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How to stop squeaking in hardwood flooring

A squeak in hardwood flooring is caused by two pieces of wood rubbing against one another. One way to stop the sound is by reducing the friction of the moving pieces using a lubricant. I’m not talking oil here, but rather a dusting with ultra-fine graphite powder.

Hardwood flooring

A squeak in hardwood flooring is caused by two pieces of wood rubbing against one another. One way to stop the sound is by reducing the friction of the moving pieces using a lubricant. I’m not talking oil here, but rather a dusting with ultra-fine graphite powder.

This is available at your local hardware stores, and for the most part it’s used to free lock mechanisms. But if you pour a tiny bit of it on the floor so that it can work its way into the squeaking boards, it could very well reduce or eliminate the sound.

If that fails, you can always try a pair of well-placed nails. You first need to pre-drill some slender holes into the wood, angled slightly towards one another. Then drive the nails in, being careful not to bang up the hardwood floor with the head of the hammer.

You can use an 8d or 8-penny finish nail, which has a very small head. Then sink it below the surface of the wood using a nail set. Now you can say good-bye to that squeak forever. You would need a hammer, a small drill bit, and a cordless drill. This would take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete.

Now after you get rid of all the squeaks, use a filler stick in the same color as the floor to fill any nail hole that are visible. When your floor is really starting to show its age, you’ll be able to renew its surface for about a quarter of what it would cost to install a new floor.

You can sand and refinish them, usually up to a total of four times before so much wood is ground away that the nails holding it in place begin to appear. Your hardwood floor should be as good as new.

 

How to Evaluate and Care for Hard Wood Floors

Hardwood floors can create a feeling of warmth and elegance in a home or business. However, hardwood floors can also be a nightmare for your cleaning company to keep looking good. Knowing what to do and when to do it will help you to keep hardwood floors in prime condition.

evaluate, care, hard wood floors

Copyright 2006 The Janitorial Store

Hardwood floors can create a feeling of warmth and elegance in a home or business. However, hardwood floors can also be a nightmare for your cleaning company to keep looking good. Knowing what to do and when to do it will help you to keep hardwood floors in prime condition.

Before beginning a maintenance program on a hardwood floor it's a good idea to ask questions about the background of the floor (finish used, when it was last sanded, etc.). If that information isn't available, then you'll need to assess the floor to determine the condition of the floor. Some basic observations of the wood and the finish will help to determine what type of cleaning or refinishing is needed.

Begin by evaluating the condition of the wood. If the floor has extensive damage, warped boards and a lot of wear, the entire floor may need to be replaced. But that is the worst case scenario. Inspect the entire floor, including the edges, and look for differences in the level of the floor. Following are categories you can assign to the floor:

A. Overall very good condition. The hardwood floor looks good or may even be new. The floor may just need a good cleaning to get its luster back.

B. Slight scuffed. The floor is in fairly good condition, however, has a few scuffs and scratches, especially in high traffic areas.

C. Heavy wear. The floor has quite a few scratches, scrapes and dents and looks worn in places. It may even have a few expansion cracks.

D. Warped appearance. The boards in the floor have some minor warping, uneven boards, and many scratches and scrapes.

Next decide the condition of the finish. The condition of the finish may be related to the condition of the wood. For instance if there are deep cuts, scratches or chips in the finish they may go through the finish and into the wood itself. Look at the finish decide what categories are applicable:

A. The floor has a finish, but it looks dirty. The floor most likely just needs a good cleaning to get back that glossy luster.

B. The finish has light scratches, dings and chips and is worn (or is dull) in heavy traffic areas.

C. The finish is chipped in many places. Although the floor definitely has a finish, there are light scrapes, scratches and dings throughout the finish.

D. Finish is worn. There is little or no finish on the floor. The finish may appear to have deep gouges from dragging furniture across it.

E. No finish. The finish is gone or chipped and has a poor appearance.

If the wood and the finish are in good or reasonably good condition, a good cleaning and starting up a routine maintenance program is the next step. If the wood (category C, D or E) or finish (C, D or E) is in bad shape, you may need to do more research or consult a professional on the best way to proceed.

Properly maintaining hardwood floors is important to keep them looking good and extend their lifespan. It is extremely important to remove all the dirt, dropped food, grit and other debris that can end up on and ground into hardwood floors. Dirt that is not removed quickly can be "camouflaged" in the pattern or color of the wood making it not only difficult to see, but easy to ignore. There are several tools that you can use to remove dirt:

1. Brooms- make sure to use a broom that has "exploded" ends that can sweep up dust and fine grit.

2. Vacuums - Any type except an upright vacuum with a beater bar and brushes. These can cause damage to the floor.

3. Dust mop. Dust mopping and vacuuming are the most effective methods of removing debris from floors. If using a dust mop, buy a high quality mop with an eighteen inch head. Treat the mop with a dust mop treatment so it grabs the dirt and doesn't just push it around.

