February 27, 2020

Maintain Your Carpet & Hardwood Floors Like A Pro 

Blog #1 of 2 in a series 

Maintain Your Carpet & Hardwood Floors Like A Pro 

Kitchen Living Area

To protect your investment and extend the life of your home flooring, it’s best to follow manufacturers’ instructions for everyday cleaning and routine maintenance. But what if you don’t know the name brand of your carpet? Or you’re not sure about what type of hardwood is in your home?  

I’ve been in the flooring business for nearly 20 years, and I’ve learned a few tips. These general maintenance and care guidelines can help you keep your flooring looking its very best over time: 

Carpet. For everyday maintenance, vacuum carpet often using a quality vacuum cleaner that moves freely and has an adjustable base to adapt to carpet height. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning carpeting every 18 to 24 months. Hot water extraction or steam cleaning are the preferred methods—and it’s always best to use a reputable professional trained to manage the process.  

When manufactured, carpet fibers are wound into tight a twist and heat set for retention. As the hot water or steam hits the individual strands in the carpet, the high temperature activates the memory in the yarn: Nylon carpet in particular, having natural memory within the fiber, reacts and regains much of the original twist, which makes it feel lofty and full.  

For ideal results (and to get that spring back in your carpet), it’s important that the soap solution is completely rinsed out of the carpet; if soap residue is left behind, it attracts dirt and causes the carpet fibers to wear more quickly. Pro tip: Ask your carpet cleaning contractor for both a thorough rinse and an extra dry application. 

Drawer Detail

Hardwood & Laminate. It’s normal for hardwoods and laminates – with a composite wood core to expand and contract due to seasonal weather changes and humidity. Based on most manufacturers’ recommendations, the ideal relative indoor humidity for hardwood is 35 to 55 percent. The home humidity level affects not only flooring, but also woodwork and cabinetry. Check your furnace to ensure that the humidity in your home is at the optimal level. 

For everyday care, sweep and vacuum regularly and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for cleaning products (many manufacturers recommend their own brands). These hardwood floor cleaners are generally easy to use: Simply mist onto the floor and clean with a microfiber mop.  

Years ago, Murphy’s Oil Soap was the old standby for cleaning and polishing hardwood floors. But today’s pre-finished hardwoods and laminates already have a sealed finish direct from the factory, so there’s no need to use an additional wax or polish. In fact, these types of products can build up on the surface of the floor over time. Because the wax cannot penetrate or absorb into the wood, it remains on the surface, creating a film. Pro tip: Stick with neutral cleaners specially formulated for pre-finished hardwoods. 

In the next blog, I’ll review tips for caring for porcelain tile and natural stone floors. In the meantime, if you have questions, stop by to see us at Dover Flooring & Tile Center. We’re here when you need us. 

Tschaun Procaccini