Get tips on how to clean and care for hardwood floors. Learn why having a throw carpet down may be slowing down the off-gassing process of polyurethane-coated hardwood flooring.
LESLIE: Next up we have Joy from Louisiana who wants to know how to remove some polyurethane .
Joy, tell us what you’re working on.
JOY: I’m working on some hardwood floors and we put the polyurethane coating down over the floors.
JOY: And the problem that I have, we have the center part of the great room is carpet and then it’s an outline around the carpet of the polyurethane hardwood floors . Now my question is this: should I just go over those floors with a dust mop, the hardwood part? Would a vacuum cleaner that would go down real low to the floor, would that be the best thing to use? And then would the mopping part, how would I clean it or should I wet mop it or damp mop it or not? And then the odor. (chuckles) I didn’t realize that the fumes would just continue to stay in the house.
TOM: (chuckling) It’s knocking you out, huh? (Leslie chuckles)
JOY: Did I overload you down?
TOM: No, Joy, not at all. Let’s take those step by step. First of all, so the floors are down. You’ve got a carpet towards the middle. You’ve got some exposed edges around the outside. Your first question is how do you maintain that.
TOM: Maintaining any floor, the better job you do keeping the dirt and dust off the floor, the longer the finish is going to last. Because as you walk across the floor, you grind that dirt in with your feet. That’s what helps wear the finish off. So trying to keep the dirt off is an important step. Certainly dust mopping is the short-term fix in between. Using a vacuum is also important because it gets the dirt particles and the grounds of sand out. Those are all good things for you to do. And if you’ve got to mop it, you want to damp mop it; not too much water.
TOM: Just a damp mop. And use something like Murphy’s Oil Soap.
JOY: I wondered if you would do that or maybe a little vinegar.
TOM: Well, a little vinegar and water is always a good thing to do but if you want to try using something that has a soap solution, use the Murphy’s. That’s what I use on my floors.
Now in terms of the odor, it will stop eventually but you’ve got to – there’s a lot of off-gassing that goes on with polyurethane floors and you’ve just got to let that fully cure. How long has that been down?
JOY: It’s been down about three weeks.
TOM: Yeah. You know what you might want to do is take that carpet up for a while because that’s slowing down the off-gassing. Take that throw rug up from the middle of the floor. Take that up and let the thing really cure for another couple of weeks, then put the rug back down again.
TOM: Alright. And that’ll probably let that work itself out.
JOY: Oh, good. I bet that is holding it in, isn’t it?
TOM: It probably is.
JOY: And I enjoy your show so much. I really do. Keep it up.
TOM: Thanks, Joy. We will.
JOY: OK, honey. Bye-bye.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling 1-888-MONEY-PIT.