Vinyl flooring is usually popular for many homeowners because it's economical and long-lasting when maintained and cared for.
Vinyl flooring has many advantages, but just like anything, it also has it's drawbacks that you need to be aware of prior to making a final decision. Be aware that you can take care to avoid any of these problems and they will not be an issue with normal wear and tear and as long as you don't abuse the vinyl flooring surface.
There are many advantages of choosing this type of flooring, but there are also several problems that can occur if it’s not cared for. Scratches can happen easily that will make the floor look dull. The corners of the floor can also start to peel with age. This looks unattractive and can require the floor to be replaced if it’s not fixed in a timely manner. To keep your vinyl floors looking sharp, just follow this easy maintenance guide.
1. Staining and Discoloration
First on the list is staining and discoloration. Vinyl flooring is at risk of staining and discoloration from spills and other accidents. When food or beverages are spilled directly onto vinyl flooring is can quickly absorb into the material, which can be difficult to clean and get out. The best way to avoid this issue is to make sure any spills are cleaned up immediately, so the liquid does not have time to absorb into the floor.
Once the liquid absorbs, the resulting discoloration or stain will be permanent. Absorb the liquid first with a towel or cloths and then use a damp towel or rag to wipe the surface clean of any spilled liquid.
Another cause of vinyl discoloration is excessive exposure to sun. Sun exposure will quickly discolor and damage vinyl, so it is best to think about where you plan to install vinyl beforehand and make sure there are adequate shading and other precautions to prevent this unfortunate result.
One thing few people think about are HVAC vents. When HVAC, particularly heating vents are placed in the vinyl flooring or pointed directly at it, the intense temperature can change the color and make an unpleasant contrast to the rest of the vinyl surface.
Scratched vinyl flooring is common because it is not a particularly hard surface so it is susceptible to damage from many items that may be dropped or dragged across it. Even dirt or small rocks that may be brought in on the bottom of shoes can easily scratch vinyl flooring. Also, dirt that may be present on the surface and is then stepped on or dragged on the bottom of shoes or feet may cause the same damage. If anyone wears shoes with hard leather soles, heels, or high heels, these can all be very damaging to the surface of a vinyl floor.
Making sure vinyl floors are swept and mopped very regularly are just part of the preventative maintenance required to keep these floors looking their best. The floor also fare better in homes where inhabitants remove their shoes altogether when entering.
On floor that have already suffered damage due to scratches, there are a few tricks you can use to repair them or at least prevent them from getting worse.
One trick is to mix warm water with a little bit of mild dish or hand soap. Use the mixture with a sponge to clean the scratched surface area. Removing the dirt from the scratched area will provide a clean surface to work with. Once you've let the area dry, you can use a very light grade sandpaper to smooth the scratches so they blend in with the rest of the vinyl floor.
This must be done very carefully!
If you press too hard, you will create a bigger issue than the scratch. Sanding in a straight line along the scratch is helpful. To finish the job, use an even lighter grit sandpaper around the area and wash the debris away with a sponge. Waxing the flooring will also help blend the scratch to the rest of the floor.
3. Peeling and Cracking
Peeling and cracking is another major issue with vinyl flooring once it has aged. Most of the time, this is caused by the glue adhesive that wears out around the edges of the times, which causes them to curl. Once this begins to happen across the floor, the floor will look very worn and will not be pleasant in any way. The worst part is that the problem will continue to worsen if not addressed as quickly as possible. If you catch the peeling early enough, it can be fixed and you will get a lot more life out of the floor.
The first step to repair is to place a piece of aluminum foil of over the distressed tile and heat it with an clothes iron. By heating the tile, it becomes flexible so that it will not break as you repair it. Once the tile is flexible, it is important to clean the area. If the tile has been peeling for any amount of time, dirt and other debris are likely to be present under the tile.
After cleaning, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the bottom of the tile. Make sure not to use too much or it could cause ripples under the tile that will be noticeable after the repair is complete. Use a heavy rolling pin to roll the edges of the tile back down and clear any excess adhesive. Place wax paper over the tile and heavy objects such as books or furniture over it to hold it down as tightly as possible. Make sure the surface of the object is flat across the tile. Leave this for 24 hours to ensure the adhesive is completely dry and cured.
Vinyl flooring is an amazing option to create a wonderful environment in your home that will last for years to come when properly cared for. Vinyl is durable when you take care of and maintain it regularly. With proper maintenance, your vinyl floor will last for years and years without issue!