Flooring Maintenance Guide; Get the Most Out of Your Flooring
When you invest time, money, and heart into creating the perfect space, whether it’s your dream home or a bustling business, you should get lasting returns from it.
The surefire way to get the most out of your flooring investment is by performing regular maintenance activities. And we’re here to help you maximise your floors’ beauty, functionality, and lifespan.
This guide will cover proper flooring maintenance, its importance, daily care tips, upkeep requirements for various flooring materials, flooring care products, effects of different conditions on upkeep practices, and more.
What Is Flooring Maintenance?
Proper flooring maintenance is the regular care required to keep floors in good condition. The basic daily maintenance tasks—like sweeping, mopping, and wiping spills—apply to various floor types. However, some flooring materials might require extra and specific upkeep tasks.
What is the purpose of flooring maintenance?
Here are the top reasons why you should have a flooring maintenance routine:
- Prolong the lifespan of the flooring material
- Enhance the aesthetic appeal of the space
- Ensure safety and promote hygiene
- Prevent costly repairs or replacements
- Maintain the property value
- Sustain the floor warranty coverage
What are the steps involved in maintaing your flooring?
What care routines will help you achieve long-lasting and beautiful floors? Let’s explore the essential day-to-day actions for maintaining different types of flooring.
Wipe Spills Promptly
Dropping a container, knocking over a glass, or spilling food isn’t unheard of! You should wipe up such spills immediately. Prompt action prevents hard-to-remove stains, water damage, and potential hazards on the floor surface.
Follow these tips when you accidentally spill something on the floor.
- Use appropriate cleaning materials: The right cleaning material depends on the type of spills (water, oil, food, etc.) and flooring materials (hardwood, tile, carpet, etc.). Absorbent cloths or paper towels work well for most liquids, while a mild detergent is useful for greasy spills.
- Blot, don’t rub: Blot the affected area gently when cleaning spills. Rubbing can spread the spill or push it deeper into porous flooring materials, making the stain harder to remove.
- Rinse thoroughly: After cleaning the spill, rinse the cleaned area with clean water to remove any cleaning residue and avoid leaving sticky or slippery surfaces.
Remove Surface Dirt and Grit
Loose particles, dust, sand, or small debris can accumulate on the floor’s surface, scratch it, and damage its finish and shine.
Here’s how you can make grit and dirt removal more effective.
- Sweep or vacuum: Implement a daily or frequent schedule for sweeping or vacuuming the floors to remove loose dirt and grit. Use soft-bristled brooms or vacuums with adjustable settings suitable for different floor types.
- Pay attention to corners, edges and high-traffic areas: Double-check these areas as dirt and grit tend to accumulate there.
- Consider entryway mats: Place mats or rugs at entryways to trap dirt and debris before it reaches the interior space.
Clean the Floors Regularly
Floor cleaning is another crucial step for removing damaging dirt particles. It includes tasks like sweeping, dusting, mopping, vacuuming, and taking out the trash.
- Establish a cleaning schedule: The frequency of your floor cleaning depends on the flooring type and foot traffic. Typically, you should sweep or vacuum your floors daily and mop weekly.
- Find the right cleaning tools and products. Ensure that your cleaning tools and products are appropriate for the specific flooring material.
During your regular cleaning, look for signs of damage or wear (scratches, dents, cracks, stains, etc.) on the flooring. This critical and easy floor maintenance tip can save you a lot of money and headaches.
Here’s how to approach it:
- Assess the extent of the damage: If you spot some floor wear and tear, thoroughly assess the extent to determine the best repair or restoration method.
- Fix minor scratches: For minor scratches on hardwood or laminate floors, use scratch repair kits or touch-up markers for the specific flooring type.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Check and follow the flooring brand’s guidelines for various repairs to ensure you do it properly.
- Consult professionals: For significant damage or when you’re unsure about the repair process, consult a floor maintenance company. They can assess the situation and provide appropriate solutions.
Replace Dampened Areas
Identifying and replacing flooring sections that have become damp or water-damaged due to spills, leaks, or other water-related incidents is a vital maintenance task. It prevents further damage, mould growth, and potential structural issues.
Here’s how to identify and replace dampened floor parts.
- Identify the dampened areas: Look for signs of discolouration, warping, or a musty odour, as these can indicate water damage.
- Locate and fix the source of moisture: Identify and address the source of moisture that caused the dampness. It could be a leaky pipe, a faulty appliance, or inadequate waterproofing.
- Remove the damaged flooring: Remove the damaged floorboards, tiles, or carpet, to expose the subfloor. Be cautious not to cause further damage in the process.
- Replace with suitable materials: Install new flooring materials appropriate for the specific area and matching the existing flooring.
- Consider waterproofing: In areas prone to moisture, consider implementing waterproofing measures, such as applying sealants or waterproof underlayment, to protect the floor from future water damage.
Do you want to restore the floor to its original or near-original state? Floors can become damaged and worn with time, even with regular care. Restoration helps in revitalising and renewing the appearance and condition of flooring.
Floor restoration includes various tasks that vary depending on the type of flooring you have and the extent of the damage. Here are the most common floor refurbishing tips.
- Cleaning and stripping away old varnishes or sealants
- Performing minor repairs
- Sanding and refinishing for solid wood
- Polishing and buffing for marble or concrete floors
- Stains removal
- Replacing damaged sections
Do Different Floor Types Require Varying Levels of Maintenance?
Yes, different types of flooring require different levels of maintenance. That’s because each floor type has its unique properties and care instructions.
Let’s look at how you can keep the common floor types in great shape longer.
Wood Floor Maintenance
Is mopping wood floors bad? No, but hardwood floors are susceptible to scratches and water damage. They require regular sweeping, vacuuming, and occasional damp mopping. Avoid wet mopping or using a lot of water when cleaning.
