If you are new to having hardwood flooring in your home, this might be a useful article for you. Hardwood floors look beautiful and add warmth and style to the decor of a house. It is commonly used in Norwegian homes. However, improper care and maintenance of hardwood floors can equate to large sums of money being spent to repair or replace the floor. This article aims to share with you some tips to caring and maintaining the hardwood floor of your rental property.
Vacuum. Vacuuming regularly allows dirt and dust to be pulled from between the boards. Even fine dirt can cause scratches on the floor. Use a vacuum with a normal floor attachment and not the vacuum beater bar (usually used for carpets), which can damage the wood.
Use only cleaning products that are specifically for hardwood floors. Regular cleaning products can cause permanent damage such as stains to hardwood floors.
Never use a large amount of water to mop the floors. Water on hardwood floors can cause permanent damage. You can use a damp cloth to wipe up spills but never pour water directly on the floor to mop the floor. Rather, use a lightly damp mop (preferably with a microfiber cloth head).
Don’t use ammonia or vinegar on hardwood floors. These can ‘eat into’ the floor and change the finish or colouring of the floor.
Kitchen. It is normal for hardwood flooring to be found in Norwegian kitchens (and sometimes in guest toilets) as well. Be sure to clean up spills immediately and dry the floor well.
Furniture. Don’t drag furniture across hardwood floors when moving them, these can cause scratches and gouges. Instead, be sure to use felt pads under furniture legs.
Sun discolouration. Use curtains or blinds in the property to protect your floors from discoloration caused by direct sun rays.
Shoes indoors. It is common practice for Norwegians to remove their shoes at the door and be barefooted (or with slippers) indoors. At parties though, some people might wear shoes indoors. Be sure to clean the soles of your shoes thoroughly before walking in the house as fine dirt and debris stuck in the soles of your shoes can scratch up the floor. Do note that high-heeled shoes especially may cause damage to hardwood floors.
Pets. Keep nails and claws trimmed on pets to prevent scratching of the floors. Place your pets’ water bowls on a tray so as to prevent splash-off on the floor. If you are toilet-training your young pet, be sure to clean up accidents immediately.
Rugs and mats. You might consider placing rugs and mats with waterproof bottoms in areas of frequent spills. Do be sure to hang up these rugs and mats to dry if and when they get wet.
Children. Do keep an eye on children: it might be a good idea to let them play on playmats. Toddlers repeatedly hitting the floor with a toy ( a Lego block, for example) can quickly cause scratches and gouges in the floor.
Flower pots. Avoid flower pots directly on wooden floors, pots may leak. Put a plate underneath.
Defrosting. Do not leave the fridge/freezer to defrost without constant attention to water spilling on the floor.
Office chairs. To avoid damages from office chairs with wheels, use a protective mat on the floor.
Living in a rental property subjects you to damages claims at the end of the lease period if the damages on the floor are considered to be beyond normal wear and tear. The cost of these damages can be quite substantial. In case of any problems with the floor, do inform your contact person and/or the landlord immediately instead of waiting til the end of the lease period.