Disinfecting Hardwood Floors

Disinfecting Hardwood Floors

Looking back to January of 2020, not much discussion about disinfecting hardwood flooring came up. There have been hours of media attention about disinfecting and a lot of information put out on the internet. Some home remedies include products you find around your kitchen and others are from name brand companies on how to use their products. Whatever route you choose, you need to understand the damage you may do to your floors if you do not care for them properly.

Most of the store-bought disinfectants will have instructions on the back to tell you how to use it to kill bacteria and viruses. For disinfectant to work, most labels will tell you that the surfaces must be clean before applying the product. Next, it will say that the product will need to sit on the surface for at least 2 minutes to 10 depending on the product line. These steps are usually looked over by most people. Even a homemade disinfectant really needs to be used on a clean surface and allowed dwell time.

Considering we are using these products on wood, there is one major problem. Wood does not react well to being wet for long periods of time or harsh chemicals being used on it. Keeping a hardwood floor wet long enough for a disinfectant to work is not good for the wood. Regular practice of doing this can cause the wood to warp and cup. Second, it may damage the finish to the point that it may need to be re-sanded or the flooring replaced. Many disinfectants ask you to clean the surface after using it to remove any residue that can cause damage. If you think using a steam mop is better, think again. Steam injected into the joints of the hardwood floor will cause it to cup over time as well. It is exceedingly difficult to repair and get the floors to flatten out again.

One thing a homeowner should consider is that calling a professional and asking questions may be a better idea than asking Siri. If you remove all the soiling and dirt from a hardwood floor, there is not anything for bacteria or viruses to cling to or live on except a smooth flat surface. Using a good quality microfiber mop, you will be able to remove any harmful germs without much work because of its pickup ability. It is designed to remove soiling off surfaces better than cotton towels, which would have just pushed dirt around. To find a professional to clean your wood floors, look to Basic Coatings. They have a locator on their website that will help you find a Certified Contractor in your area.

If you can keep your floors clean, you will have a good chance of keeping your home safe. There are two ways to disinfect. The product solution side, and the mechanical side. Cleaning solutions require dwell time and can involve many steps in the process. The mechanical side is just keeping the floors clean and using microfiber to clean with. The safest way to disinfect wood floors is to have a certified contractor come and clean the floors. Then maintain them using Squeaky Clean and a microfiber mop. If you keep the floors clean on a regular basis, the microfiber will help physically remove germs while cleaning. You will not be over wetting your floors, leaving streaks on the finish or damaging it, and over wetting the wood.

At BPS Southeast, we know the proper way to clean and maintain your floors. Give us a call to see how we can accommodate your flooring needs.