How to Maintain Hardwood Floors

Wood floors made out of hardwoods such as oak, walnut, hickory, maple, or cherry are both durable and beautiful. But, in order to keep them looking fresh, you need to maintain your hardwood floors. Fortunately, keeping them clean and taking care of them is easy to do and will increase their lifespan. However, every 3-5 years, you’ll need to refinish your hardwood floors to keep them bright and polished.

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Keeping Hardwood Floors Clean
Sweep the floors every day with a soft-bristled broom. Regularly sweeping your hardwood floors will reduce dirt and grit buildup, which can scratch the surface of the wood. Take a soft-bristled broom to your floors and sweep up any dust or dirt from the surface, particularly from high-traffic areas such as the entrance to a room or a hallway.[1]
Only use a soft-bristled mop so you don’t scratch the surface of the wood.
Vacuum weekly with a floor nozzle to pick up dust and dirt. Use a floor-brush attachment to suck up dirt and debris from the surface of the hardwood floor without damaging it. Reach into the corners or crevices to pick up any dust or dirt that your sweeping missed.[2]
Avoid using a vacuum with brush rolls or one designed for carpets as they can scratch and damage your hardwood floors.
Dust the floor with a disposable dusting cloth for a quick clean. Disposable dusting mops have a mild electrostatic charge that allows them to pick up more dust, hair, and dirt from your wood floors than sweeping and vacuuming. Run the cloth over the surface of your floors to dust them and be sure to reach into the nooks and crannies where dust likes to hide.[3]
You can also use a dry mop with a microfiber head to pick up dust and grime.
Disposable dusting cloths are quick and easy to use, and you can throw them away when you’re finished.
Look for disposable dusting cloths at department stores or online. Popular brands include Swiffer and Bona.
Mop the floors monthly with a wood floor mop and cleaner. For a deeper cleaning, use a wood floor mop with microfiber pads or strings and wood floor cleaner, which won’t strip or strain your hardwood. Dilute the wood floor cleaner in water in a bucket according to the instructions on the label. Dip the wood floor mop into the solution, wring out the excess water, and run the mop over the hardwood following the direction of the grain in the wood. Allow the floor to air dry fully before you walk over it.[4]
Work in sections so you don’t miss any spots and start at a far corner so you don’t box yourself into a room or hallway.
Be sure to thoroughly wring out the mop so you don’t leave excess water on the surface of your hardwood floors, which could discolor or damage them.
You can find wood floor mops and wood floor cleaner at home improvement stores, department stores, and online.
Wipe up spills and messes immediately with a damp cloth. Keep sticky residue from forming by wiping up any messes from your floor as soon as possible. Soak a clean cloth in warm water and wring it out well to remove the excess. Rub the mess up using gentle, circular motions to avoid damaging the wood.[5]
For stubborn messes, spray a little bit of wood-floor cleaner onto it and use a damp cloth to wipe it off. You can find wood-floor cleaner at home improvement stores, department stores, and online.
Don’t allow moisture to sit on top of your wood floor or it could damage it.[Edit]Preventing Wear and Tear
Don’t wear shoes on your hardwood floors. Shoes can scuff hardwood and cause wear and tear over time. Be extra careful about wearing cleats or shoes with heels on your hardwood floors since they can potentially damage them.[6]
Oils from your bare feet can actually degrade hardwood over time. Your safest bet is to only wear socks when walking on your floors.
Attach felt pads to your furniture legs and edges to avoid scratches. Place felt furniture pads on all of the furniture on top of your hardwood floors so they don’t scratch the surface. Add felt pads to any areas that contact the floor such as the edges or corners of sofas.[7]
You can find felt pads at department stores and online.
Trim the nails of any pets walking over the floors. Cat and dog claws can scratch the surface of hardwood floors and damage them over time. If you have pets that walk over your hardwood floors, keep their nails trimmed.[8]
Dogs can sometimes collect dirt and gravel between their paws that can scratch your hardwood floors as well, so be sure to check them before you let them back into the house.
Generally, most dogs need to have their nails trimmed every 1-2 months, depending how fast they grow. Trim your cat’s nails every 2 weeks.
Use protective window covers to reduce direct sunlight. The UV radiation in sunlight can damage hardwood floors, causing them to warp and fade over time. Install protective window coverings such as blinds and curtains, or keep the shades drawn over areas of the floor that receive direct exposure to keep them from being exposed.[9]
You can also place a rug over the floor to cover it from direct exposure to sunlight.
Rearrange rugs and furniture periodically so the floor ages evenly. Hardwood floors will slowly degrade as they age, but you can keep their appearance looking uniform and even by moving around the furniture and rugs in the room. Every 6 months or so, rearrange the items on top of the floor to redirect foot traffic and allow other areas of the floor to age and match the rest of the floor.[10]
Use the opportunity to clean your hardwood floors whenever you rearrange your furniture so dirt and grit don’t damage the surface.
Refinish your hardwood floors every 3-5 years. Refinishing your hardwood floors with a new coat will restore their shine that fades after natural wear and tear. It will also add a protective layer to keep them from getting scratched or faded. Depending on how much use your floors receive, you’ll need to refinish them every 3 years or so.[11]
Rooms with hardwood floors that receive little traffic, such as guest bedrooms or dining rooms, may need to be refinished every 5 or 6 years, depending on how dull they appear.[Edit]References↑ https://youtu.be/S5nPMImI1Ec?t=25

