Floors and carpets are not only functional, but are a key feature in a room’s decor. Floors help to create a mood for a particular space and can make a room look attractive and inviting. When it’s time to sell your home the condition of your floors and carpets can influence the sale, so it’s a good idea to protect your investment.
Here are some maintenance tips to help your floors and carpets withstand the wear and tear of everyday life.
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Sweep or dust mop at least once a week. The frequency will depend on the amount of traffic and your lifestyle. Use a broom with a soft bristle, or a dry mop with a microfiber or terry cloth cover. Never use a wet mop on a hardwood floor.
- Vacuum weekly. Use the brush attachment and turn any beater bar/rotating brush to the “off” setting. You should be using the “bare floor” setting to prevent damaging your floor.
- Once a month clean your floor with the cleaner recommended by your floor manufacturer. Spray a 3-foot by 3-foot area until it’s slightly moistened and go over it with a microfiber mop. Use a fresh towel to wipe up any moisture after you’ve finished cleaning a section.
- Polyurethane hardwood floors should be recoated with the same type of polyurethane originally used if cleaning no longer brings back the shine.
- Waxed hardwood floors should be buffed to restore the shine. If this doesn’t work, use a cleaner and liquid wax, followed by buffing. Make sure to use only cleaning liquids, waxes, or buffing pastes made specifically for wax-finished hardwood floors. You should only need to wax once or twice a year, depending on the amount of traffic.
- For waxed hardwood floors that become soiled and discolored, use a liquid cleaner/wax product made specifically for hardwood floors. Use a cloth or superfine steel wool to spread the cleaner/wax, and gently rub to remove the dirt and old wax. Wipe the floor until it’s clean, allow 20 minutes for it to dry, and then buff.
- Avoid direct sunlight on your floor.
- Immediately wipe up spills. For pet urine, use a slightly dampened towel.
- Put colorfast doormats made of natural materials at all entrances to prevent tracking in dirt, moisture, and sand on your floors.
- Place area rugs in front of the kitchen sink, and in high traffic areas. To prevent trapping moisture, use rugs made of breathable material, and don’t buy ones with vinyl or solid rubber backings.
- Place felt pads under furniture legs to prevent scratching. Replace the pads often as dirt can become embedded in them, making them act like sandpaper on your floor. Lift furniture rather than sliding it.
- Avoid walking on wooden floors in high heels, or in any shoes with spikes or cleats. Wearing no shoes at all would be safer to prevent scratching the floor with any dirt or grit.
- Trim your pet’s nails. If your pet uses the same part of a floor consistently, place a mat or carpet in that area.
- Use a humidifier in the winter months to prevent shrinkage of the hardwood floorboards, which results in gaps. Keep the humidity between 35 and 55 percent.
- Use an air conditioner in the warmer months to prevent expansion and cracking of the wood finish.
- Replace any hard, plastic castors or rollers with wide, rubber ones.
- Never use vinyl or tile cleaning products on hardwood floors. As well, never use self-polishing acrylic waxes. These waxes can make the wood slippery and dull, and the floor might have to be sanded and refinished.
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Dust as needed, using a soft, dry mop.
- Use a vacuum on the “bare floor” setting. Do not use the rotating brush.
- Once a week, mop the floor with a damp mop, using a detergent recommended by your tile manufacturer. For example, there are neutral pH cleaners made specifically for stone tile floors. Waxing is not recommended for tile floors as it can dull the finish.
- Place doormats at all entrances to keep dirt and dust off the floors. The mats can have rubber backing, although it’s not necessary. Wash them or vacuum to keep them clean.
- Avoid walking on tile floors with high heels or shoes with cleats or spikes. Take your shoes off at the door to prevent tracking in dirt. Don’t use abrasive cleaners that can scratch and dull the tile surface.
- Don’t use cleaners with acids, such as lemon or vinegar, which can stain tile grout and harm the sealer on stone flooring tile.
- Pet accidents, oil, juice, and wine should be wiped up immediately to prevent stains to the tile grout, and natural stone.
- It’s a good idea to keep an extra box of tiles on hand to replace any chipped or cracked ones.
- If the grout on your tile becomes discolored, you can clean it to make it light or white again. Check with the manufacturer to determine the best products to use, and which ones you should avoid.
- Natural stone tile may have to be resealed every few years, depending on its porosity. Check with the manufacturer for advice.
Cleaning and Maintenance
- Clean your carpets and rugs with a quality vacuum cleaner. It should have a beater bar, or a rotating bristled bar, that pulls up the nap, allowing the vacuum to suck up debris. The rotating brush also collects hair, dust, and dirt particles, and needs to be cleaned regularly to be effective.
- Steam cleaning, or hot water extraction, is the best way to clean and even sanitize your carpets and rugs. It should be done every 18 months, depending on the amount of traffic. You can buy inexpensive, cold water extraction cleaning machines at your home stores, but they don’t do as good a job.
- When doing your own carpet and rug cleaning, follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. You can easily shrink or damage a carpet or rug, especially if it’s made from natural materials such as wool.
- Other cleaning options for carpets and rugs include laundering and dry cleaning. Check the tags first for care instructions.
- Usually rugs and carpets are treated with some sort of stain guard. However, if yours hasn’t been treated, you can buy a product such as Scotchguard and treat it yourself. You should reapply a stain guard every six months or after every professional steam cleaning.
- Place doormats at each entrance, and encourage people to wipe their feet and leave their shoes at the door. Shoes with rubber soles are particularly damaging to carpets.
- Wear socks and slippers instead of walking barefoot on your carpets. The natural oils in your skin leave an oily residue behind.
- Always clean a spill or pet mishap immediately. The longer it remains on the carpet the harder it is to remove. Use a paper or cotton towel to soak up as much as possible. Then carefully brush out any remaining liquid using a bristle brush and carpet detergent mixed with water. Vacuum up the remaining detergent and water with a wet or wet/dry vacuum.
- There are some good stain remover products that can remove old stains as well. Ask your carpet dealer to recommend some. Test the one you buy on a part of the carpet that’s out of sight to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.
Protect the investment you’ve made in your home. Call Sunshine Sunrooms at (972)-243-5390 for your design, renovation and construction needs.