If you go to the store, chances are there will be steam mops on the shelves advertising for beautiful results for your hardwood floors. Reality is steam mops are not intended for word floors; in fact, steam mops can ruin your hardwood floors over time and leave you with higher repair costs and unnecessary maintenance.
Moisture is a wood floors worst enemy. Moisture content in wood floors can be defined as the weight of water in wood. This weight is expressed as a percentage. Wood fibers in your floor are dimensionally stable when moisture is above the saturation point. The saturation point is around 30% moisture content. When the saturation point dips below that, you are likely to see your wood change dimensions and start to discolor, warp or distort.(Note that the saturation point may vary depending on the type of wood of your floors.) Steam mops will give you a deep clean finish, but that is exactly why they are not ideal for wood floors. The deep penetration of steam into the wood surface to remove soils and contaminants will force unwanted water into your food floors and increase the moisture percentage. Overtime, this can cause your floor boards to warp. (Picture below of a warped floor board).
This does not mean that you can’t clean your floors. In fact we advise that you use a recommended floor cleaner. To know if a floor cleaner is recommended for hardwood floors and its finish, we suggest that you check with your contractor first. If you do not have a contractor, Basic Coatings® Squeaky Floor Care System will provide optimal results on both polyurethane and water based finishes. If you pair the recommended cleaner with a microfiber mop, you will see satisfying results. Microfiber mops are great because they are effective in removing dirt and dust without releasing particles into the air.
For more information on Basic Coatings Squeaky Floor Care System, visit basiccoatings.com. For questions regarding Hardwood Floor Maintenance, contact an expert at Basic Coatings or call Customer Service at 1- 800-441-1934.
Micah Petersen, Product Manager for Basic Coatings, spent the first 15 years of his career as a Research and Development Chemist before becoming Product Manager. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and a multitude of outdoor activities. For further questions regarding hardwood floor care and Basic Coatings, please email Micah at Micahblog@basiccoatings.com.