Caring for all types of floors
A home is like a car. Every so often it requires maintenance and care in order to keep it looking and functioning at its best.
Just like a car, every aspect of a home will require periodical maintenance. Walls may need repainting, lawns will need to be trimmed, and damaged tiles may need to be replaced. That’s just how it goes.
Floors are no different.
The floor of a home is most likely the most used area and the first to show signs of wear and tear. It is trampled upon, subject to dirt and grime tracked in from outdoors and susceptible to scuff marks from shoes or furniture being dragged around.
Floors are often overlooked during general maintenance of a home but here is why caring for your floors is important.
Good flooring enhances the look of your home
It can increase your property value
Regular maintenance and cleaning lowers the risk of harmful germs and bacteria collecting on your floors
In a previous blog post, we looked at types of flooring and the pros and cons of each.
Here, TriniHelper will guide you on caring for your floors and provide the professionals to do the job, if needed.
Keep in mind that different types of flooring will require different types of care and some may need maintenance every few years while others will need to be attended to more regularly. Some floors are easy to clean and care for yourself, while others require experienced workers for the best outcome.
We will look at the eight most popular flooring types.
Laminate flooring is difficult to scratch and scuff but still requires regular cleaning. For everyday cleaning, a simple broom and mop will do to remove dust and light dirt.
Liquids must be cleaned immediately as this could cause damage to the protective layer of the material. This can be done using a cloth or sponge.
Cleaning with hot water is recommended once every few months or when the floor has become noticeably dirty. The best way to do this is by using a sponge mop. However, be sure to mop and dry quickly and not let the water collect in puddles on the floor. The mop should be damp, not dripping.
Cleaning with vinegar is recommended for laminate floors that have become caked with dirt or has become dull and faded. A solution made with about 1/3 cup vinegar, a few squirts of liquid dish detergent and a gallon of warm water will help to bring life back to your floors.
Do not leave the solution on the floor too long, to prevent wearing away at the protective layer. It must be wiped away almost immediately.
Simple soaps and non-abrasive detergents can be used to clean laminate floors however bleach and other chemicals can cause irreparable damage.
Most stains can be cleaned with a damp cloth. However for stubborn stains like blood, a small amount of window cleaner can be used on the spot and wiped away with a damp cloth. Nail polish remover can be used to remove nail polish, tar or show polish stains.
A handy trick to remove scuff marks is with a simple pencil eraser. Just rub the eraser over the area until the marks disappear.
For everyday cleaning of hardwood flooring, dusting with a microfiber mob is the best option. This type of mop snags and holds on to dust, pet hair and other impurities and unlike a regular broom, does not have tough bristles that can scratch your floor.
Vacuum cleaning can also be done, however be sure to use a soft brush attachment and be careful manoeuvring the vacuum to avoid scratch the floor.
You may also mop the floor with a mop dampened with a cleaner made specifically for hardwood floors. Mopping with water or cleaning chemicals like ammonia and bleach can cause the floor to become dull and even damaged.
Apart from regular cleaning, hardwood floors may need to be polished every few months to maintain its shine, even out the surface and get rid of minor scratches and imperfections.
Your floor may need to sanded and refinished every three to five years. This will get rid of deep scratches, discoloration and other significant damage. This process is best done by a professional.
This is one of the simplest and most inexpensive floors to maintain. For everyday cleaning it requires nothing more than a broom or mop or a vacuum.
Use a non-abrasive or soft-bristled broom for sweeping and a microfiber mop for mopping to avoid scratching your floors.
For a deeper cleaning to remove dirt and grime, warm water mixed with soap and a little vinegar will do the trick.
However, over time, the shine may begin to dull and may need to be refinished or polished. Consult a professional for best results.
Ceramic tile flooring has a reputation for being durable and easy to clean.
However grout lines can become stained over time and leave your floors looking dirty, not matter how clean the tile itself is.
The best way to prevent this is to seal grout lines after tiles have been installed. This ensures that dirt and grime does not get embedded into the grout and can be wiped away easily.
Sealing should be done at least twice a year but in the event your grout line start looking stained and dirty, a simple trick is using a hydrogen peroxide and water solution and a toothbrush to scrub in between those tiles.
Daily sweeping and mopping will help to prevent a build-up of dust and dirt.
Like ceramic tile floors, porcelain tile flooring is relatively easy to clean and maintain.
Most times, all you need is water and a cleaning product or detergent.
For tough to clean dirt that won’t be removed through regular mopping, a soft-bristled brush can be used to scrub the surface. An old toothbrush is perfect for cleaning in between those grungy grout lines.
Don’t use steel brushes or abrasive materials pads to scrub your floors as these may leave unsightly scratch marks.
If using a cleaning product, be sure to read the instructions to determine the best usage.
Terrazzo is a complex and porous material made from natural stone. Although it is tough enough to withstand heavy foot traffic, its porousness means it will absorb liquids and can be stained and discoloured easily by substances like wine, soft drinks and juices.
To avoid this, spills should be cleaned immediately.
Terrazzo floors can be sealed to give an added layer of protection against these occurrences. This process is best undertaken by a professional.
You will want to clean your floors regularly to remove dust and dirt and prevent a build-up of grime. Use only mild cleaning products and avoid using harsh chemicals which can damage your floors.
Like most floors, concrete flooring can be cleaned using a broom, mild detergents and a mop. This is sufficient for every day cleaning.
However, for added protection, a concrete floor sealer can be applied which not only helps to protect your floors but can also make it more attractive.
Not all concrete sealers are equal however. You must take into account the type of surface it is being applied to. Is the flooring stained or dyed? Is it polished? Some sealants will react to colouring agents and result in unwanted effects.
The best way to avoid this is to consult a professional who can tell you which sealant will work best for your flooring.
A concrete floor wax can be applied to further protect the sealer and give your floors an added shine.
Avoid using harsh chemicals that can eat away at these protective layers.
If your concrete flooring becomes cracked or chipped, this can be easily repaired with patching materials. However, if the damage is severe, your floor may need to be entirely resurfaced.
Carpeting is a bit more complex and challenging to maintain.
Carpet fibers make it easy for dirt and dust to become trapped and difficult to remove with a broom. To avoid having impurities trapped deep in your carpets, vacuum regularly.
Carpet is also very absorbent and will soak up spills quickly and stain easily.
Always tend to spills immediately. The longer the spill is allowed to saturate the material, the harder a stain will be to remove.
Carpeting is notorious for trapping odours. Even when it looks clean, it may be harbouring harmful bacteria and giving off an unpleasant odour.
You may want to engage the services of professional carpet cleaners to deep clean your carpets and restore the lustre to the material.
At the end of the day, floors, especially in high traffic areas, will be prone to damage and dirt. Follow these guideline to minimize these challenges and preserve the life of your floors.
Place mats at the entrances to your home so persons can wipe their feet before entering. This will reduce the amount of dirt tracked into your home from dirty feet and shoes.
Avoided dragging furniture across your floors which can result in scratches and marks. Use felt pads below the legs of your furniture to avoid pressure marks from heavy furniture.
Avoid wearing high heels on floors like hardwood that may scratch easily.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning products to minimize damage to your floors.
Hire a professional for tougher jobs you are uncertain about to make sure your floor gets the best treatment
We know how overwhelming it can be to keep your home clean, when it comes to your floors let us take the hard work from you, get in touch with us at www.trinihelper.com/quotations for a quick estimate.