Spring Cleaning your Antique Hardwood Flooring
- Author Priestley White
- Published June 23, 2011
- Word count 631
It's time for spring cleaning your antique flooring. Raleigh and Durham, NC are known for their beautiful old homes. Hardwood flooring in Durham and flooring in Raleigh needs special attention this time of year.
First, you will need to prepare your home for cleaning the flooring. Durham has lots of soccer and other youth sports teams playing ball and you will want to borrow some of those boys to completely remove all the furniture out of the rooms where there is hardwood flooring. Raleigh dust bunnies need to join the Easter bunny and it is important to move the furniture so that you can really clean and examine the wear patterns on your hardwood flooring. Durham and Raleigh homes typically use red or white oak, heart pine or maple hardwood. The unique beauty of antique flooring includes many imperfections due to years of wear. Don't worry about these small imperfections; what you are looking for is buckling in the boards (can be a sign of movement in your foundation) extremely worn or scuffed sections (especially common near doorways) or gaps in the any of the flooring joints. With the furniture out of the room you may also find sections of flooring in Raleigh and Durham that are discolored due to water damage, sunlight or pet accidents. If there are substantial changes compared to last year you will want to call in a flooring contractor to examine your flooring. Durham and Raleigh both have many excellent flooring contractors to choose from. If everything looks pretty good it's time to determine what kind of finish you have on your hardwood flooring. Durham homeowners are fortunate because many of the hardwood floors in the area have been maintained using traditional paste waxes, a solvent based finish that is easier to remove and clean than an acrylic based finish.
Take a piece of steal wool and gently rub the floor in a few places to see what kind of finish you have. If the wool pulls up a light grey color you have a paste wax finish. Next we are going to test the soundness of the floor's finish. Apply a few drops of water to your hardwood flooring. Durham housewives are notorious for taking good care of their flooring so you should see the water bead up. If the water doesn't bead you shouldn't clean the floor with water because it can damage the wood. Use an odorless mineral based solvent for cleaning instead. Old acrylic finishes should be cleaned using strippers designed for acrylics. You will want to continue using the same type of finish as the previous finish on your flooring. Durham has several stores that specialize in flooring supplies and this is your next stop.
Once you have determined the condition of your floor and the nature of your finish it is best to go to a professional store specializing in hardwood flooring in Durham or Raleigh. There you will find cleaners and replacement waxes that will match your current floor finish. If you have a paste wax floor that is in fairly good condition you can use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the floor or you can clean it with odorless mineral spirits using a damp mop and rags. Let it dry over night. The next morning re-wax the floor with a good flooring wax like Lite n Natural by Bruce or Dura Seal's liquid flooring wax. Make sure to apply a thin coat of wax to your flooring. Raleigh and Durham can get warm this time of year so watch the wax carefully and as soon as it starts to haze, buff it out to a smooth sheen using an orbital sander. Return your rugs and furniture and proceed to the next section of the house!
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