Many homeowners think of hardwood floors immediately when imagining how their dream house should look like. However, there is a certain misgiving about these particular types of floors because of the misconception that they are difficult to maintain, especially if carpets are intended to cover particular areas of the floor or cover them completely. Just imagining how to clean under those carpets can be a bit scary. If you have the proper know-how, it can really be quite simple. |
The difficulty of restoring your wood floors after the carpet has been removed will depend on the method used to lay the carpet. If you are very lucky, the carpet and pad could be laid over the hardwood floors and only secured at the edges.
While many old homes have quality wood floors that are worth restoring, most floors will need some work before they can be used as the primary flooring surface in the home.
In most cases, if glue is present, you must remove the finish of the floor completely. This can be achieved by sanding away the glue residue until bare wood is reached. You can also use an adhesive remover to remove the glue, later finishing with a light sanding. Once the glue and finish has been removed the floor can carefully be stained. In some cases, the glue residue will make some areas of the floor receive wood stain unevenly. If this is the case, you must decide if you can embrace the variations or replace the areas of the wood floor that are affected.
If there are nail holes in the wood, try filling the holes with a putty that matches the wood. If the wood is stained and in otherwise good condition, you may elect to apply an all-over sealant that will protect the finish. While this will also preserve imperfections, it may be appropriate depending on the style of your house and your own personal taste.
However, if you decide that you would like to refinish the floors, be sure that the flooring will withstand the sanding required. Some floors may be too thin from previous refinishing to accommodate more work. Homeowners should also keep in mind that even with diligent refinishing the wood floors will often still retain some imperfections.
Simple Steps of Clean Up
Carefully remove your carpet from the floor. Remove all the staples and tack strips from the floor. If you find carpet tape stuck on your floor, remove them by using a blunt edged instrument very gently. A plastic spatula would be ideal so you minimize the risk of scratching or damaging the wood. Remove as much tape or glue as you can. Should there be some pieces adhered that would be difficult to remove in this manner, saturate the areas with vegetable oil. Leave it for about an hour. Proceed to remove the tape. It should be able to come off easily by then. Repeat the procedure until you have completely removed any residue from the floor. Chemical adhesive removers are another option for removing adhesive from floors. Make sure and read the instructions carefully to make sure you are using the remover correctly.
Proceed by using your vacuum cleaner, running through the whole area to effectively remove dust particles, loose dirt, and fibers left behind by your carpet. Your vacuum cleaner will also be able to remove any loosened carpet tapes and adhesives on the floor.
Prepare a pail of water mixed with vinegar. Use a mop to wipe your floor. Make sure that your mom is not soaking with liquid. It must just be damp enough so liquid does not seep into the floor. Should you encounter any stains, scrub the area with your mop continuously until the stain has been completely removed. A nylon rubbing pad can also be an efficient tool in removing stubborn stains. Mineral spirits are good for cleaning wood floors too. Boil a couple of tea bags. Dip a clean rag into your tea and use it to wipe your floor. Use a dry rag to absorb any excess liquid and keep the floor bare until it is completely dry before carpet repairs.
Make sure that your carpet and rug is vacuumed as well. They have a tendency to accumulate dust that can adhere to your floor over again when they are replaced without vacuuming them up first.
Make it a regular habit to clean up your wood floors to keep them looking as fresh and as luxurious as they should be. Carpeting is a good way of protecting them from damage but always remember that they need your special care to maintain the distinct appearance that come exclusively from wood floors.
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