Wooden floor maintenance also involves periodic refinishing to restore shine and protect the wood.
Carpets need regular vacuuming to remove dirt and debris from the fibres. Depending on foot traffic, they may require periodic deep cleaning to remove embedded dirt and stains.
Vinyl Floor Maintenance
Vinyl floors are durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean. Regular sweeping or mopping with a mild detergent is sufficient for routine maintenance. Some vinyl floors have protective coatings that may require occasional polishing or reapplication.
Maintenance of Laminate Floors
Laminate floors are relatively low-maintenance. Regular sweeping or vacuuming and occasional damp mopping are usually enough. It’s essential to avoid excessive moisture, as it can damage the laminate.
Linoleum is a type of flooring made from natural materials, such as linseed oil, wood flour, and resins. It’s a durable and low-maintenance flooring option but susceptible to water damage. Avoid wet mopping or exposing it to standing water.
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause linoleum to fade. Use curtains or blinds to protect the floor from harsh sunlight.
Commercial Floor Maintenance
Commercial floor maintenance involves regular care and upkeep of flooring in commercial spaces such as offices, retail stores, and public buildings. It includes tasks like sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, and spot cleaning to keep floors clean and presentable.
Well-maintained commercial floors that suit your business create a welcoming and safe environment for employees and customers. You can designate the work to in-house staff or outsource professional floor maintenance services.
Floor Cleaning and Maintenance Products
The products you can use to keep your flooring in good condition depend on the type of flooring you have. Here are some general product categories for different flooring types:
- Hardwood flooring: Use wood floor cleaner, microfiber mops or soft-bristled brooms for regular cleaning; hardwood floor polish or wax for periodic refinishing.
- Tile flooring: Neutral pH tile cleaner, grout cleaner or sealer for grout maintenance; soft-bristled brush for scrubbing tough stains on tiles.
- Carpet flooring: Vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for regular vacuuming; carpet spot cleaner or stain remover for spills and stains; carpet steam cleaner or shampooer for deep cleaning.
Effects of Different Conditions on Flooring Maintenance
Different conditions can significantly affect your flooring material selection and maintenance. For example, flooring in humid or wet environments will need more frequent sealing to prevent moisture damage. Your use case determines if your flooring is cost-effective initially and long-term.
Busy and High Traffic
High foot traffic in busy areas like hallways, entryways, and kitchens accelerates the accumulation of dust, dirt, and debris, which can scratch or dull the finish of your floors. This leads to frequent cleaning and potential repairs to maintain appearance and safety.
Kids can be hard on floors. They can track in dirt, dust, and debris and spill food and drinks. Always clean up any spills immediately to prevent them from staining or damaging the floor. You must also use anti-slip flooring solutions to ensure child safety.
Pets can also be hard on floors. They can track in dirt and scratch or chew on the floor. Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly and clean up spills immediately. You may also want to consider using a pet-friendly floor cleaner.
Food can be a significant source of stains and damage to floors. It’s essential to clean up any spills immediately to prevent stains. You can also consider using a food-grade floor cleaner.
Water exposure can lead to warping, mould, and rot. You can prevent floor moisture damage by waterproofing, regular sealing, and drying spills promptly.
Extreme temperatures also cause damage to floors. Hot temperatures can make the floor expand and crack, while cold temperatures can cause it to contract and shrink. You should keep your floors within the recommended temperature range to prevent damage.
Do you have a gym, dance room, or an indoor sports area? Your floors should withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Consider dry dust mopping and wet tacking the floors daily. The specific care routines will vary depending on the sports flooring material.
If you have heavy machinery in your home or business, your floors will need to withstand the weight and vibration of the machinery. Use the right flooring for your needs, find protective barriers, and conduct regular inspections.
Outdoor floors are exposed to the elements. They require more frequent cleaning and maintenance than indoor floors.
Indoor floors aren’t directly exposed to the elements, so they will not need to be cleaned and maintained as often as outdoor floors. However, you should still sweep or vacuum your floors regularly and clean up any spills immediately.
Do Different Flooring Brands Need Different Maintenance?
Yes, different flooring brands have specific maintenance requirements based on the materials, finishes, and construction methods used in their products.
For instance, Karndean and Amtico produce LVT flooring but offer different suggestions on how to care for their products.
Karndean allows you to vacuum LVT floors if you switch from the hard floor setting or disable the bar in vacuums with a beater bar. You can also use a steam mop if it’s suitable for use on luxury vinyl floors based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
On the other hand, Amtico doesn’t recommend using steam cleaners on its flooring products. The brand also advises against vacuuming, especially with a heavy upright vacuum. Instead, Amtico recommends dust mopping and using a dustpan, brush, handheld vacuum, or hose to remove debris.
Ensure you read the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions early to maintain warranty coverage.
How Long Will Your Flooring Last?
The lifespan of flooring varies widely depending on several factors, including the type of flooring, the quality of materials, the level of maintenance, and the amount of foot traffic it receives.
Here’s an overview of the average lifespan of well-maintained floors.
- Wood: up to 100 years
- Carpet: 5 to 15 years
- Vinyl: 15 to 20 years
- Laminate: 15 to 25 years
- Linoleum: 20 to 40 years
When choosing a flooring material, it’s good to consider upfront costs, long-term expenses and the lifespan of the materials to get the best fit for your use case.
The long-term costs involve the daily care, repairs, and refurbishing required to keep your floors in good shape for years.
At Clever Carpets, we help homeowners and businesses choose, install, and maintain the best-fit flooring for their applications.
Contact us now to speak to an expert on anything floor-related, including consultations, advice, or quotes.