By Michael Griggs
Many people enjoy the beauty of hardwood floors. Whether they have maple, oak, walnut, or hickory floors beneath their feet, hardwood floors are loved for their durability and elegance. Having hardwood floors also increases property value and with proper care (and some simple habits) they can be made to last for decades. Below are some best practices to protect your facility’s hardwood floors from a pervasive problem — water damage.
It Isn’t A Problem. Until It Is.
The two leading causes of damage to hardwood floors are leaks and flooding, yet plumbing isn’t always top of mind until significant issues arise, such as a major leak or a burst pipe. Regular maintenance and floor sealant upkeep are often overlooked ways to protect hardwood floors from water damage. Something as simple as a small drip can warp wood floors over time. As a facilities manager, routinely checking for cracks in pipes and appliances can help prevent major water damage down the road.
It’s also essential to keep floor sealant up to date by refinishing floors periodically. Hardwood floors are often sealed upon installation to help protect the wood from water and other liquids. Sealant provides a temporary barrier between water and wood, giving people time to clean up spills before they seep into the wood. It is recommended to reseal wax sealants yearly and polyurethane (oil or water-based) sealants every few years.
Rugs, Rugs, And More Rugs
Laying down mats and rugs throughout a building is an easy and effective way to protect hardwood floors from water damage. Wet or damp items left on hardwood floors will eventually damage the wood. Key places to place a mat or rug are:
- Outside and inside entrances
- At the base of a bathroom sink to catch any splashing water
- Underneath plants that may leak water
- Where damp items such as umbrellas and jackets are placed
Clean Up Spilled Milk
No matter how hard a person tries, water and other liquids will inevitably come in contact with hardwood floors. Keeping your facility’s maintenance closets stocked is an easy way to clean up any spills, splashes, or drips immediately.
The longer dripped water from an umbrella, snowy shoes, or damp towels are left on the floor, the more water damage they may cause. Plus, even though sealant helps to protect floors from water damage, it isn’t perfect, and the quicker a person can clean up standing water, the less time the liquid has to penetrate the floor.
When cleaning up liquids, use a damp cloth or towel instead of a sopping mop and bucket of water. Staying on top of these situations before they have a chance to get out of hand will make upkeep easier as time goes on.
Pamper Hardwood Floors With Proper Cleaning Products
We all want hardwood floors to maintain their shine and beauty for many years. But that can be difficult since floors are high-traffic areas. A way to keep floors looking radiant is to use only good, high-quality cleaning products. Always use a cleaner and mop made specifically for hardwood floors, and never oversaturate the mop or floor with cleaner or water, as this could cause unnecessary water damage. Double-check your floors are thoroughly dry before finishing up.
Regardless of the type of hardwood floor you’re cleaning, following these tips will be vital in their longevity. Make your facilities stand out by establishing a hardwood maintenance routine that will deliver the best results: People will notice and the establishments under your care will be loved all the more.
Griggs is the owner and founder of Restoration Logistics, providing water damage restoration in Denver since 1986. With certifications and decades of experience in all major disaster restoration areas, Michael and his team are always available to restore your home or business and return your life to normal.