Because of the reliability of the FDA, we can — generally speaking— trust most labels on things. When that comes to what the company selling you a discount, at-home, floor steamer says on their label, however, is not necessarily the most trustworthy. Claims surrounding water-based cleaning methods that involve high temperatures should be viewed with a skeptic’s eye. As your resident hardwood flooring store in Dallas and Fort Worth, we know how to treat your hardwood flooring and we’ll guide you through the deep cleaning process and what sort of tools you can feel comfortable using.
The Low Down On Steam Cleaners
You’ll 100% find steam cleaners that make grand claims about being totally safe for your hardwood flooring. The truth is you should be a bit more than wary of these claims. Hardwood flooring, and just wood in general, is very absorbent and any sort of exposure to water and moisture can cause the woods fibers to contract, expand, twist and warp as well as start developing mold. These steamers that are supposedly ok for your hardwood flooring say that because they likely have a function that specializes in sucking up excess moisture. Thus, the notion is that the machine would steam and suck up the moisture at the same time and therefore leave the floor completely dry. However, this simply cannot be true for every single type of hardwood flooring. For this idea to work, the flooring has to be essentially hermetically sealed shut so that none of that water would ever transfer into the actual fibers of the wood. Because it’s basically impossible to guarantee an air-tight seal like that on a flooring surface that is natural, most wood flooring experts do not recommend using a steam cleaning device on your hardwood flooring or any type of hardwood at all.
Beyond what the experts say, Consumer Reports actually experimented and used these steam cleaners that made claims of leaving your flooring completely dry and tested for the amounts of moisture left in their wake. Obviously, water has its own will and no matter how ardently you’re trying to suck up moisture, there’s bound to be some leftovers, but apparently it was enough to sway the test of the various steamers and they were determined ineffective for that particular function.
If You Need To Use One
If you insist on using a steamer for your floors, please note that you’ll need to test the thickness and durability of the sealor currently on the hardwood flooring. To test this, drip a small amount of water onto it and if the water beads up then the seal is intact and the flooring will likely not be penetrated by enough water to cause any considerable damage. However, if the water spreads out of sinks into the wood, the seal is not durable enough on the hardwood flooring to prevent moisture damage and it’s very likely those floorboards will warp and be altered. Before you fire up the steamer, complete this test in a couple of places around your wood flooring as the sealor might’ve rubbed off faster in some areas than it has in others.
If you read this blog too late, don’t despair. Texas Hardwood Flooring has excellent water damage solutions for your flooring that will restore the uniform look and prevent any damage spreading. If you need your flooring steamed and you have to wait for a new sealor because the current seal is compromised, we’ve got you covered in that regard too. Reach out to us now and schedule your appointment.