Latest News and Articles From the A & T Carpentry BlogHow To Maintain and clean your new staircase
Having just spent a small fortune on your stunning new wooden staircase you will want to maintain and clean it. Wood is a sensitive material and needs caring for to prolong its life and stunning good looks. Regular cleaning, fixing up dents and scratches and the odd refinishing touch up are the main jobs to consider. Some like to add rugs to keep debris off the floor which can also help wooden stairs stay in tip-top shape.
Here is A & T Carpentry’s, guide to maintaining and cleaning your wooden staircase to keep it looking beautiful.
How to prevent damage to wooden stair treads
Placing rugs in front of a door and near staircase entrances can prevent damage to your wooden staircase. Gravel, brought into your home on the bottom of footwear will scratch the wood. Rugs will help brush off any debris that is caught in the treads of your shoes. Also avoid wearing heels and small-heeled shoes as the increased pressure will dent soft wood. If you are moving furniture along your staircase pad any sharp edges, metal feet or legs with padding, bubble wrap or an old cloth. The last thing you want is a full length scratch on your new oak handrail as you carry up your new bedroom furniture!
Scratch and dent removal
You can usually hide small scratches and dents in already waxed wooden floors and staircases by adding a new layer of wax. Apply the wax to the damaged wood and buff it well. To remove a scratch or dent on stairs with a penetrating finish (
a finish that soaks into the wood like resin. As opposed to a varnish which is a surface finish.) rub the area with further penetrating finish and no. 0000 ultra fine steel wool.
Clean your stairs regularly
Clean debris of your wooden stairs regularly by vacuuming and sweeping them with a soft brush. This will avoid tiny specs of gravel and dust scratching your wooden flooring. Don’t leave liquids and wet spills on your wood for too long as they will soak into the wood which will either stain or worse, warp the wood. If the stairs need a thorough wet clean with use a specifically designed cleaner for your type of stair or floor finish such as a solvent-based liquid wax.
How to refinish wooden stairs
Stairs are often the most walked upon surface in the home and so it is inevitable that over time the wood finish will become worn or even cracked. Penetrating finishes (oils and resins) can be recovered at worn spots without the need for refinishing the entire wooden staircase. To repair worn spots in a penetrating finish just apply the new finish to the worn spots with an ultra-fine steel wool. Surface finishes, such as varnishes will need to be completely removed and replaced when they wear out to restore an even finish. Remove the worn finish by sanding it away by hand or carefully with an oscillating tool equipped with a sanding accessory. You need to begin with a fairly coarse 20- or 60-grit sanding paper and finish by smoothing with 120-grit abrasive. This will ensure a smooth surface to apply your final finish evenly. Be sure to thoroughly clean up all of the dust and dirt before applying the new finish following the manufacturer’s instructions otherwise you will be left with a rough ‘bumpy’ finish.
In humid or moist climates, mould often starts to grow on wooden floors as it remains damp. Although wiping the wooden surface appears to remove the problem tiny spores remain and the mould soon returns. To remove the problem the spores mut be killed with a disinfectant. Killing mould spores on a wooden floor can be done with a cleaning of 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Find a finish for your staircase that will help prevent mildew and mold from regrowing.
Need advice on restoring your worn staircase?
As always, A & T Carpentry will be happy to offer you free friendly advice on the best solutions for your particular staircase.
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