↑ https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning/tips/a19631/maintaining-wood-floors/

↑ https://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/surface/how-to-clean-hardwood-floors/

↑ https://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/surface/how-to-clean-hardwood-floors/

↑ https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/how-to-clean-wood-floors

↑ https://youtu.be/S5nPMImI1Ec?t=46

↑ https://youtu.be/xQtjCu87zWY?t=246

↑ https://youtu.be/S5nPMImI1Ec?t=51

↑ https://youtu.be/S5nPMImI1Ec?t=56

↑ https://youtu.be/S5nPMImI1Ec?t=65

↑ https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-refinish-hardwood-floors/

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Today in History for 4th February 2020

Historical Events

960 – Coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of the Song, initiating three centuries of Song Dynasty dominance in southern China
1846 – Mormons leave Nauvoo, Illinois, for settlement in the west
1924 – Norway sweeps the medals in the Nordic combined event at the inaugural Chamonix Winter Olympics; Thorleif Haug wins his 3rd gold of the Games ahead of team mates Thoralf Strømstad and Johan Grøttumsbråten
1969 – Beatles appoint Eastman and Eastman, as general cousel to Apple
1991 – NZ cricketers Martin Crowe and Andrew Jones make a world record 467 run stand, against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington
2004 – Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1524 – Luis de Camões, Portugal’s greatest poet (d. 1580)
1891 – Madabhushi Ananthasayanam Ayyangar, Speaker of Lok Sabha (d: 1978).
1917 – Aga Yahya Khan, Pakistan military/politician
1943 – Jimmy Johnson, American session musician and co-founder of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, born in Sheffield, Alabama
1943 – Cheryl Miller, Sherman Oaks California, actress (Paula-Daktari, Born Free)
1952 – Lisa Eichhorn, actress (Cutter’s Way, Yanks), born in Reading, Pennsylvania

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Famous Deaths

1503 – Queen Elizabeth, consort of Henry VII of England, dies
1505 – Joan of France, Queen of France (1498) and Catholic saint who founded several religious orders, dies at 40
1615 – Giovanni Battista della Porta, Italian scholar, polymath and child prodogy (b. 1535)
1927 – Thomas Laub, Danish organist and composer, dies at 74
1964 – Siegfried T Bok, neurobiologist/anatomist (Cybernetica), dies at 71
1982 – Sue Carol, actress (She’s My Weakness), dies at 73 of a heart attack

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How to Invest Ahead of a Recession

