Getting Those Harder Natural Floor Surfaces Clean And Fresh
04 March 2014
There are three main issues that anyone with a beautiful natural hard floor surface will fear, no matter what that natural surface is. From hard wood through to soft stones, a floor must be treated carefully and respectfully, especially after you have spent so much money on such things! There are three main issues that you can have with these sorts of flooring; damp, abrasion and chemical issues. It may sound like these issues call for specialist attention, and if they occur, they may well do, but it is perfectly easy to avoid them in the first place if you are sensible about it all! Having a little prior knowledge can save you a lot of time, hassle and money in the long run, so have a look over the following ideas to ensure that you are treating your floor surfaces correctly.
1. Damp and standing water
Certain surfaces are more absorbent than others, but no matter what the material, it is important that you do not risk the issues associated with the floor being too wet. You will find that hard and soft wood flooring, as well as all sorts of stone cladding, will absorb a certain amount of water if allowed to do so. Obviously all of these materials will be treated with coats, finishes and oils, to prevent such damage in a day to day sense, but when cleaning them, you need to be doubly careful. A little moisture is no problem, and it is totally necessary in order to get them clean, but you need to avoid standing water at all costs. Leaving puddles of water on stone or wood flooring will mean that the material absorbs it, which can discolor, mark or even warp the stone or wood over time. Once this has happened, and it happens very slowly, you will have to spend a great deal of money sorting it all out!
Abrasion means eroding of the surface of the flooring material through repeated friction, whether simply through wear and tear of being underfoot, or through serious scratching. There is not much that can be done about wear and tear, as it is not something that floor needs protecting against, and the patina that can develop with time and a lot of footfall can be rather beautiful on stone and wooden floors. However, scratching from the cleaning process will be an issue, as it is a lot more unsightly, and will sometimes even lift the sealant or finish off of the surface, leaving it exposed to moisture and dirt being trodden into the grain of the material. In order to avoid scratching, simply vacuum regularly, to pick up all the harder bits of dirt that could be responsible for such issues. Making people wipe their feet as they enter the house will also prevent any smaller stones that could scratch the floor coming in on people’s shoes.
3. Chemical issues
This essentially is only an issue when you get a cleaning product that is too acidic or alkali to come in to contact with the finish on the material. It is usually only a problem on wooden floors, but it can cause discoloration on stone finishes, so it is worth looking up your flooring surface to see if it will be an issue for you. The answer is that you need a PH neutral cleaning product, and the most common of these is washing up liquid! So, all your chemical fears could be answered with a little liquid soap in your mop!
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