Congratulations. By using reclaimed hardwood for your wood floors you’ve gone the extra mile.It may have cost a bit more than a laminate floor or something composed of who knows what, but the fact is you’ll be more than happy with your new wood floors.
You’re doing your part to keep things green by recycling wood that is not only readily available, but has far more history to it and no more forest has been removed for you to have your wood flooring.
Now because you’ve gone the extra mile to find the perfect reclaimed wood flooring, you’ll want to take care of it. Let’s go over a few things you may need to do to get that done.
If you’re a traditionalist the chances are good you’ll go with a finish that allows you to use wax as the protective coating. In that case you, or whomever you hire, will be doing some extra work. The rewards are well worth it.
Less harmful chemicals in your home and in the environment for one. And once the wood is sealed with your choice of penetrating sealer and stain you’ll need to wax it as the sealer itself will not totally protect the wood floor.
To maintain the waxed floor it needs to have the dust and daily debris removed with a light sweeping. These days a lot of people are swearing by their Swiffer to remove more than what a simple sweeping does.
Vacum weekly with a soft bristled foot on the vacum to remove the particles and dust that may have gotten into the cracks and not been picked up while dusting or sweeping. Don’t use the beater bar of your vacum as this may cause dents in your wood floors or partially remove wax.
Make sure that any liquid spilled on the floor is removed as quickly as possible to prevent staining. A soft cloth will get this done pretty quickly.
When it comes time to rewax the floor you may have to remove the old wax first. Use a commercial grade wood floor wax stripper or mineral spirits to get the old wax off . Then make sure you’ve dried the floor thoroughly before you apply the wax. Either a good quality liquid or paste wax will work. Then buff till it’s shiny.
You may only have to do a complete strip and rewax once a year if everything goes well. Do not use furniture wax, one-step waxes or acrylic or water-based waxes – all of these have major pitfalls when applied to your wood flooring especially the reclaimed hardwood floors.
Clean Stains and Spills Promptly
Dirt is your hardwood floor’s enemy and water, well water can do just as much damage. Do your best to never let water or mud sit, clean up all spills immediately if at all possible with a soft cloth or wet vacuum.
If your floor is surface-sealed it can be wiped down with a damp mop and a floor cleaner that’s approved for your finish.Your waxed or unfinished floor on the other hand, should never be wet-mopped. Instead, spot clean any stains your broom doesn’t catch. White vinegar will works just fine as a cleaner and won’t do any harm to the wood. Never use ammonia, which will cause the finish to weaken and turn white.
To get rid of food stains, simply wipe the area with a damp cloth, working from the outside of the stain toward the center. Then rub it dry and wax the area.
If your finish is blemished by pale water spots, dab a bit of mineral spirits onto an extra-fine steel wool pad and gently rub the stain using a circular motion. Make sure the room is well-ventilated.
There you go. Some simple ways to keep your hardwood floor looking great and lasting for years to come.