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An important element in any custom home design is the flooring, and hardwood floor is an overwhelmingly popular choice. Because this type of floor is a true investment that enhances aesthetics and property value in substantial ways, you need to take great care of it over the years. It can be damaged by some cleaning efforts, so it’s important to understand the proper cleaning and maintenance steps to take for your specific wood floor type.

What Type of Wood Floor Is in Your Home?

You may think that the species of wood that you used in your custom home plays a role in the cleaning requirements, but this is not always the case. Regardless of whether you have bamboo, oak, maple or some other type of wood on your floor, the finish or coating will determine the proper cleaning steps. Therefore, to begin properly caring for your floor, you need to determine what finish is on the wood. Older homes with wood floors installed prior to 1970 may have exposed wood that is unprotected, or the wood may be covered with a wax finish. This type of wood can very easily be damaged by water and other elements. If you have a newer home design with wood floors that were recently installed, your floor was likely finished with urethane or polyurethane. Request a professional consultation if you are uncertain about the finish on your floor.

How Can You Clean Your Floor Regularly?

Because of the smooth, hard finish on wood flooring, even the smallest flecks of dirt and dust can make them look dirty. All types of wood floors can be cleaned daily with a soft-bristle brush. You could also use a vacuum to remove the dirt. However, to avoid damage, only use a vacuum that has been specifically designed for cleaning wood floors.

How Can You Avoid Damaging Your Floor?

In addition to avoiding unintentionally scratching the floor with a vacuum that was not designed for use on wood, you may also damage it with excessive amounts of water. Urethane and polyurethane finishes are semi-impermeable to water, but excessive standing water or moisture on the planks or slats can still cause water damage. For all types of wood flooring, avoid using a wet mop. You also need to avoid using the same types of harsh floor cleaning products that you may use on vinyl and tile floors.

How Can You Clean a Newer Wood Floor?

A newer wood floor may be cleaned regularly with a broom or a special vacuum, but there will be times when the floor requires some type of moisture to clean it thoroughly. While you need to avoid using a very wet mop, you can use a slightly damp mop to clean newer floors that have a urethane or polyurethane finish. Do not allow any moisture to remain for more than a minute or two. Opt for a mop that is damp with a combination of water and dish soap or water and a specialized wood floor cleaning product.

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How Can You Clean an Older or Unsealed Wood Floor?

The use of any type of moisture or cleaning agents on an older wood floor or on an unsealed wood floor can cause serious damage. Sweeping is the only regular cleaning step that should be taken. Periodically, buffing or waxing the floor may help it to retain a healthy appearance and add extra protection.

Your wood floors are beautiful and an investment, so take care of them. If you have questions about your floors or any other feature in your custom home, contact Alair Homes London, and we’ll help answer them.