Routine Maintenance


Wood Floor MaintenanceWith today’s advances in wood flooring stains and finishes, cleaning your wood floors has never been easier. Regular maintenance requires little more than sweeping with a soft bristle broom, and vacuuming with a soft floor attachment if your wood floor includes a beveled edge that could collect debris. You also should clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaning product. Kimbrough Carpenter will help by recommending the appropriate product for your home.

Preventive Maintenance

Kimbrough Carpenter recommends these steps you can take to minimize maintenance and maintain the beauty of your wood floors as well.
  • Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
  • Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will prevent scratching.
  • Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  • Do not over-wax a wood floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  • Put soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
  • Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
  • When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to protect the wood flooring.
  • For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
  • Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimize gaps or cracks.

Renewal & Repairs

Unlike most other floor covering options, wood is very forgiving. Most problems can be prevented with proper maintenance, but when problems do occur, renewal and repair usually is possible. For renewing and repairing stains and scratches on any wood floor, always begin at the outer edge of the stain or scratch and work toward the middle. To renew or repair a wood floor, you first will need to determine which kind of finish is on your floor.

Wax Floors

Stains

How you tackle renewing and repairing stains depends on the type of stain.
  • Chewing Gum, Crayon, Candle Wax Apply a plastic bag filled with ice until the deposit is brittle enough to crumble off. Crayon or candle wax can be removed by placing an ink blotter on the area and applying a hot pressing iron to the top of the blotter. Solvent-based wax also can be applied around the area to loosen the deposit.
  • Cigarette Burns If the burn is not very deep, rub the area with fine sandpaper or steel wool. Moisten the steel wool with wax for better results. If the burn is deep, scrape the area with a penknife to remove charred fibers. Rub the area with fine sandpaper. Stain, wax and hand buff.
  • Dark Spots, Dog Spots, Ink Stains Rub spot with #000 steel wool. Wax the affected area. If this fails, lightly sand the area with fine sandpaper, and clean it using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner . Allow the floor to dry. Stain, wax and hand buff. If the spot remains, apply a household bleach or vinegar and allow it to soak for an hour. Rinse with a damp cloth, wipe dry and smooth with fine sandpaper. Stain, wax and hand buff.
  • Dried Milk, Food Stains Gently rub the stain with a damp cloth. Rub the area dry and wax.
  • Mold Rub with a wood cleaner.
  • Oil, Grease Stains First rub the area with kitchen soap having a high lye content, or saturate cotton with hydrogen peroxide and place over the stain. Then saturate a second layer of cotton with ammonia and place over the first layer. Repeat until stain is removed. Let the area dry and then hand buff.
  • Water Stains, White Spots Rub spot with #000 steel wool. Wax the affected area. If this fails, lightly sand the area with fine sandpaper, and clean it using #00 steel wool and mineral spirits or a wood floor cleaner. Allow the floor to dry. Stain, wax and hand buff.
  • Wax Build Up Strip the old wax away with odorless mineral spirits or a wood floor product made for stripping wax. Use cloths and fine steel wool to remove all residue. After the floor is dry, wax and buff.
  • Scratches To renew and repair scratches, wax the area thoroughly.
  • Heel Marks Rub in a small amount of wax with fine steel wool and hand buff to a shine.

Surface Finished Floors

Stains

  • Chewing Gum, Crayon, Candle Wax Apply a plastic bag filled with ice on top of the stain until it is brittle enough to crumble off. Clean the area with a product made for urethane finishes.
  • Cigarette Burns Most common burns can be treated with a touch-up kit made for urethane finishes. Rub with sandpaper, stain and refinish. For burns that reach deep into the wood, individual plank or parquet boards may need to be replaced.
  • Food, Water, Dark Spots, Dog Spots Use a cleaner developed specifically for urethane finishes to remove the spot or stain. More stubborn spots may require additional scrubbing with the cleaner and a wood flooring scrub pad made for urethane floors.
  • Oil, Grease Stains Rub the area with a cleaner developed for urethane.
  • Scratches
Repair with a touch-up kit made for urethane finishes available from any wood flooring retailer. Contact Kimbrough Carpenter with any questions regarding the care and maintenance of your wood floor.
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