Maryland Cleaning Services

How to Care for Your Hardwood Flooring and Prolong its Life

Sep 5, 2014

WoodHardwood floors are beautiful and amazingly versatile. If you lived in a carpeted home your entire life and then switched to hardwood, you wouldn’t want to go back. Not only does it collect less dirt and looks more elegant, hardwood flooring is also a great investment and a major selling point for your home. However, from the years of having hardwood floors, you probably know how delicate they are despite their hardness. They act funny in high humidity, fade under direct sunlight and you have to be very careful when moving furniture. As a Maryland hardwood cleaning company, we know all about the tricky nature of caring for your hardwood floors.

Caring for your hardwood

Proper care is crucial for longevity of your hardwood floors. And if you are like most homeowners, you are probably lost in all the cleaning products and advice floating around the web. Did you know that the wood species your flooring is made of has nothing to do with how it should be cleaned? Because the wood is stained and sealed before it becomes flooring, the surface you end up cleaning is not wood—it’s the finish that has been applied to protect it and form a “wear layer.”

Types of wood finishes

  • Surface finishes such as urethane or polyurethane form a layer over the surface of your hardwood without penetrating it.
  • Penetrating finishes such as oil sealers and wax are applied to the wood and left to soak in and form a protective layer. If you have a wax finish, the surface would turn white when exposed to a drop of water for a few minutes.
  • Varnish, lacquer and shellac finishes were used before urethane finishes became available and can be found in older homes constructed in the 60s and earlier. Shellac and varnish will typically flake when scratched.

Figuring out what type of finish your hardwood has is not always easy. Unless you can call your installer and ask him the name of the finishing product they used, you might have to enlist an expert to determine it for sure. Once you know the type of finish, you can look up cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. Meanwhile, besides mopping with plain water, there are a few other things you could do.

Use door mats

Place mats on both sides of the doors that lead outside. This will help trap dirt and debris tracked in by your family members and pets. Consider removing your shoes at the entrance as well, especially if your doors open up straight into the hardwood area.

Sweep and vacuum often

When your hardwood floors are covered with tiny sand particles, they get scratched every time you step on them and create friction. These micro-scratches will add up over time, making your floors look dull. Frequent vacuuming and sweeping should help get rid of the sand.

Wipe spills right away

Whenever possible, don’t let a spill sit on your hardwood floor. If you spill something, wipe the floors as soon as it happens. Letting the spills soak in may eventually lead to rot. Be especially swift with cleaning up pet accidents, because ammonia in the urine may permanently discolor your floors.

Less water is better

As you might know, hardwood doesn’t like moisture. When you mop it, make sure to squeeze all the excess water out of your mop, leaving it slightly damp. Standing water should never be allowed on hardwood surfaces. Be careful with steam mops as well—they should never be used on unfinished or waxed floors.

Professional help

Sometimes, the regular sweeping and mopping just doesn’t make a difference anymore. As your floor’s finish wears out, your hardwood will start looking dingy, dirty and will lose its shine no matter how often you clean. This is a good time to hire a Maryland hardwood cleaning company to clean and refinish your floors. Professional cleaners have tools and equipment to finish in a day what for you would have been a weekend-long project.

Give Kent Clean a call at 410-552-6501 if you think it’s time to give your hardwood flooring a face lift.

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"WOW, WOW, WOW. I don't know what else to say. With two dogs and a 2 year old running around the house, our carpets and furniture need cleaning on a regular basis. It's nice to know that all I need to do is pick up the phone and I have no more worries. In this day and age, it is a very pleasant surprise to come across a company who will do what they say they will do when they say they will do it and with very little supervision. Kudos to Kent Clean!!! Thanks Larry!"
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Maryland Floor Cleaning Services

Anne Arundel County Floor Cleaning Services: Annapolis (21401, 21403, 21409), Arnold (21012), Crofton (21114), Crownsville (21032), Gambrills (21054), Glen Burnie (21060, 21061), Hanover (21076), Jessup (20794), Pasadena (21122), Severn (21144), Severna Park (21146).

Baltimore County Floor Cleaning Services: Arbutus (21227), Catonsville (21228, 21250), Cockeysville (21030, 21031, 21065), Dundalk (21222), Edgemere (21219), Essex (21221), Garrison (21055), Lansdowne (21227), Lochearn (21207), Lutherville (21093), Middle River (21220), Milford Mill (21244), Overlea (21236), Owings Mills (21117), Parkville (21234), Park Heights (21215), Pikesville (21208), Randallstown (21133), Reisterstown (21136), Rosedale (21237), Timonium (21093), Towson (21204), White Marsh (21162), Woodlawn (21207), Baltimore City and more.

Carroll County Floor Cleaning Services: Eldersburg (21784), Finksburg (21048), Hampstead (21074), Manchester (21102), Marriottsville (21104), Taneytown (21787), Union Bridge (21791), Westminster (21157, 21158), Mount Airy (21771), New Windsor (21776), Sykesville (21784), Woodbine (21797), Taneytown (21787), and more.

Frederick County Floor Cleaning Services: Frederick (21701, 20702, 21703, 21709), New Market (21774) , Mount Airy (21771), Urbana (21704), Ijamsville (21754), Walkersville (21793), Libertytown (21762), and more.

Howard County Floor Cleaning Services: Clarksville (21029), Columbia (21044), Cooksville (21723), Dorsey (21075), Elkridge (21075), Ellicott City (21043), Fulton (20759), Glenelg (21737), Glenwood (21738), Granite (21163), Hanover (21076), Highland (20777), Jessup (20794), Lisbon (21765), Marriottsville (21104), North Laurel (20723), West Friendship (21794), Woodbine (21797), Woodstock (21163), and more.

Montgomery County Floor Cleaning Services: Olney (20832), Damascus (20872), Laytonsville (20882), Silver Spring (20910), Clarksburg (20871), Gaithersburg (20878), Germantown (20876), Bethesda (20816), Chevy Chase (20815), and more.

Prince George's County Floor Cleaning Services: Bowie (20715, 20716, 20720, 20721), Beltsville (20705), Adelphi (20783), College Park (20740,20742), Greenbelt (25689), Hyattsville (20781, 20782, 20783, 20784), Landover (20785), Laurel (20707, 20723), Springdale (20774), Upper Marlboro (20772, 20774), Woodlawn (21207).

Washington, D.C., Virginia, Northern Virginia