TIPS TO MAKE WOOD FLOORS LAST

floors

We’ve responded to a number of frozen pipe floods this season where wood floors were involved. A single flood event can destroy a home’s wood floor, but the reality is that most floors suffer ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’. That is, they are ruined or worn out by improper care or unintended abuse. Pets, kids, snow, grit, harsh cleaning chemicals and plain old water are the ruination of many a wood or laminate floor.

Wood floors of various kinds, species and finishes have become America’s flooring of choice. Whether solid, milled or laminated, native or exotic, wood is downright beautiful and generally sustains healthier indoor air quality than carpeted floors. Because they add so much to a home’s value and comfort, wood floors deserve basic care and pampering. Help your wood floor live to become an heirloom by following these easy, common sense tips.

  • Know your floor type and finish. Follow the manufacturer’s or installer’s care guidelines. Can’t find the manufacturer’s info? Speak to an expert at a flooring store for help. Or call a floor maintenance pro. There are many varieties of floors and finishes. Cleaning chemistry is different from one floor finish to another.
  • Never wax/polish a urethane floor. The majority of hard wood floors installed today have urethane finishes.
  • Sweep regularly. Sweeping will help keep your floor free from greasy dirt, abrasive dusts, and sandy grit that easily scratch and dull its surface. A beater bar vacuum cleaner should never be used on a wood floor as bristles will scratch and scrub off finishes.

Floor sweeping

  • Avoid wet mopping any hardwood or laminate floor. Standing water and soaps can dull the finish, raise the grain, fill cracks with water and quickly damage the floor. Dust mops or vacuums for wood floors are preferred. If you must mop, be sure the mop is barely damp –or better, use a slightly dampened, clean towel or cloth.
  • When using cleaning products, be sure you’re using them only as recommended. Products formulated for tile, linoleum or other hard surface can ruin wood floor finishes. Use only cleaners specifically sold for your type of wood finish.
  • Avoid oil soaps, such as Murphy’s. Oils build up and dull the appearance of your wood floors. Later refinishing is more difficult.
  • Use a buffer only on wax finish floors. Consider owning rather than renting a buffer if your home has a lot of hardwood flooring. To remove staining in wax finished floors, rub stained area gently with fine steel wool then reapply wax.
  • Cleated sports shoes, Yak Traks, even high heels can permanently damage a floor’s finish and the wood below. A ‘slippers and socks only’ policy is a darn good idea in a wood floor home!
  • Use area rugs in high traffic areas like entrances and hallways to prevent tracking dirt, grit, or sand. Leaving all shoes at the door really helps maintain floor surfaces and indoor air quality.
  • Install felt pads on the bottom of all furniture legs so marring and scuffing can’t occur when furniture gets moved in the room.
  • Use water barriers, such as a rug in front of your kitchen sink, boot trays at entrances, or a boot tray under the pet’s water and food bowls to keep errant drips and splashes from landing on a wood floor.
  • UV rays from sunshine pouring through a window can discolor floor finishes (and other furnishings) so consider installing window blinds to shield your flooring investment.
  • Since pets can destroy a hardwood floor, frequent toe nail trimming and litter boxes are advised. The process of house breaking a new puppy may lead to emergency rescues for a wood floor. Consider placing a temporary 12 mil plastic sheeting over floors for a while.
  • Keep the relative humidity level inside the home between 35 and 55 percent all year round.

Buckled Floor

  • Never, ever let your floor get wet or remain wet for any length of time. Should a water spill occur, mop and wipe dry immediately. If it is a lot of water, quickly call Floodco. We know how to effectively remove water and thoroughly dry wood floors. Wood and laminate floors absorb water surprisingly quickly through top surfaces and the unsealed bottom, sides and end cuts causing wood to swell, warp, cup or even buckle. Floodco uses special, patented wood floor drying technology and, if applied soon enough, can save even a totally submerged floor. After too much time passes though, tearing out and replacing ruined flooring may be the only option.

These web resources provide additional guidance to maintaining hardwood floors:

http://woodfloors.org/care-maitenance.aspx

http://www.wikihow.com/Care-for-Hardwood-Floors

http://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/surface/how-to-clean-hardwood-floors/

Posted by Lloy Griffing    FLOODCO, LLC    406 892-1717


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Hardware That Can Help Prevent Water Damage

By State Farm Insurance

To help keep an eye on indoor and outdoor trouble spots, you may want to consider installing a water leak detection system, especially if you’re frequently away from the house. Leak detection systems can be either active or passive.

Along with leak detection systems, individual appliance systems can be installed on specific home appliances.

Active Leak Detection Systems

These systems usually generate some type of alarm, but they also perform a function that will stop the water flow. They feature some form of shutoff valve and a means to determine that a leak is occurring. Most devices use moisture sensors to detect a leak. Other systems utilize a flow sensor and a timer to determine that something is leaking and the water needs to be turned off. An active leak detection system can either operate for an individual appliance or it can control a whole property.

Passive Leak Detection Systems

These systems, also called “water alarms,” are intended to alert you to a possible water leak. They generally sound an audible alarm tone; some may also feature a flashing light.

Passive systems are frequently battery-operated, stand-alone units. They are inexpensive and easy to install. Some simply sit on the floor while others may be wall mounted. A moisture sensor is located on the bottom of the unit and activates the alarm when it becomes wet. Battery-operated devices need to be tested regularly, and the batteries should be replaced on a periodic basis.

Individual Appliance Systems

These systems are installed on a specific appliance and will automatically shut off the water supply in case of a leak.

Depending on the type of device, you may be able to install this system without any special tools. However, in some cases, a qualified plumber may be needed.

Whole-House Systems

These systems feature a shutoff valve installed on the main water supply pipe. When the system detects a leak, it will automatically shut off the entire water supply. If you travel often, this type of system could help you rest assured while you’re away from home.

Whole-house systems typically take between four and six hours to install, and a qualified plumber is normally required.  
Contact David Brandt at 406-892-1717 or floodco@centurytel.net

How To Dehumidfy

How To Dehumidfy

Dehumidifiers
Dehumidification is the process of removing excess moisture. After a water loss, saturated materials will cause humidity levels to reach dangerously high levels. With elevated humidity, wet materials cannot dry because there is no room in the air for the moisture to evaporate.
Excessive humidity will also cause secondary damage. You may find, books, furnishings, or other contents that begin to feel water logged. This happens because the wet air needs to go somewhere, so it begins to soak into dry materials. Your dry materials will then begin to act as dehumidifiers and absorb any moisture in the area. Belongings that were not affected by the flood damage may now be at risk.
The industrial size dehumidifiers installed by The Flood Co LLC’s certified technicians will begin removing atmospheric moisture within minutes. The lowering of the humidity level will protect you against secondary damage and allows for the drying of the affected materials
Air Movers, ‘Blowers’ and ‘Fans’
Only high cfm machines (the most powerful Air Movers,/Blowers/Fans) can blow away any amount of moisture. All drying equipment used by The Flood Co LLC’s is specially designed for the water damage restoration industry.
Air movement is a very important step in the dry out process which forces evaporation. By combining air movement, dehumidification and heat, we gain the ability to dry any exposed surface without any hassle!

Contact David Brandt at 406-892-1717 or floodco@centurytel.net