Details for Vinyl Flooring Care
Cleaning Vinyl Floors
How a vinyl floor is cleaned is important. Most spillages and stains can clean off quickly, but some will persist, often becoming dried on the surface and then hard to remove when using just soap and water. A variety of products may be used to deal with these, from peroxide to ice cubes, the latter being used to make some substances - like chewing gum or wax - brittle so they can be scraped up easily. A mixture of water and bicarbonate of soda can also be used to deal with yellow stains that can form from the placing of area rugs on such floors. The best way of all to deal with spillages and stains is to move swiftly to clean them with a wet mop, as this means they are easier to remove in the first instance.
Maintaining Vinyl Floor
As well as it being possible to damage vinyl through scouring, such a floor can also be scratched in a less obvious way by dust. In this case, each tiny particle scrapes away at the surface, making tiny indentations that collectively over time can cause the floor to deteriorate.
The presence of dust can be eliminated by using a mop or brush to sweep it away, but there are also steps that can be taken to stop the dust getting in to begin with. A floor mat by the door to wipe shoes on can stop grit and sand - the most abrasive sort of dust - being walked into the room, while floor protectors attached to the furniture can have the same beneficial effect.
Another problem can be bubbling, when air from below rises up and is trapped. This can be easily solved by lancing with a pin and then using an iron to flatten the area and seal up the small incision.
One of the great things about vinyl flooring, however, is that when maintaining it there is no problem with using plenty of water. While materials such as wood, cork or bamboo will be limited by how much they can soak up because of the problems such as swelling and expansion the same is not true with vinyl. Although the material is cheap and does not quite match the real thing when mimicking wood or other materials, it offers a practical alternative that will need limited levels of care and maintenance.
Proactive Protection For Your Floor
- When moving appliances or heavy furniture, lay a plywood panel on your floor and "walk" the item across it. This protects your floor from scuffing and tears.
- Use Floor Protectors on furniture to reduce indentation. As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector needed.
- Be careful with rolling casters. They can damage the floor. Therefore, we do not recommend them. If you choose to use them, the double wheel type are the best option.
- Place a walk-off mat at outside entrances to reduce the amount of dirt brought into your home. We do not recommend the use of rubber- or latex-backed mats because the chemical (antioxidant) used to keep the backing from becoming brittle can permanently stain your floor. We suggest a nonstaining vinyl-backed mat or a woven rug that is colorfast. Most of these products are identified "colorfast" by the manufacturer.
- Maintain room temperature at 65 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours after installation is completed. This assures proper curing, setting and bonding of products.
- Sweep the floor with a soft bristle broom to remove loose dirt.
- Wash the floor with non-abrasive floor cleaner.
- For every day maintenance, a mop moistened with warm water will suffice.
- Make sure furniture legs have large surface, non-staining floor protectors.
- Replace small, narrow metal or dome-shaped glides with smooth, flat glides that are in flat contact with the floor.
- Heavy furniture or appliances that are not moved often should be equipped with flat, non-staining composition furniture casters or cups of appropriate size.
In Case You Didn't Know
- Use detergents, abrasive cleaners or "mop and shine" products - they may leave a dull film on your floor.
- Use paste wax or solvent-based polishes.
- Use a beater bar when vacuuming because it can visibly damage the floor surface.
- Use highly abrasive scrubbing tools.
- Do not use ammonia or bleaches.
- Wash the floor immediately after installation. The adhesive under your floor needs time to thoroughly dry after installation. Therefore we recommend that you do not scrub or wash your floor for five days.
- Disturb seams for 8 hours after installation. For vinyl sheet, allow the seams to seal for 8 hours after seam application. This will ensure the proper seam bond and a seamless finish. If seams are disturbed before they’re dry, permanent damage may result.