Cleaning Old Damaged Hardwood Floors the Right Way
Maintaining old, damaged hardwood floors can be a challenge depending on the type of finish used on the floor and the extent of the damage. The payoff to bringing to life a neglected wood is great. Healthy, shiny hardwood floors look amazing and provide comfort and warmth to any space.
How to clean old damaged wood floors without causing more damage
Before beginning to clean an old floor, remove all objects and clean the floor of debris. Sweep and mop the floor with a damp mop to remove any surface dirt. Do not cover a hardwood floor with water, this will cause more damage. The floor should be mopped in small sections and dried with a towel or dry mop as soon as the section is clean. Once the floor is clear, check the floor and assess the extent of the damage before deciding how to clean old damaged wood floors.
Base Your Cleaning Tactics On The Situation
The floor may have a wax finish or a polyurethane finish. You can tell the difference using water. When water is left on a wax floor, as it dries it will create a white spot where the water was. Polyurethane will not turn white when water sits on it.
If the floor has been hidden away under carpet inspect the floor and remove any staples or nails left in the floor from the carpet installation. Start with small damaged areas. If the hardwood has small scratches or dents, steel wool or light sandpaper can be used to buff these away.
Larger areas may require sanding the floor down until the stain is gone and applying a new finish on the stained area. If the area has mold it is important that mold be treated and removed completely so it does not spread and create a health hazard.
Dining room floors can have food residue from years of use built up. Cleaning the floor could be as simple as gently scrubbing away the build up until you find the beautiful floor beneath. Do not scrape the build up away or use harsh chemicals because it will damage the finish.
Floors that are greasy or oily can be cleaned by diluting dish soap in water and scrubbed gently. The ragged used to scrub away the grease should be squeezed of as much water as possible so that the rag is damp.
When You Need To Refinish The Floor
It is normal for hardwood floors to show signs of wear like heel scuffs, dents, scratches and stains. Most can be easily removed with steel wool or sandpaper. Once the stain is removed, the area can be protected again to match the rest of the floor. If the actual wood needed to be sanded away, apply a wood stain that matches the color of the rest of the floor and apply a wax or polyurethane coat finish.
To maintain the floor, use a floor polish that matches the type of finish for the floor. Wax floors need a wax finish and polyurethane floors require a wood-floor polish.