11 Daily Habits That Cause Damage to Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors add great value to your home décor. They have a smooth finish and provide a natural look to the floors. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for decades.

However, if you mistreat them, then they won’t last nearly as long.

There are a few daily habits that cause substantial and permanent damage to your expensive floors. You might not be aware of these threats that can result in ruined hardwood floors.

Here is a list of 6 habits that can damage your hardwood floors.

  • Using Floor Cleaners with Harmful Chemicals

If you’re mopping your hardwood floors with a chemical or oil based floor cleaner, then you’re ruining its shine. Some floor cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that damage the floor’s finish. As a result, your floors start aging before their time. Be careful before choosing floor cleaners and rely on the products that are safe for hardwood floors.

  • Washing the Floors Daily

Water is a plank’s greatest enemy. If you wash your hardwood floors daily with water, it can lead to penetration of moisture into the wood fibers causing the boards to swell. Wash your floors once in a week by using a damp mop or cloth instead. After washing, dry the floor immediately with a towel.

  • Walking on the Floor with High Heels

Hardwood floors and high heels don’t get along well. Your beloved high heels act as a tiny hammer for your wooden floors. The sharp edges of your footwear can easily cause scratches on the floor. To avoid this, remove your high heels before stepping into a room where hardwood is installed.

  • Irregular Sweeping

Forgetting to sweep or vacuum your floors can reduce its life. Dust and dirt act as sandpaper for your floors causing the finish to become scratched and dulled. Use a good quality soft bristle broom and sweep the floors regularly to maintain the hardwood.

  • Too Much Sun Exposure

If your room’s window allows excess sunlight to enter, then cover it with shades or blinds during the day. Too much exposure to sun rays can cause discoloration of hardwood floors. Keeping the hardwood floors shaded will help in maintaining the natural wooden texture and colour.

  • Dragging Furniture across the Floor

If you want to move your furniture from one place to another in a room, then lift it carefully rather than sliding it. Dragging the furniture or any other heavy appliances can cause scratches and damage the finish of the wood over time. Put protective pads under your furniture legs for maximum protection.

  • Using Floor Polishes

While it may seem like a good idea to use polish, oil, or wax, it is worth remembering that hardwood flooring in Toronto, as elsewhere, generally has a protective coating. If this layer wears down, it is best to contact hardwood flooring experts to re-coat your floor.

However, once you use a refresher such as polish, oil, or wax, it will not be possible to have the material coated professionally again. This is because professionals use polyurethane-based coating materials that cannot bond to acrylic or oil. That’s why it is best to read the fine print on these products before you buy. Or, speak to your flooring provider to understand how to effectively care for your hardwood flooring for the best results.

  • Cleaning with a Steam Mop

While it may be tempting to use a steam mop to deep clean the hardwood flooring in your Toronto home, it’s best to avoid doing so.

Hardwood is susceptible to warping, buckling, and cupping when exposed to changing humidity levels and moisture. When exposed to drastic temperature and moisture changes, it is more likely to warp.

Although some steam mop manufacturers claim their product is safe for use on hardwood, the steam may force itself into the joints between the boards. This will ultimately find its way into the hardwood and warp it.

Also, if your hardwood flooring came with a protective layer, the steam can break it down.

  • Not Using Runners and Rugs in High-Traffic Areas

Entryways, mudrooms, and hallways are high-traffic areas. So, the flooring here sees more wear and tear.

This is why you should use rugs and runners in these spaces to protect your hardwood flooring from shoe scuffing and any debris dragged into your home.

However, walking on an area rug that is placed over a dirty surface will result in the existing dirt grinding into the surface. That is why it is best to sweep carefully before placing the rug over it.

If you are worried about the area rug or runner slipping on the smooth hardwood surface, get a non-slip rug pad. It will keep the rugs in place and protect your hardwood flooring.

  • Letting Dirt, Sand, and Grit Build Up

When sand, dirt, or grit is left on your hardwood flooring, it acts like sandpaper. The result is scratches and scuffs, especially in high-traffic areas.

Homeowners who experience a lot of dirt and dust should consider having their hardwood flooring cleaned regularly. This prevents minor damage which can turn into major issues.

  • Not Considering Your Pets and Their Habits

Pets can cause considerable damage to hardwood floors, whether it’s scratches from their nails or an unnoticed accident causing unpleasant odours and discoloration of the wood.  If your pet has an accident, be sure to clean it up right away to prevent it from seeping into the wood.

These can result in the flooring taking on a dull appearance over time.  Here are some clever ways to make your hardwood flooring pet-friendly.

Make sure to keep your pet’s nails trimmed to prevent them from ruining the beauty of your floors and the protective coating. A simple rule is to trim their nails whenever you hear them making a sound when they walk on your hardwood, or if their nails hook into blankets or other fabric.

Maintaining the original beauty and appeal of the hardwood floors is important. Some of your daily habits can possibly damage your floors permanently. Avoid these practices and increase the life of your beautiful wooden floors.

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