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Taking Care of Floors

Your floors add beauty and functionality to your home, so it’s important to care for them properly. Poorly maintained flooring isn’t just unappealing to look at. It also has to be replaced sooner, which can be an expensive and inconvenient project. If you want your floors to look good and serve you longer, then consider these tips for taking care of them.

Carpets

Every homeowner with carpeting is aware of the constant battle to keep it looking nice. Carpet acts as a magnet for dirt, dust, stains and odors, which can reduce its life and also presents special maintenance challenges. Dirty carpets can also act as a catalyst for indoor allergies, making you feel miserable in your own home.

Keeping your carpets clean goes beyond regular vacuuming. Every six months to a year, you should have your carpets professionally shampooed. Shampooing removes offensive odors and filth that can make them look shabby and degrade more quickly. Between cleanings, it’s recommended to eliminate any stains using a stain remover before they can become set-in.

Wood Floors

Wood floors are a special case when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. They should be mopped occasionally, but care is required as water can cause significant damage to them. When mopping, use only a little moisture. If you’re using a spray, a light mist will do. However, if you’re doing it the old fashioned way, be sure to thoroughly wring out the cloth before wiping the floor.

It’s important to make sure that you don’t spill any water on the floor, or if you do, to wipe it up immediately. It’s also helpful to dry wood floors with an absorbent towel after mopping. The more water stays on the wood, the more likely it is to soak in and cause it to warp, crack or rot.

Nowadays, more people are opting for steam-cleaning of their wood floors. While steam-cleaners do use moisture to clean the floor, it dries almost instantly due to the heat. This helps prevent damage while also sanitizing and deodorizing.

Concrete

Polished concrete flooring has emerged as an efficient and attractive option that more homeowners are taking advantage of. It’s affordable, durable and easy to maintain. For daily cleaning of your concrete floor, you want to start by sweeping it and going over it with a dust mop. This will ensure a more thorough clean and also keeps dirt from being ground into the finish. If spills occur, wipe them up as soon as possible to prevent stains from forming.

Once per week, prepare mopping water with a concrete cleaning solution made for polished concrete. Wring out the mop until it’s just damp and thoroughly scrub the floor. Be sure to change out your mopping water when it’s dirty. If you don’t, you run the risk of scratching the finish, and your floor won’t be very clean. Allow the surface to dry naturally.

Laminate and Vinyl

These two flooring types, although durable, must still be given the same consideration as wood flooring. If water is left to sit on them, it can seep into the cracks and cause them to warp and curl up from the subfloor. After being swept and dust mopped, they should be mopped with a damp cloth and dried.

Depending on your floor’s manufacturer recommendations, it may not be a good idea to steam-clean vinyl and laminate floors. The combination of heat and moisture could loosen the adhesive holding it down, causing irreparable damage and making replacement necessary.

 

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