Hardwood floors are widely popular for their subtle elegance and grandeur despite the fact that they are extremely pricey. Modern hardwood floors are especially made to prevent accidental damage. Modern hardwood floors are usually sealed and baked well so that they can outlast the possible damage factors. However, still they need proper and careful maintenance. Because, though modern hardwood floors are sealed and baked they can be get damaged by different factors that will be discussed below.
Factors that Cause harm to Hardwood Floors
Dampness is the one of the cardinal factors that can cause severe damage to hardwood floors. Usually dampness is resulted from water spill, but any kind of liquid could do the same harm. It is true that the modern hardwood floors use baked urethane which is water resistant, but when a pool of water is spilled over the floor even this water resistant urethane cannot save the floorings. As a result, water penetrates through the floor boards.
Dampness can be also caused by potted plants especially when they are overwatered. Moreover, potted plants can cause a kind of black discoloration on nails of the floorings. Plants have natural tannins, and when these tannins dissolve they react with the iron present in the soil and then create the ‘iron gall ink.’ Iron gall ink is the reason of the common black discoloration found on nails in older hardwood flooring.
Area rugs can also harm the hardwood floors. This happens when the area rugs catch moisture and dampness after some spills. For any type of spills proper care must be taken. It is to advise that after a spill on your floor you should quickly wipe away the liquid. Above all take necessary steps to protect your floors from the susceptible sources of water such as potted plants and aquariums.
Another deadly reason of hardwood floor damage is abrasion. In spite the fact that modern hardwood floor coatings are scratch resistant, the hardwood floors can get scratches from sources like scratching of dog claws, or the dragging furniture across the floors. Sand and dirt from the outside could also cause abrasion. When dirt or sand piles under rugs and you do not have a rug pad for your rug then this dirt and sand will definitely mar your flooring because of their coarse friction.
If your hardwood floor is old and damaged with scratches you can fix the floor by refinishing them. If your floor has smaller and light scratches it can be mended with a paste wax or fine steel wool. But it is always a good idea to ask your manufacturers to know what should be the best way to repair your hardwood floor. Usually, the original manufacturers provide guidelines and instructions about the scratch repair products for most of the modern hardwood floors.
How Rug Pads Prevent Hardwood Floor Damages?
The best way of preventing abrasion is to use a suitable rug pad for the each rug. Especially for the heavy traffic areas like entrances or corridors a quality rug pad should be used along with a rug. Rugs are often not put under the legs of furniture, but to prevent abrasion you should put rugs under the legs of furniture. Besides, you should follow some other cautions. For example, avoid wearing outdoor shoes inside the rooms, so that you can prevent the intrusion of dust in your rooms. Moreover, remember to move your chair or any other furniture by lifting rather than sliding or dragging them over the floors.
Damages can also be caused by localized weight distribution across the floors. Under the legs of heavy furniture occurs the cupping, that is, because of the pressure of the furniture the floors can get thinner under at those places. For this issue you should consider refinishing your floors by sanding them down until they are leveled. If the hollow is smaller you can repair them by layering them with a thin cloth and with a steam iron to rehydrate the wood. If you apply this process the area will swell and ultimately smoothen away the dent. This technique must be applied with proper care. However, modern flooring often requires a total replacement of the affected boards.
Using rug pads is a good way to protect your hardwood floors. If you are looking for an extra protection for your floor it should be choosing a rug pad. When you are choosing your rug pad be meticulous about your selection. Determine your needs, floor types, and rug types, and then choose the right rug pad. A right rug pad will prevent your floor whereas a low quality rug pad may cause more harm to your floor.
Choosing the Right Rug Pads
Avoid those rug pads that us adhesives in them. These pads use adhesives to make sure that they will not move or slip. And these pads are often manufactured with low quality PVC materials. Their manufacturing also requires the use of chemicals. All these things work against the hardwood floors. As the chemicals used in these rug pads can cause staining. These chemicals also react to the finishes used on the hardwood flooring. So, if you want to safeguard your hardwood floor you must avoid these rug pads and choose an Eco-friendly rug pad instead.
If your floor is refinished recently give it the time to cure. Generally, hardwood floors take around a month to get cured. So, make sure that you have ensured at least a month to get your floor stabilized. When you are buying your flooring you should not compromise with the quality. Remember, a cheaper product can be of low quality and thus may trap you spending more money for the replacement and maintenance.
Thickness of a rug pad is also very important for the protection of your floor. The thicker your pad is the more comfort it will give. Thicker pads are ideal for larger rugs, whereas, thinner rug pads are usually used for the smaller rugs. Thicker pads also help check early wear and also work as an excellent buffer between the floor and the rug itself; as a result, vacuuming and grooming become easier. Smaller rugs are more prone to slip than the larger rugs, and thus thinner rug pads are used for the smaller rugs. Because thinner rug pads provide better grip and they are recommended to use in the high traffic area where a smaller rug is used.
Some particular hardwood floors require air flow between them and the rug pads to look fresh. So if you want to keep your floor unharmed you should consider choosing a rug pad that is capable to breathe air. The breathability of a rug pad can also prevent harmful bacteria from growing in your floor. If you are in a hot area where there is much humidity in the air you need a rug pad that has moisture barrier. The extra layers of these pads prevent moisture from passing through, so your rug will not get mildew and mold.
Lastly, always try to use an Eco friendly rug pad that has not any unsafe chemical substances, adhesives, or glues, as well as that will not release harmful VOC‘s in the air. There are some PVC pads that are not manufactured with care or following the emission and toxic filler tests. These PVC pads can be hazardous to the health. To secure your safety for both your health and floor choose a natural rug pad made from wool or felt.