Rx for Hardwood Floors
A Quick Guide to First Aid for Your Hardwood Floors
Special problems need special solutions—and that’s particularly true of wood flooring. When accidents happen, first aid is essential. Here are some tips from the American Hardwood Information Center that will help you maintain hardwood floors.
If caked or dried, use a sharpened knife blade and, working from the outer edge toward the center, scrape up the spill (while taking care not to scratch the wood surface). Rub the damaged spot first with a slightly dampened cloth, then with a dry one. If your floor has a waxed surface, re-wax and buff the area you’ve repaired.
Crayon marks usually come off when rubbed with a soft cloth dipped in a mild dishwashing detergent. Removing chewing gum and candle wax, on the other hand, is more challenging. Apply a wood-floor cleaning product and let it permeate the spill to loosen, then scrape off the blemish with a plastic spatula or sharpened knife edge. You can also apply ice until the spill gets brittle, then remove in the manner described above.
Oil and Grease
On a surface-finished (urethane) floor, apply mineral spirits or TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) and wipe with a clean cloth. If your floor has a penetrating finish, applying TSP or a high-lye-content soap should do the trick.
If your floor is marred by an ink spill or the remnants of a pet accident, clean the spot with No. 2 steel wool and mineral spirits or a cleaning product created for wood. Then cleanse with household vinegar and let it stand a few minutes. Depending on your floor’s finish, either re-wax and buff or apply two coats of urethane.
Mix an ounce of oxalic acid with a quart of water, apply the solution to the stain and let stand for one hour. (Be sure to wear rubber gloves; oxalic acid is toxic.) Finally, wipe the damaged area with a dampened sponge. When dry, the next step is to refinish
Water Damaged Hardwood Floors
Cupping occurs when water is absorbed from the sides and bottom of the wood. This normally happens when water pools underneath the wood during a water loss. The edges will slightly raise or “cup.” Cupping can often be sanded out. SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle utilizes advanced drying equipment and techniques to extract water and moisture from water damaged hardwood floors and restores them to their original state.