New and reclaimed wood are some of the highest quality materials when it comes to flooring, and when you take proper care of your hardwood floors, they can remain beautiful and sturdy for years.  However, if you do not protect them against their worst enemies, they will lose their texture and shine, they may become scratched and broken, and you may find yourself walking around on unsightly flooring.

To get the most out of your hardwood flooring, keep it away from its five most common enemies:

  • Water – Generally speaking, water and wood don’t mix well together because water can seep through the wood and encourage mold growth, making your hardwood floors more prone to damage. Although water can be used to effectively clean your floors, use as little as possible to reduce the chances of damage.
  • Sunlight – Although trees and plants require sunlight while they are still alive, it becomes their worst enemy once they are dead. Too much direct exposure to sunlight can fade the varnishes and finish of your hardwood floors and even cause discoloration.  If direct sun exposure is unavoidable, use window treatments or an extended roof to lessen its intensity.
  • Furniture – It may sound ironic considering furniture is always present, but when it moves and drags across hardwood flooring, it is the greatest cause of scratching.  Try to keep furniture rearrangement to a minimum, and if you have certain pieces that you move regularly, attach small pads to the bottoms of the legs to prevent scratching.
  • Dirt Buildup – If you don’t take the time to clean and maintain your floors, you may start to notice a yellowish tint.  You will also notice that they become dull and less shiny. That is because when too much dirt, grease, and dust accumulate on your floors, they hide the previous luster and gradually begin to damage it. If there is too much buildup on your hardwood flooring, you will either need to deep clean it or strip and replace it. Both are time consuming and expensive, so the best approach it to clean regularly.
  • Liquid Spills – Whether you live alone or in a house with other people, spills are inevitable. But, that doesn’t mean you should give up on maintaining your hardwood floors. Spills can indeed damage the beauty of hardwood floors, especially if they are left unaddressed, but if you clean a stain quickly and thoroughly, you can save your hardwood floors from possible damage and you’ll never know it was there.

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