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Protect your investment! Follow these few basic guidelines for weekly maintenance of your wood floor, and it will look new for many years to come.
Please note: this information specifically applies to flooring finished with a polyurethane finish and follows the basic guidelines established by Boa Franc (the manufacturer of MIRAGE flooring). This may not be the same for every brand of wood flooring... ask your supplier for specific advice!
1. Always vacuum or sweep the floor to remove all traces of dust or abrasive residues before cleaning. The grit acts like sandpaper and will do more damage to the finish than years of clean walking.
2.Spray lightly some MIRAGE cleaner on a small section of the floor or directly on the terry cloth mop. DO NOT wet mop the floor.This may leave puddles of water, that can leak down between the boards and cause the finish to lift from underneath.
Wipe the floor with the mop, lengthwise using a back-and-forth motion. Finish one section before starting another one. Check to make sure no cleaner has been left on the floor.
Never use wax, or oil-based detergents. They leave a sticky residue on the surface of the wood and prevent the polyurethane from shining. Essentially you are creating a wax based finish on top of your polyurethane finish, that now requires buffing to maintain shine.
Never use a standard acidic cleaner. It is preferable that you use the MIRAGE products, but if that is not available choose one that is labeled Neutral Cleaner. Even a mild acid like vinegar or lemon based cleaners, will over time pit the polyurethane finish, and ultimately reduce the shine of any wood floor.
Never allow large amounts of liquid to puddle on any floor for long periods of time. The finish will prevent most liquid from penetration, but what you are concerned about are the seam lines between the individual boards. In the dry Northern Ontario winters, all wood flooring shrinks to some extent as it comes to equilibrium with its environment. This makes the joints between the boards somewhat looser in the winter, and more likely to allow moisture to seep down underneath. Water and wood do not mix. Water will cause the finish to lift and discolour the wood.
Never use a dirty mop! Any grit caught in the mop will scratch the finish when used.
Never drag heavy furniture across your wood floor without something underneath the feet to prevent scratches and distribute the weight. Better yet, if you can lift it up to move, you will eliminate any chance of scratching your floor.
Always sweep regularly to remove sand & abrasive dust!
Use doormats at all entrances. This will help to catch and prevent sand from getting onto your hardwood floor.
Use a rug in front of your kitchen sink.
Use floor protection under all furniture legs. Felt pads will help to prevent scratching. Where the furniture is very heavy, and neatly balanced on very small legs, it is highly recommended that you use rigid pads that will distribute the weight across a much larger area.
Maintain a relative humidity as close as possible to 45% year round. Hardwood is a living substance which reacts to changes of relative humidity. It absorbs or releases humidity according to seasons. Consequently, its dimension changes. These variations can be minimized with proper ventilation, dehumidifying or heating.
Leave your "high heel" shoes at the door. Damaged or worn high heels may expose a metal tip which will certainly damage your hardwood floor.
Trim your pet's nails. They will scratch your floor. The quality of the MIRAGE finish will mean that most of these scratch will only dent the wood and not remove the finish, but it is still much better to reduce the risk by trimming your pet's nails. No finish can totally resist this abuse!
We carry the complete line of MIRAGE cleaning products in stock at Lacasse Fine Wood Products, Sudbury: mop kits, spray bottles and concentrated cleaner. Let us know if you need some floor care products.