since well cared for hardwood floors can last for years, it is almost impossible to prevent damage from happening at some point in time. Fortunately, there are good and reliable companies offering hardwood floor repair in Santa Rosa. Repairs are not always cheap, but not nearly as expensive as replacing the hardwood flooring would be.


Fixing this Santa Rosa Hardwood Floor was for the Birds

After we recently refinished several rooms of hardwood floors in a Santa Rosa home, and at the end, the homeowner asked me how she should keep the floors clean. My first thought was “take a flat shovel to it” — but that thought is going to require a bit more explanation in order to understand. You see, the problem in this home wasn’t just keeping the hardwood floors clean, it was keeping them free of embedded objects.
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Protecting Hardwood Floors from Dog and Cat Claws

For landlords and tenants of rental homes with hardwood flooring, a question that often comes up is: “What is a normal amount of wear and tear to expect on my wood floors?”

I received a call from just such a Santa Rosa hardwood floor-owning tenant recently who was vacating her home. She wanted to know if scratches from her dog could be covered up by buffing and applying a new coat of finish to the flooring.  Not having seen the floor in person, I told her that if the scratches were very light surface scratches, they might go away with a buffing and a coat of finish.  However, I doubt they were very light surface scratches, and it’s more likely the entire floor would need to be sanded to the bare wood and completely refinished–a considerably more expensive proposition.

An example of this is a floor I examined after receiving a call from a homeowner.  She stated her floor had been recently installed, and the finish applied by the flooring contractor was no good since it was scratching off the maple flooring. When I looked at the floor, I showed her the grooves in the flooring (not scratches) were still shiny.  She had a medium-sized Dalmatian whose claws were crushing grooves in her new maple floor. The finish had actually adhered to the crushed wood.  The finish the contractor had applied was very good indeed.

Back to the tenant.  She next asked me if the scratches her dog had put in the flooring were considered normal wear and tear.  My first thought was “You’ve got to be kidding.”  However, it then struck me me that ‘normal’ wear and tear is really a relative matter based on expectations and agreements between landlord and tenant.  “Did your landlord know you were going to have a dog live in your home?,” I asked.  “Yes” she replied, “he even encouraged it.”  In this case, my opinion (which is not intended as legal advice to anyone in this situation as tenant or landlord) is that the scratches should be considered normal wear and tear, and the tenant shouldn’t be held liable for the damages since the landlord knew what the situation was.

If you were to allow an elephant to stay in your home, what would you expect normal wear and tear to be?  Probably quite a bit. There’s no escaping the fact that dogs that move over wood floors will cause damage to those floors over time.

Buffing and applying a coat of finish will make grooves and moderate scratches stand out more with the uniform finish.  A flat finish will help, but won’t make the problem go away entirely.  If you want to protect your wood floors from claw damage, do a Google search for: “soft paws for dogs” or cats, or “dog (cat) booties.” There are plenty of products out there that can help you to preserve that finish, and keep fido (or fifi) inside with you on those cold Winter nights.

Until next time,

George Sieg
B & G Hardwood Flooring