Posted on August 19, 2014
Hardwood floors can add a gorgeous appearance to the decor of any room. They are comparatively costly among the available floor types and require careful maintenance. Here the factors that can cause harm to your precious hardwood floors will be discussed:
Water is the most common enemy of hardwood flooring. It is true that the baked urethane used in modern hard wood floorings is water resistant, but still water can penetrate deep into the flooring. In this regard, we can specify potted plants as the most common cause of moisturizing the hardwood floors. Besides, plants have natural tannins and when this tannins are dissolved they can react with the iron in the soil and create ‘iron gall ink.’ This is the cause of the common black discoloration found on nails in older hardwood flooring.
Area rugs can also cause of damage to your hardwood flooring when they catch moisture underneath after liquid spills. To prevent any problems caused by the moisture, it is highly recommended that you should quickly wipe away any water spills from your rugs and then put necessary floor protection.
Another common issue about hardwood flooring is abrasion damage. Though modern coatings on this type of floors are meant to be scratch resistant, they remain at risk to things like scratching of dog claws and the dragging of furniture across the floor. Sand and dirt are also the bane of these surfaces as well. When trapped under rugs without a rug pad, these grit can scratch the flooring from the friction.
There is always the option of repairing. You can mend your older hardwood floors that have got scratches. The mending process usually requires a refinishing of the hardwood floors. To repair the damage from smaller scratches, they can be taken care of by the help of a paste wax or fine steel wool. The original manufacturers of hardwood floors recommend which scratch repair products are to be used for each floor types. You should keep the manufacturers’ recommendation in mind.
You can prevent abrasion damage well by just using an area rug with a quality rug pad for heavy traffic areas like entrances. You should also place area rugs under the legs of furniture which are usually remain unmoved. Besides avoid wearing outdoor shoes inside; always lift your chair or other furniture rather than sliding them across the floor.
Last but not the least are damages caused by localized weight distribution across the floors. These are characterized by the occurrence of slight valleys under the legs of heavy pieces of furniture known as cupping. For older hardwood floors, the cupped sections can be taken care of by sanding them down until they are level and refinishing them again. Modern flooring, however, may require total replacement of the affected board. If the dent is smaller, they can be repaired by covering them with a thin cloth and using a steam iron to re-hydrate the wood. This will cause the area to swell and smoothen away the dent. This technique, however, should only be applied with care.
Using rug pads is highly recommended if you want to add an extra layer of protection to your hardwood flooring. When choosing the right rug pads that won’t hurt your floors, it is recommended to be meticulous because an inappropriate kind could only do more harm than good to a hardwood flooring. In the case of scratches and dents, for example, rug pads can either lessen their occurrence or make them worse.
Rug pads that utilize adhesives are to be avoided. You may find a lot of rug pads that come with sticky adhesives to make sure that they won’t move around the floor and will not slip. Adhesives is not a good idea to make a rug pad non slipped, a good non slip rug pad can do better. Often non slip rug pads that use adhesives contain low quality PVC and chemicals that can leave it staining and stuck to your floors with time. These toxic chemicals can also react to your floor finishes.
If your floor is refinished recently, wait at least a month before applying any rug pad. Because a span of 1 to 3 weeks is generally needed to let the floor finishes get cured and stabilized. When you are buying rug pads always stick to the quality even if it costs you more, because it will definitely save your money from maintenance cost in the long run.
Another factor to consider when choosing rug pads that won’t hurt your floors is its thickness. Larger rugs work better with thicker pads because they provide more comfort and protection to your floors. Thicker pads also help prevent premature wear and and tear, as well as they also act as a good buffer between the floors and the rugs so vacuuming is easier to conduct. Thinner pads, on the other hand, are best for smaller rugs as they are more prone to slip. The latter are recommended to be placed on high traffic areas because of their better grip.
Breathability is another factor that must be considered to ensure the safety and durability of your hardwood floors. Hardwood floors usually need proper airflow between the floors and the rugs to keep them look fresh. Pads that allow good air circulation also prevent harmful bacteria and moisture from growing in your hardwood as well. If you live in a hot or humid area where there is a high level of moisture in the atmosphere you must consider using a rug pad with a moisture barrier. These pads are especially made with layers that prevent moisture to pass through to stop the formation of mildew and mold.
Always try to use Eco friendly rug pads. Eco friendly rug pads do not outgas so that they will keep your home air fresh. You should also consider that the rug pads you are using do not contain any harmful chemicals, adhesives, or glues; so that you can ensure they will not release any harmful VOC’s in the air. There are numerous low quality PVC rug pads that somehow skip emission and toxic filler tests and are dangerous to the health. So for your safety you should be sure whether these rug pads made of 100% recycled felt, petroleum oils, natural rubber base are certified by organizations or not.