Wood Flooring ~ Basic Maintenance to Last a Lifetime

Walking on real wood flooring is a complete different experience compared to walking on laminate flooring. Having real wood flooring in one's home reflects status and luxury while it also increases the value of your home. Similar to buying cars, real wood floor is equivalent to buying a Rolls Royce or BMW. However wood flooring, if not maintained well enough, it will cost much more in terms of repair and refurnished.

If you have decided to have wood flooring in your home, here are some basic maintenance tips that will last your wood floor for a lifetime in a tropical climate such as Singapore.

Maintain Proper Humidity Level

Since wood is a natural organic material, its properties will react easily with the surrounding environment, humidity as well as temperature. Humidity level is measured as relative humidity (RH). RH is the percentage amount of moisture in the air relative to the optimum amount the air can hold at a temperature of the particular room space.

For typical homes in Singapore, the RH level should be at between 65% and 80%. If you need to on your air conditioner 24hrs daily, its RH will be even lower. It will make the air dry and may cause small gapping between the wood boards due the expansion and contraction of the wood boards. Do not take these small gaps for granted. This may grow larger and attract termites to build their homes in it. If you are not constantly at the room for more than 2 weeks or so, it will be best recommended to switch off the air conditioner and leave your room door and the top part of the windows opened for ventilation. Do not fully open your windows, as rainfalls could cause puddles of water to accumulate in your room.

You need to maintain proper humidity level, to also prevent your wood floor from being damaged, moldy and grow stains on it.

Keep the Dirt & Grit Away

On a regular basis, vacuum, sweep or dry mop your wood floor to remove dust and grit that can been seen on the surface. On a bi-weekly basis, clean your wood floor with a well wrung cloth and with mild soap. Remember, no heavy duty cleaning, and do not pour water onto the floor. On your entryway, it will be advisable to put a mat to minimize the dirt from passing into the room so that you will prevent the floor from being scratched by dirt and grit.

Do Not Wax Your Wood Flooring

The moment you apply wax to your wooden flooring; other than making the floor slippery, it will make the surface dull instead. Re-coating will not possible and it will require sanding down the timber in order to apply coat on it again. If you found the wooden flooring is not colorful as before, call a wood specialist to come down and do a re-coating for you instead.

Prevent Scratches and Damages Caused by Objects

Use the right floor protectors on your furniture legs so that it will minimize the heavy impact on the floor causing a dent mark on the timber flooring. On top of that, you can also insert carpet or rubber mats on the bottom of your cabinets to reduce the impact.  Try not to wear high heels or high pressure material consistently on the floor.

Prevent Possible Discoloration Orientation of the Wood Flooring

For some wood species, the color will fade or change to a different color in the long term. This is very common as wood is natural and will change its color tone as it matures. If some part of your home is covered by carpets and other furniture. It is best to shift them especially in areas when there is direct sunlight. Imagine giving your wood flooring the "full tanning" treatment instead, do not do it halfway, it will not look very nice.

Make No Room for Water

Water damage is the number killer for wood flooring. Do not allow any standing water on your wooden floorboard. It may cause warping or swelling in the long run. Never spill or splash heavy amount of water on your floor while cleaning it. Always use a dry mop or apply little amount of clean water while cleaning the floor. Many will start to ask about how to remove stains and marks caused by day to day activities in the home?

Here are some typical scenario and steps to remove it;

For coffee, milk, syrup water or any other beverage stains, use mild soap cleaner and a little bit of water.For darker stains such as grease, shoe polish or chocolate, ink or lipstick mark, use a little bit of alcohol and wipe over it.For blood stains, urine stains caused by pets, use cold water instead.

In summary, wood flooring is the most sought after floor to reflect the status and luxury of the property owner. However, one needs to maintain it regularly in order for it to last for many generations. 

Copyrighted. Original Contents by Dennis Teo, Evorich Holdings Pte Ltd