I was recently asked by a client if they could steam clean their new laminate floor? My heart sank, and with an emotional yelp, I replied NO! However, I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like to live in the dark ages and thought I’d carry out a little research to see if the technology of steam cleaners had improved..
Well it would seem there’s not a lot than can differ with cleaning equipment that delivers steam. I thing the clue is in the name really. What has changed is steam cleaner manufacturers incorporating different techniques to try and sell there products to a wider market i.e. wood and laminate floors.
They are now instructing people to use the steam cleaners on the LOWEST settings. Warning sign! Many of them also recommend doubling up on the cloth covers to “prevent as much steam as possible from touching the surface”. Warning sign number two! They also recommend not holding the steam cleaner in one spot for too long. Final warning, and that was my mind made up.
Let me make something clear. If a laminate floor becomes water damaged, there’s no going back. The laminate floor will not return to normal, even after the floor has been dried out. Make no mistake, after installing floors for over fifteen years I can whole heartedly assure you of that.
Now laminate floors can and often do last for years, and put up with plenty of stick during that time. However, all it takes is an important phone call or a knock at the door for our attention to be distracted, the steam cleaner put down and left on for the inevitable swelling the ensue. Time to call the flooring guys out and give us some money!
I’m even cautious about mindful use. I’ve changed a number of laminate floors in the past that seem to have swelled at the joins due to these steam cleaning machines and had people tell me that trying to get compensation from the manufacturers was like pulling teeth. It’s simple really, ring a manufacturer or retailer to tell them the steam cleaner you bought from them has damaged your floor and nine times out of ten they’ll tell you that it must have been used incorrectly. We’ve all been there, grand promises to increase the sales but when it comes to the crunch, are they going to hand over the cost of replacing your entire floor, especially without a fight! Well, I’ll leave you to think about that one and in the mean time, I’d personally recommend you stick to the conventional way of cleaning your laminate floors as steam cleaning is risky business!© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor