Care & Maintenance Timber Floor and Decking
Care and maintenance
A hardwood timber floor represents a long-term investment and with regular cleaning and maintenance, a timber floor can look beautiful for a lifetime. Timber floors are easy to clean and maintain by following a few easy guidelines.
General precautions and maintenance tips
• Dirt and grit can lead to excess wear and scratching of a hardwood timber floor. Use dirt trapping mats at all exterior doors to minimise dirt, sand and grit that might be brought inside. Small rugs and hall runners are also helpful for collecting dirt that can scratch a hardwood timber floor. Regularly sweep high traffic areas with a soft bristle broom or electrostatic mop.
• Fit protective pads to furniture legs to reduce risk of scuffing the floor when moved. To protect the floor surface use protective mats for furniture with castors. Barrel castors are less likely to damage a floor than ball castors.
• In areas where extreme temperature changes or moisture variation are common, gaps or cupping may appear in the floor. Maintain an ambient temperature to avoid dryness that may cause gaps, or moisture increases that may cause cupping. .
• All hardwood timber floors will fade, darken, or change shade over time. Exposure to sunlight will increase this process. Rotate rugs periodically and protect the floor from direct sunlight with curtains or blinds.
• High heel shoes can dent a hard floor surface. Remove shoes that have exposed heels with sharp points to avoid potential damage to a hardwood timber floor.
• Pets with long nails or claws can scratch and dull the floor finish, make sure pets nails or claws are trimmed regularly and kept blunt.
• One of the benefits of a hardwood timber floor is that it can be refinished if it becomes excessively scratched or dented.
A J Flooring recommends the use of a qualified flooring professional proficient in sanding and finishing to complete this work.
•Do not wash your newly coated floor for 30 days after it has been coated.
•A hardwood timber floor will look better for longer if it is kept as clean as possible. To remove surface dirt and grit, regularly vacuum, with a soft bristle head or an electrostatic attachment, or sweep with an electrostatic mop. Keep door mats clean.
•For stubborn dirt, damp-mop the floor using a well rung mop. The use of a pH neutral floor cleaner can help remove stubborn dirt (use as per manufacturer’s instructions).
•Never clean a floor with common household detergents, polishes, steel wool pads, wax or similar products. These products can be too abrasive and scratch the surface or may make a floor dangerously slippery. Some products may leave a film of silicon or wax on the timber which may hamper recoating of your floor in the future. Never use Methylated Spirits or Kerosene, as any type of petroleum distillate will degrade the coating and irreversibly dull the floor. Only use a pH neutral floor cleaner as per manufacturer’s instructions.
•Use only quality lint free floor mops and thoroughly wash new mops to remove any lint.
•Wipe up spills and leaks promptly with a dry cloth or dry paper towel. For sticky substances, moisten the cloth slightly.
•Over wetting a floor when mopping or cleaning can change the moisture balance and cause a floor to expand, with some resulting in cupping. For this reason, it is important to ensure that mops and cloths are well wrung so that as little water solution as possible wets the floor.
•Steam mops are not recommended for cleaning timber floors. Steam (moisture) is forced into the joints of the timber and any small, breaks or cracks on the timber floor surface which could result in unusual reactions in the timber such as cupping. The heat from the steam mop could also cause damaged to the coating on the floor.
In order to keep a hardwood timber deck looking its best, it must be kept clean and well maintained. It is a good idea to inspect a hardwood timber deck at least annually to ensure that it is in good condition.
The deck must be regularly maintained as it may become discoloured or affected by moisture and weather. Inspect the deck to replace loose boards and protruding nails or screws. Any loose or damaged boards should be resecured or replaced, loose nails hammered back in or screws refixed.
To clean the deck, sweep off any loose dirt or garden residue and then clean the deck with a specialised deck cleaning product. It is important to not only remove dirt, but any algae or moss that may be growing on the deck.
After the cleaning has been completed, lightly sand the deck in the direction of the timber. This will remove any splinters and damage to the timber. Once cleaned, reseal the deck with a stain, oil, paint or varnish, depending on aesthetic preference. Before the decking finish is applied, cover areas around the deck that need protection such as plants and furniture. Drying times are dependent on the type of finish so check
finish manufacturer’s recommendations before walking on a newly finished deck. Apply and re-apply decking finish as per finish manufacturer’s recommendations. Finish manufacturers may recommend that the decking finish needs to be re-applied more than once a year.
After a new timber deck has been built, or an existing deck repaired, thoroughly sweep and clean to remove metal filings from drilling, nailing or other construction materials that may cause black spots on the hardwood deck when exposed to the elements.
If the deck has turned grey from natural weathering or is discoloured due to metal filings or other construction materials, there are a large range of maintenance and cleaning products on the market which can bring back the timber’s original colour. Use with care and follow the finish manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Timber
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To maintain the shine on your timber floors, avoid using abrasive cleaners and ensure that the floor is properly sealed. You can also use a PH neutral floor cleaner designed specifically for timber floors to help maintain their shine. Contact AJ Flooring on 0408 659 109 for more details.
The best way to clean polished timber floors is to use a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove dirt and dust. Then, use a microfiber mop with a cleaner specifically designed for polished timber floors. Avoid using excessive amounts of water or harsh chemicals as this can damage the polish and the timber. Contact AJ Flooring on 0408 659 109 if you need a professional to clean your polished timber floors.
You should clean your polished timber floors regularly, ideally once a week. If the floor experiences high foot traffic, you may need to clean it more often. Contact AJ Flooring on 0408 659 109 to find out how we can help you clean your polished timber floors.
To protect your polished timber floors from scratches, use felt pads under furniture legs and avoid dragging heavy objects across the floor. You may also consider using area rugs in high foot traffic areas. At AJ Flooring, our professionals are available on 0408 659 109 to make it easier to protect your timber floor from scratches.
To keep timber stairs looking their best, it's important to keep them clean and free from dirt, dust, and debris. Use a soft-bristled broom or vacuum cleaner to remove loose debris, and a damp cloth with a PH neutral cleaning solution to clean the surface. Avoid using excessive water or harsh chemicals, as this can damage the wood. Contact AJ Flooring on 0408 659 109 for more info on the best maintenance tips for your timber stairs.
If your polished timber floors get wet, clean up the water immediately using a dry cloth or mop. Excessive moisture can cause the polish to lift or the timber to warp or swell, so it's important to dry the area thoroughly without delay. Contact AJ Flooring on 0408 659 109 for professional timber floor cleaning.
The best way to clean polished timber floors is with a mop, and we recommend you do so weekly using only a dry mop. It is best not to use too much water on your polished timber floors, so a damp mop can be used each month or so to loosen up any dirt. This is the case for both internal timber floors and decking timber. If you need any more timber floor cleaning tips, call AJ Flooring on 0408 659 109.
Use a microfibre cloth moistened with a PH neutral solution. Let it soak on the polished timber floors, and as the wax and dirt begin to dissolve, wipe it away with crumpled papertowel. Scrub obstinate parts by hand. Once all of the polish has been removed, damp-mop with clean water. Call our timber floor experts at AJ Flooring on 0408 659 109.