Sun, Fun and Floor Care: Summer Maintenance For Hardwood and Laminate
The warmer weather is here, and with it comes conditions that could cause damage to your hardwood or laminate flooring. But we have the tips and tricks to help you keep your floors bright and beautiful!
Most hardwood and laminate flooring comes with a humidity clause in its warranty. These clauses typically include a recommended humidity range for your home. For example, TORLYS’ humidity range is 30%-60% for all of their floors.
Why is it important to control the humidity? If the air in your home has too much moisture in it, it could cause laminate and hardwood to expand. The wood will absorb the extra water in the air and begin to swell. This leads to cupping and warping.
Even just a few days of high humidity can ruin hardwood and laminate. Running a de-humidifier will keep humidity levels low. You may want to consider purchasing a combination humidifier/de-humidifier if winter is extremely cold in your area. Dry air can damage hardwood and laminate flooring too.
The sun is out, which means the kids are outside playing. And when they come in, so does the dirt. Mud, sand and other debris can act like sandpaper on your hardwood or laminate—scratching it, ruining its finishing and wearing it down.
If you don’t already have a mat at the front door—and if you have kids, you probably have two or three in place—put one down that is non-skid and made from cotton. Rubber or fibre-backed mats may stain or scratch floor finishes. Also, make sure everyone removes their shoes at the front door.
When it comes to cleaning hardwood or laminate, avoid wax and oil based floor cleaners. Premium floor companies will provide you with high-quality cleaners, including floor dressing to help protect the original finish and floor stripper to remove and reapply floor dressing.
Never use a wet mop on your floor or a treated mop that has been used to clean other floors (e.g., bathroom tile) or furniture in your house. A non-treated, clean dust mop is ideal to remove soil and dust. Wipe up spills immediately with cloths or sponges. If a sticky substance such as gum gets on your floor, freeze it first with an ice cube and use a plastic scraper (e.g., a credit card) to gently remove it.
Light is the biggest influencer of your hardwood’s colour, and in the summer, damaging ultra-violet rays are at their strongest. UV rays not only have the ability to burn your skin, but your flooring as well. They can cause fading, bleaching and even darkening.
You should protect your floor from sunlight all year long, but especially in the summer. Use curtains and blinds to block out the sun. If you have horizontal blinds, you don’t need to close them fully, just angle them upwards. Consider replacing your windows with Low-E glass to block out more UV rays and save on energy costs. You should also use rugs to protect your floor. Finally, think of your floor’s finish and/or dressing as sun screen—apply more when needed.