Market predictions often aren’t accurate, and it’s seldom wise to attempt to time your investments to match the whims of market movement. However, if all signs point to a recession on the horizon, there are things you should do to strengthen your portfolio and your own financial standing so you’ll minimize your losses during the downturn. With careful planning, you might even manage to make some money. Work with your broker to balance your portfolio and make investments that go beyond your country’s borders.[1]
[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Rebalancing Your Portfolio
Sell weaker stocks when prices are high. If you have underperforming stocks in your portfolio, look at their past value and go ahead and trade them when the price is relatively high compared to what you bought them for or what they’ve traded for in the past. You may not make much of a profit, but if there’s a recession looming, you don’t want underperforming stocks in your portfolio. If those companies weren’t doing well before the recession, they’ll likely do even worse during the recession.[2]
Check with your broker before selling off too many stocks. Some firms charge additional fees to investors who hold high cash balances.[3]
Move some of your investments into bond funds. Because government bonds carry little to no risk, they’re strong investments to hold during a recession. While you likely won’t make a significant profit, you don’t have to worry about losing your money, which is a risk with any stock during a market downturn.[4]
Bond funds invest in many different types of bonds, so they’re automatically diversified. You might also consider municipal bond funds, which are issued by local governments.
Corporate bond funds generally have potentially greater returns, but they also entail greater risk. However, corporate bond funds are still less risky than investing in most stocks during a recession.
Invest in food, raw materials, and energy sources. Because these commodities are traded globally, a recession in one country won’t necessarily impact the demand for them. This keeps the value relatively steady. Some commodities, particularly basic raw materials and food, may even increase in value during a recession.[5]
A recession in one country may not even affect the demand for some materials on a global scale. Good commodities to invest in ahead of a recession are raw materials such as gas or wood, which developing countries, in particular, consume a lot of.
Grains, such as rice and wheat, are also good staples to invest in if a recession seems imminent.
Place a trailing stop-loss order to minimize your risk. With this kind of order, you choose a price that you’re comfortable with and your broker will automatically sell the stocks you specify if their price drops below that level. This can help you minimize your losses during a recession, especially if you’ve decided to hold on to riskier stocks.[6]
Research the performance of the stocks you’re still holding so you know where to set the price for your stop-loss order.
You might also look at what you initially had invested. For example, suppose you bought 100 shares of a company when the stock was priced at $10 a share. Today, the shares are trading at $50. In that situation, you might want to set your stop-loss order at $15. If the shares dip that low, you won’t have to worry about continuing to lose any money, but you’ll still earn a little off of your investment (and a little is better than nothing).
Plan on buying index funds when markets are low. Use some of the cash you generated when you sold off underperforming and high-risk investments to take advantage of low prices when the recession hits. Index funds, which track a market index such as the S&P 500, are relatively low risk, so you’ll profit off of them when the market starts to pick back up as the recession ends.[7]
If you have a full-service broker, talk to them about your plans. They’ll help you identify undervalued funds that you could potentially make a profit on when the market rebounds.[Edit]Buying Recession-Resistant Stocks
Look for companies with little debt and strong cash flows. In a recession, a company with a strong balance sheet will perform better than one that has taken on a lot of debt. A highly leveraged company was losing money before the recession hit and that trend will likely get worse.[8]
Look closely at the amount of debt a company is carrying. If the company becomes unable to make its debt payments and is unable to handle the costs of continuing operations, it may fail.
Some stocks from established companies with strong balance sheets also pay profits to shareholders in the form of dividends. These stocks can generate a little passive income, even during a recession.[9]
Avoid brands that decrease their marketing ahead of a recession. When a recession is looming, some companies cut costs by lowering their advertising budgets. However, if companies don’t advertise during a recession, demand for their products tends to decrease. These companies may fail to bounce back even after the recession is over.[10]
Research the ad spending of companies you’re interested in on the internet. If you notice a significant decrease, that may be a sign that the company is looking inward over the course of the recession rather than trying to expand and attract new customers.
If you watch TV, pay attention to the products and brands that are advertised and how frequently those ads run. A company with heavy prime-time advertising may be worth looking into, especially if they sell a more basic, commonly used product.
Invest in consumer staples that people will always buy. Regardless of the economy, there are some things that families will always need to purchase. Foods, household goods, and feminine hygiene products can be strong holdings during a recession.[11]
Keep in mind that when family budgets get tight, consumers may steer away from name-brand products in favor of cheaper generic versions of the same thing. Investing in household basics is no guarantee that you won’t lose money when the recession hits.
Diversify across multiple sectors. While it’s smart to keep to core sector stocks, you still want to ensure that your portfolio remains balanced during the recession. In addition to staples and basic household goods, include stocks in healthcare and utilities. Like household goods, regardless of the market, people will still get sick and people will still turn the lights on — so these sectors will remain in steady demand.[12]
For example, if 20% of your portfolio is made up of stock holdings, you might invest a third of that in utility stocks, a third in healthcare, and a third in consumer staples.
Invest in real estate when prices drop if you have experience. Many investors are afraid of real estate when a recession hits. However, if you’re an experienced real estate investor, buying real estate when prices are relatively low can expand your portfolio by giving you the opportunity for passive rental income during the recession and increased equity when the market recovers.[13]
Make sure the property is ready to rent out and won’t require additional investment on your part, because you have no way of knowing what the property will be worth when the recession ends.
If you already own a second property, such as a vacation house, you might also consider renting it out to earn income from it.
Hiring a property management company to deal with the day-to-day aspects of renting can make being a landlord less of a hassle. However, you might want to stay away from real estate investments entirely if you have little to no experience managing real property.[Edit]Improving Your Financial Health
Pay down your consumer debt. If you’re carrying a lot of debt on credit cards, try to eliminate as much of it as you can before the recession hits. That debt will end up costing you more money when the market’s slow and money is tight.[14]
If you’ve made money selling underperforming and high-risk stocks, you might use some of that to pay down or even pay off your credit cards.
Don’t close credit card accounts if you’ve paid them off. Doing so will lower the amount of credit you have available, which could, in turn, lower your credit score.
After you pay off cards, keep them active by using them for small purchases and paying the balance in full each month. For example, you might use a credit card to automatically pay your mobile phone bill, then pay the credit card balance when it comes due each month.
Check your credit report for errors. Get copies of your credit report from each of the reporting bureaus and analyze the entries. If something looks unfamiliar or doesn’t match your records, it might be an error. Disputing errors on your credit report may increase your credit score.[15]
While there are companies that will complete the error dispute process for you for a fee, you can do it yourself for free. Most credit bureaus allow you to start a dispute online, or you can call their toll-free customer support number.
You might also bring the issue to the attention of the creditor that posted the entry. They may be able to fix it more quickly than the credit bureau can.
Renegotiate or restructure high-interest loans. If you have a good credit score, you may be able to get a better deal on some of your more high-interest loans. Restructuring or refinancing makes sense when a recession is looming because it means you’ll be paying less in interest when your budget gets tight.[16]
If the recession hits you particularly hard and you find that you need to refinance a loan, you’ll likely find that it’s much harder for you to do so. If you can’t pay off those loans, talk to the lender about lowering the interest rates before the market enters a recession.
Cut unnecessary expenses from your budget. Take a look at your monthly expenses and see what you can eliminate before the recession hits. If you already have a lean budget, you won’t have to worry as much about making ends meet if the recession impacts your own finances.[17]
For example, if you have subscriptions to 3 different streaming services, you might consider cutting down to 1 that you watch the most.
Unnecessary expenses may also include insurance policies that aren’t legally required and don’t actually protect you from anything major, such as collision insurance (if your car is paid off) or accidental death insurance. You can eliminate many of these policies.[18]
Build up your emergency fund. Make sure you have at least 6 months of living expenses set aside in a savings account before a recession. You never know what might happen during a recession or how bad it will get before the markets rebound.[19]
For example, if the recession puts a squeeze on your employer, they may have to restructure or downsize their workforce. If you end up unemployed during a recession, you want to make sure you can still make ends meet — especially since it might take you longer to find a job during dismal market conditions.
Look at your budget and calculate how much your living expenses would be for 6 months. If you don’t have that much money in savings, temporarily adjust your budget so that you’re putting more money into savings until you have at least that much available.[Edit]References↑ https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-17/how-to-invest-and-profit-in-the-next-recession

