We’re pretty fortunate here in Gainesville: we don’t have to worry about tracking snow during the winter like our northern friends, or even sand like our coastal neighbors. Still, our excessively high humidity and love for the outdoors can make proper floor care a challenge.
Here, we’ll be taking a look at proper maintenance for a variety of floor types, including a few tips that are often overlooked by homeowners.
We’ve mentioned the importance of of vacuuming regularly and using HEPA filters before. However, even that isn’t quite enough; it’s also important to have your carpet professionally cleaned. Fortunately, this is only necessary every 18 months for the average household, so it’s not too heavy of a burden. Doing so will prevent the buildup of oils and moisture that could lead to much more costly repairs in the future.
But are all professional carpet cleaning services the same? Actually, no. The industry’s current standard is hot water extraction. This method uses pressurized water and a mild detergent to loosen dirt, oil and dander, then removes it all with a powerful vacuum. Given its efficacy and minimal impact, it’s important to note that hot water extraction is required by many carpet manufacturers in order to maintain your warranty.
For more information on proper carpet care, be sure to visit our Learn About Carpet guide.
A common mistake is to assume that hardwood is more spill resistant than carpet; in fact, the seeming ease of cleaning is one of the reasons for its popularity. Unfortunately, hardwood isn’t as moisture resistant as you may think.
In fact, as with carpet, it’s important to thoroughly clean spills right away. Hardwood flooring can absorb small amounts of liquids which, eventually, can cause expansion and cupping. Fortunately, a lightly damped cloth is typically enough to wipe spills away. Also, when cleaning hardwood floors, ensure that the cleaning agent you are using is approved not only for hardwood, but the specific species your floor is made of.
Items that are particularly sticky (such as gum) can be especially troublesome to remove from hardwood flooring. Fortunately, there is a neat trick that can help. To remove chewing gum (or a similar substance), simply hold an ice cube to the substance until it hardens. Then, gently remove it with a small piece of plastic (an old credit card will do).
For more information on proper hardwood flooring care, visit our Learn About Hardwood guide.
Tile & Stone Care
Tile & stone flooring is frequently installed in rooms where spills are common (such as kitchens and bathrooms). So, it’s only natural that we expect a high level of performance. However, a little routine maintenance is still in order.
It’s best to sweep your tile or stone floors daily (or, at least, a few times per week). This is especially true for porous flooring and grout, where dirt can build up quickly and become difficult to remove. Vacuums are also a good choice for daily cleaning (especially on porous flooring), but it’s important to use one that doesn’t utilize a beater brush.
It’s also important to mop tile & stone flooring at least once per week. When mopping, ensure that your mop is only lightly damped. Also, select a floor cleaner designed specifically for tile & stone flooring. Others can damage the grout or degrade the floor’s surface. Some generic cleaners can also stain your stone flooring, while several detergents can even promote mold growth. Avoid any cleaning for the first 3 days after installation.
For more information on proper tile & stone care, visit our Learn About Tile & Stone guide.
Caring for LVT and LVP Flooring
The durability and ease of care that comes with luxury vinyl flooring is one of the top reasons for its recent explosive popularity. It can perfectly replicate the look and even texture of traditional selections (such as tile & stone) with a greater ease of maintenance. Just remember to sweep daily (or at least a few times per week), mop at least once per week and clean spills right away. Avoid harsh chemicals (which generally cost more and aren’t needed for luxury vinyl anyways) and instead opt for mild detergents specifically approved for vinyl.
Additional Floor Cleaning Information
Almost every flooring selection has its own special nuances that set it apart from other selections. So, it’s still important to check the care guide included with your flooring choice to see if it requires special care of its own.
For more expert advice, including proper care or the best flooring choice for your home, be sure to visit Gainesville’s leading flooring professionals at Gainesville CarpetsPlus COLORTILE!