4 Common Floor Sanding And Refinishing Questions Answered
- What is dustless floor sanding?
One of the assumptions in the industry is that dustless floor sanding means that there won’t be any dust generated. Every sanding job generates dust. After all, the very essence of the task is grinding away the old finish and a thin layer of the wood itself. The difference comes with how the dust is dealt with. Conventional sanders come with dust bags. While these help with collecting the dust, there will still be copious amounts that get spread all over the property. On the other hand, professional contractors employ dustless floor sanding systems – but what are they? Here, instead of a dust bag, the sanders are connected to high-powered vacuums. These pack a punch, suctioning up almost all of the dust that is produced – even up to 99%, with really powerful vacuums. This prevents both the fine and coarse dust particles from being released into the surrounding space. While it is not possible to completely remove all the dust, this approach enables the task to be far less messy, and speeds up the floor restoration job since you won’t be stuck with an arduous cleaning chore.
- Can an engineered hardwood floor be refinished?
Yes. However, this will for a fewer number of times compared to purely solid hardwood floors. The number of times will depend on the thickness. The thicker the wear layer the better – but even the thin ones can be sanded and refinished at least two times.
- Do visible nails affect the floor sanding?
Nails can push up from the flooring and become visible due to the initial floor installation being improperly done, the underlayment being weak, or as a result of the movement of the foundation. In such scenarios, it does not mean that the floor can’t be sanded, though you may find some contractors trying to convince you that it should. Yes, floors have a limited number of times in which they can be sanded – but that depends on how thick the wear layer is. This should be the main consideration when determining whether or not you will have to install new floorboards. Exposed wood nails will simply be driven back into the wood floor and the sanding continues. Speaking of which, one of the oversights made by DIY floor sanders is ignoring the nails and proceeding with the job, which ends up ripping the belt sanders.
- Does floor sanding have any risks?
Yes. Lots of them. It’s a job that sees the usage of heavy-duty machinery. Anyone handling it without the requisite skills can wreak havoc on the wood. A simple oversight such as failing to properly connect the sanding belt to an electric system that can support the load – such as the main electric fuse, can lead to faults. Wires that have been loosely positioned on the property increase the risks of electric shocks and fire. Even how the dust is handled matters. The material is combustible, so you don’t want piles of sanding dust and wood shavings lying around, as these can heat up, bursting into flames. Speaking of dust, those fine particles that get airborne and inhaled are a threat to the respiratory system of the personnel carrying out the job, and the occupants of the household – especially if they get into the HVAC system and are circulated in the house for weeks. This is why aspects like dustless floor sanding are preferred, since they greatly reduce the risk of this from happening.
The machines are also loud, which is why you see the contractors using ear muffs. It’s important to keep pets out of the property for the duration of the sanding. The last thing you want is Fluffy running into the way of the sander in the middle of the job, or tripping over the wires. The risks to the property and the occupants of the house are minimised when you use professional services for the sanding process. In addition, since it’s impossible to have 100% certainty that an accident won’t occur – even when you’re dealing with the most professional contractors who have years of experience, it is recommended that you hire the services of a floor sanding business that has been insured, preferably with coverage being provided for the property, the machinery being used, and the personnel carrying out the task. That way you won’t find yourself with costly liabilities should anything go wrong.
Tips For Finding Experts For The Floor Sanding And Restoration
When it’s time for the floor restoration project, how do you decide between the dozens of services in your locality? Here are aspects that you should be keen on:
As a basic requirement, you want to deal with a flooring specialist that is licensed, as opposed to just a random service that you bumped into on social media. This is a business whose offices and owners you can trace, and not a fly-by-night type where you would get exasperated following up on issues.
What does the track record of the company say about its quality of services? There are different factors that can be looked at here. Firstly, what do the previous clients say about the business? Go through their reviews online – especially on the social media platforms, and also ask for testimonials. A company that has been providing quality services is bound to have a couple of previous clients willing to vouch for it. Also, how long has the company been operating? Sure, even start-ups can offer excellent services, but one cannot deny that a business that has been providing floor sanding and restoration services for years gives the property owner more peace of mind. Here the main issue will be your risk tolerance and comfort with the particular company you’re engaging.
The floor sanding and refinishing project is intensive, and there are lots of risks involved. This ranges from damage to the property, the equipment being used, all through to injury to the contractors themselves and the occupants of the building. Even with companies that are widely experienced due to being in operation for decades, there are still chances of accidents occurring, and in this case you want to be sure that you are protected. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re dealing with huge liabilities that will need to be met out of your own pocket. Industry best practice stipulates the need for the companies offering the floor restoration services to be insured.