↑ https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-17/how-to-invest-and-profit-in-the-next-recession

↑ https://www.ft.com/content/952d9c50-c405-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9

↑ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/mutualfund/08/recession-proof-mutual-funds.asp

↑ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/08/recession.asp

↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/garrettgunderson/2019/06/01/in-the-next-recession-you-can-make-money-rather-than-lose-it/#7ed3b0664028

↑ https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-17/how-to-invest-and-profit-in-the-next-recession

↑ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/08/recession.asp

↑ https://smartasset.com/investing/5-things-to-invest-in-when-a-recession-hits

↑ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/08/recession.asp

↑ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/08/recession.asp

↑ https://smartasset.com/investing/5-things-to-invest-in-when-a-recession-hits

↑ https://smartasset.com/investing/5-things-to-invest-in-when-a-recession-hits

↑ https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-17/how-to-invest-and-profit-in-the-next-recession

↑ https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-06-17/how-to-invest-and-profit-in-the-next-recession

↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/garrettgunderson/2019/06/01/in-the-next-recession-you-can-make-money-rather-than-lose-it/#7ed3b0664028

↑ https://www.marketwatch.com/story/brace-yourself-take-these-10-steps-right-now-to-prepare-for-a-recession-2019-08-21

↑ https://www.forbes.com/sites/garrettgunderson/2019/06/01/in-the-next-recession-you-can-make-money-rather-than-lose-it/#7ed3b0664028

↑ https://www.marketwatch.com/story/brace-yourself-take-these-10-steps-right-now-to-prepare-for-a-recession-2019-08-21

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