Knowing how to care for your floor is vital to its longevity. While hardwood floors are known to be tough and durable, they are not invincible. In fact, properly caring for your hardwood floor is essential to making sure they can stand up to normal wear and tear. Hardwood floors last a long time when properly tended. When new, properly maintained hardwood floors keep their smooth, sleek shine for years.

There are a number of things that can hurt your floor. If left unchecked, these factors can really take a toll on your hardwood floor’s longevity. Keep your eyes out for any of the following signs of potential damage. Preventing damage to your hardwood floor is always easier and cheaper than significant repairs. A little bit of regular maintenance can keep your hardwood floor in solid shape for a generation or more.

Keep Out Moisture

Moisture buildup is a hardwood floor disaster waiting to happen. There is no doubt about it: Moisture is the number one destroyer of hardwood floors. Whenever wood flooring retains and loses moisture, the expansion and contraction weaken the integrity of the panels. Eventually, wood begins to buckle, become convex or concave, and even comes loose. This can not only cause unsightly malformation to your flooring but can even become a hazard.

Keep humidity levels within a lower range (40 to 50 percent is generally recommended). This is especially important when new hardwood is being installed. Properly installed flooring lasts for a long time. But if there is excess moisture pouring into your hardwood during installation or before it is fully sealed, you can end up with some major problems. Moisture problems can begin to show up quite quickly. If you see any indications that moisture could be building up or damaging your floor, contact a professional right away.

Keep a Lid on Heat Levels

Moisture is not the only element that causes wood to lose its shape. Heat can cause wood floors to contract. This shrinkage can cause gaps to appear between planks. Make sure that heat levels are kept as level as possible throughout your home. Swinging temperatures with constantly shifting highs and lows can wreak havoc on hardwood over the years. Keeping your home’s temperature as steady as possible throughout the year will keep hardwood from expanding and contracting. This is vital to the long term durability of your floor.

Constant or Recurring Wear

While hardwood floors are more than capable of standing up to normal wear and tear, not all wear is equal. If spots on your floor are constantly impacted by falling objects, scraping furniture, or excessive weight, it can suffer damage. Wood is an extremely durable material, but it is not invincible. 

Keeping your hardwood floor free of unnecessary or constant damage involves keeping it clean, too. You should try to keep your floor dry. If there is a spill or tracked water from outside, clean it up as soon as possible.