While floors are generally low maintenance, they still need some TLC a little more often than most of us realize. Unfortunately, forgetting a few simple, routine tasks can have dire consequences, from lessening the life of our floors to threatening the health of our families. And with many manufacturers, proper care is vital to maintaining your warranty. Here are a few routine tasks that are often ignored and why they’re important.
Please note: every flooring option is different, so it’s still important to check the manufacturer’s care recommendations. This is important both for the life of your flooring and to maintain a valid warranty.
Soft Surface Flooring Care
Carpet and area rugs aren’t always expected to last as long as hard surface flooring, but recent industry innovations have begun to change that. Still, they do require a little basic maintenance.
Vacuuming with a HEPA Filter
Obviously, vacuuming carpet is one of the most basic and routine tasks. However, few people realize the benefit of using a HEPA filter with their vacuum. HEPA filters actually help clean both the carpet and your home’s air. How?
Eventually, dust, dirt and allergens are brought down by gravity and settle on the floor. If you have carpet, they become trapped under the fibers, preventing them from stirring back into the air. By vacuuming once per week with a HEPA vacuum, you are removing these particles both from the floor and air. Just be sure to vacuum at least once per week to prevent buildups.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
Even with regular vacuuming, some dirt, dander and oils can still become embedded in your carpet over time. That’s why it’s important to have your floors professionally cleaned every 18 months (roughly). We recommend the hot water extraction cleaning method, as it is among the safest, most effective options and doesn’t leave any residue behind.
Hard Surface Care
Tile & Stone
We often think that cleaning spills off of hard surface flooring isn’t as important. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, spills should be cleaned just as quickly and thoroughly from hard surfaces as they would from carpet.
These concerns are especially important for tile & stone floors. Often, store flooring requires a specialized (though often comparatively priced) cleaning solution. For example, porcelain floors require cleaners with a neutral pH. And with tile, a grout-safe cleaner is obviously needed. Needless to say, it’s important to check the label of any floor cleaner that you’re considering for compatibility with your floors.
Also remember that some stone flooring (and nearly all group with tile and stone) has a texture that features small groves and pores. Unfortunately, it is much easier for dirt to enter these areas than it is to remove. So while certain treatments can help repel dirt, tile and stone floors should still be cleaned weekly. And although brooms are common, vacuums (with the brush removed) can make it easier to clean those porous areas.
Hardwood floors tend to be pretty straightforward. The real concern is whether your panels are compatible with virtually all floor cleaners or require a special solution.
Also, unknown to many homeowners, the indoor humidity level plays a crucial role in the longevity of hardwood flooring. Moisture levels cause wood to naturally expand and contract. While a variety of modern treatments and finishes help prevent this, none are full-proof. Try to ensure that it remains between 35% and 55%, a fairly easy range to maintain indoors (though more difficult in some climates).
Rearranging your Room
If you’ve ever had to move furniture in a room with carpet flooring, you’ll notice that that area of the floor looks different from the rest. While this is obvious with carpet, the effects of furniture on hardwood are much less noticeable in the short term. This is why it’s important to periodically rearrange your room.
By rearranging your furniture periodically, wood flooring can age and adapt more evenly over time. This will keep hardwood panels looking their best for years to come. It can also help prevent eventual costly repairs.
For expert care advice from Michigan’s top flooring experts, stop by our Grand Ledge showroom today!