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Homeowners have a lot of checklists. From appliance repair to seasonal maintenance tasks, taking good care of your home can keep you on your toes. One area you don’t want to neglect is floor maintenance. Quality flooring can last a long time, but you have to do your part to really maximize its lifespan.
Floor Cleaning Tips
The proper cleaning technique for your floor depends on its material. What is good for one type of flooring can be wreak havoc on another. Maintaining a regular schedule for both routine and deep cleaning is essential for long-lasting floors.
A good vacuum cleaner is essential for taking care of your carpet. Every six months, you should have your carpet steam-cleaned by a professional or rent an industrial steam cleaner to do the job yourself. Clean and dry all spills immediately to prevent mold.
Use the vacuum setting for hard floors or a dry mop on a weekly basis at a minimum. While you want to avoid using a lot of water to clean laminate, it is ok to use a damp cloth to clean sticky or stubborn spots. Avoid heat as it can cause the laminate to detach and curl.
Cork is a porous material, and linoleum is a composite of natural elements with similar properties. Both require specific guidelines for care. Water damage is a top concern for floors made from natural materials. Clean up spills with a dry cloth as soon as they occur, and spot clean with a vinegar and dish soap solution. Frequent vacuuming prevents abrasion from dirt and other particles.
Luxury vinyl plank is increasing in popularity, especially for custom kitchen renovations. Its benefits include durability, superior water resistance and easy installment. It is also pretty simple to keep clean. Use a vinegar and dish soap solution when you mop, and treat your vinyl floor to the occasional steam cleaning to sanitize it.
The most common type of tile homeowners choose is either ceramic or natural stone. Avoid acidic or harsh cleaners with stone tiles, as they break down the material. Steam cleaning or mopping with warm water is your best bet. Steam also works for deep cleaning porcelain tile, but a vinegar and soap solution is acceptable for everyday upkeep.
A broom, a microfiber mop and a pH-neutral soap are the tools you need for both hardwood and bamboo floors. Sweep frequently to keep dust and debris from being ground into the planks. Take care not to get the floor too wet or expose it to high humidity, as too much moisture can cause it to warp. Use a mop dampened with soapy water for regular cleaning.
Proper Floor Maintenance
In addition to regular cleaning, you must protect your flooring from the everyday dangers that life throws its way. While mopping up spills and vacuuming can help, there are extra precautions you can take.
Your hard floors bear all the weight of your furniture, and over time this causes additional wear and tear. To minimize the impact your heavier pieces have on the floor, add a barrier beneath them. It can be as simple as felt trimmed to fit the base or plastic or rubber protectors. The wider the barrier, the more evenly distributed the weight of the furniture will be on the floor. This relieves pressure and lowers the risk of damage.
The more dirt you have in your home, the greater the risk is to your floor’s safety. If you live in a dry climate with frequent dust storms, you will need to sweep more often to keep the grit under control and off your floors. Place doormats at every entry to trap the bulk of the debris that hitches a ride on people’s shoes into your home from the outside.
Be careful when moving furniture around your home. Lift rather than scoot chairs and other items across the floor. If you have pets in your house, have the groomer clip their nails on a regular basis to minimize their impact on your hard floors and keep them from snagging your carpet fibers.
Floor Repair or Replacement
Even with the most rigorous care, your flooring will eventually need to be repaired or completely replaced. The key is knowing when damage can be fixed and when it’s more cost-effective to spring for new floors altogether. Learn to recognize the signs that it’s time to replace your floor:
- Carpet may start to thin significantly, but even if it doesn’t, you need to replace it at least every ten years. You may not be able to see all the residual damage, but old carpeting can trap allergens and exacerbate respiratory issues.
- Laminate will peel or crack when it gets old. If the pieces start to separate or buckle, this signals that the adhesive has worn out, and it’s time to replace the floor.
- Linoleum bubbles when moisture gets trapped beneath it. When the problem becomes widespread throughout the area it covers, it is more economical to get new flooring than try to repair it.
- Vinyl is durable, but eventually, it will wear out. Peeling, cracking and discoloration are all signs that it’s on its last legs.
- Tile is easy to repair if there is just a hairline crack in one piece or your grout needs refreshing. However, several broken tiles or significant water damage to the subfloor indicates that you need new flooring.
- Cork floors can last up to 40 years if you take care of them. Most of the time, you can repair damage by refinishing it. If the damage is too great, though, replacement is necessary.
- Wood floors have a long lifespan because you can repair most of the damage with refinishing or by simply replacing the planks. When the floor starts to shift or buckle, you probably have more serious underlying problems that can only be resolved by the professional installation of new flooring.
Proper cleaning and care are vital for making any floor last as long as possible, but occasionally repair or new flooring is necessary. When you need floor replacement services, we can help you find a trusted professional in your area who can get the job done correctly.
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