Sweeping, vacuuming or dust mopping regularly is great for getting rid of the dirt, but you will still need to clean the floor. The best method to use is to mop the floor. Use a neutral cleaner (pH of 7) that is for use on hardwood floors and follow the product's directions. Following are a few tips that will help to protect any hardwood floors that you care for:

Good matting is the best way to keep damaging soil and grit from getting onto and ground into the floor. Mats on the outside entryway will help to remove some soils. Make sure any mat(s) used inside (and on the floor) is a good quality rug that does not have a rubber coating. Plasticizers used on some rugs can "migrate" or move from the rug and into the finish of the wood floor.

High heels can cause permanent damage to hardwood floors. The spikes on heels can create dimples in hardwood floors. In a business it may not be possible to keep high heels off the hardwood floors, but if you are cleaning a residential floor, you can let the homeowner know of the problems associated with high heels.

Dragging furniture across the floor. This can cause scratches and dents in the floor. Anytime furniture needs to be moved it should be lifted and carried. Furniture legs need to be in good shape. A loose leg on a chair can dig into the floor's finish anytime someone sits down in the chair.

Spills (food, cleaners, alcohol, oils) can damage the finish and the wood. Clean up spills as soon as possible.

Bright sunlight can bleach, darken or dry out wood. It may be necessary to cover windows with drapes or blinds to keep the ultraviolet rays off the wood.

Harsh cleaners can damage a floor's finish. When cleaning floors use a neutral cleaner that is designed for use on wood floors. A beautiful looking hardwood floor will get noticed. Keeping the floors properly maintenance will keep the floor looking lustrous, your customers happy, and your cash flowing!

 

How To Care For A Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floors are an excellent investment for any home, promoting resale value and interior warmth. However, if the floors are not properly cared for, this investment won’t yield as well. Hardwood floors are not hard to maintain, and compared with carpet and other surfaces that are more difficult to clean or require replacement, hardwood floors can be considered relatively low maintenance. But proper care is essential to keep the floors in good shape, and to give them a nic...

hardwood floor

Hardwood floors are an excellent investment for any home, promoting resale value and interior warmth. However, if the floors are not properly cared for, this investment won’t yield as well. Hardwood floors are not hard to maintain, and compared with carpet and other surfaces that are more difficult to clean or require replacement, hardwood floors can be considered relatively low maintenance. But proper care is essential to keep the floors in good shape, and to give them a nice shine.

As with all flooring, hardwood floors must be cleaned, but they must be cleaned correctly. The correct way to clean urethane-stained floors is to mop them with a damp mop. Using vacuum and bristle brooms daily will help keep the floor clean. But when it comes time to really clean the floor, use a damp mop. Allowing dirt and grime to collect on the floor, and walking on this grime over as period of time can damage the finish. Using a small amount of water shouldn’t hurt the finished wood, but don’t pour out water and mop it like you would with kitchen tile. A damp mop or dust rag is all that should be needed, and it should be light enough in water that it will dry in minutes. Be sure to understand what type of finish your floor has, and what the suggested cleaning methods are. Using soaps and oils can void manufacturer warranties on many floors.

Another way to protect hardwood floors is to use throw rugs or walk-off mats in areas of high traffic. For example, in the entry way where people come in through the house, the traffic is likely to be greater in an isolated spot, and thus the floors will wear unevenly in this spot. This would make a great place for an area rug. Watch your floors over time, and consider putting some sort of rug or other type of protection on areas that receive more wear. It is especially important to use rugs on wood floors in kitchens in front of sinks and stoves.

Floor protectors on the bottom of furniture is highly recommended. You will want to pay special attention to rolling chairs with rubber wheels like those often found in offices. These chairs have a tendency to leave rubber trails on the wood floors. If you have such a chair, consider putting a rug underneath it.

There are two primary finishes on hardwood floors: urethane finishes and wax. You should never wax a urethane finished floor. If your urethane floor is extremely worn, you may need to refinish it which will involve sanding and applying sealer. However, if you clean the floor regularly, using only soaps recommended by the manufacturer, and you protect problem areas, you should avoid needing to refinish the floor for many years.

Wax floors require occasional waxing. It really isn’t a lot different than cleaning and waxing your car. You will need to clean the floors first, and buff areas that are worn with high traffic. Occasionally, you will need to buff on additional wax in the worn areas. With wax finished, just as with urethane finishes, you should know the manufacturers recommended care procedures.

With proper maintenance, your hardwood floors should last for the lifetime of your house, and look shiny and new for many years.




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