8 Factors That Contribute To The Damage Of Wood Flooring
Here is a look at common day-to-day issues that may be ruining your wood floor:
- Using abrasives for the cleaning
While wood is a durable material, working with abrasive products will damage it. These are like those situations where one scrubs away at stains with steel wool, which ends up forming scratches and abrading away the finish. There are also those who use harsh cleaners for the task. From vinegar to ammonia-based solutions- these popular DIY formulations can wreak havoc on your wood floor. Though they are suitable for other cleaning tasks around the household, when it comes to the wood floor, they will ruin the finish, and if they soak through to the underlying wood, they’ll corrode the material and put the structural integrity of your installation at risk.
- Using hard casters for the furniture
Casters are really convenient- allowing you to roll around the furniture and make movement easier. However, the specific material of the carpets that are on the chairs and tables is a concern for wood floors. Metal casters- such as those with cast iron, will damage the wood floor. As such, it is recommended that you use casters which have a rubber coating, like those which come with polyurethane treads or neoprene rubber. Office chairs usually have nylon casters, which are also alright as long as the chair will not be put under stress due to too much weight on it.
- Dragging heavy furniture and appliances
From that sofa in the living room to the refrigerator in the kitchen, when these units are dragged across the floor, they end up creating large marks that ruin the surface. The rule of the thumb is usually to lift and carry the item. However, in case you’re dealing with very heavy units, you can always work with tools like furniture glides, which are slipped under the feet of the item- which can then be slid into place. There are those who have dollies and hard carts- which can also come in handy. Don’t shy away from enlisting help- like having a friend or family member to assist you when moving the items. Besides, a second pair of eyes and hands will go a long way as you balance the bulky items and navigate around the corners.
- The weight of the furniture itself
Even when not being moved, the furniture also has an impact on the floor section that it is placed on. Its weight applies pressure of the wood, which gradually wears it down. This is in addition to the ever-so-slight movements that are made whenever people sit on the furniture. This is why protective pads are vital, placed under the future feet, at the point when they come into contact with the floor.
- High heels
It’s Physics- when the entire body weight of a person acts on the floor surface through a tiny cross-section (the tip of the heel in this case), the pressure is significantly higher. Basically, the force per square inch with each step will be greater than that which is made by an elephant’s foot. Both home and business owners where the occupants are walking around in heels often find dozens of tiny dents and holes being formed on the wood surface over a short period of time- especially for the cases where the tip of the heel doesn’t have the protective rubber cap, which leaves an exposed metal finish.
- Skipping Fluffy’s pedicure
Do you have a pet? As cats and dogs run around the house, their claws are usually drawn out. This is to give them more traction- a solid grip as they make those quick turns and leaps. However, the sound made by their claws as they skirt across the wood surface is more than just an annoyance. The claws will ruin the finish, forming scratches. If the claws remain untrimmed, the larger the scale of the damage that will be meted out onto your installation; Is your floor covered in scratches? Don’t fret- with a quick floor sanding and refinishing, it will be as good as new.
- Allowing urine stains to remain untreated
The best time to clean up a urine spot is immediately it is formed. The longer the time that it is allowed to remain on the floor, the more it will soak into the wood, compounding your troubles. Urine stain removers that have been specially designed for use on hardwood are needed here, to avoid harsh chemicals that can corrode the material. Besides, that lingering pungent odour is not something that you want to hanging around. You also don’t want your pet picking out that section of the floor to be it’s go-to spot for passing urine, as large quantities of the material can even lead to warping. When the urine soaks into the wood and dries up, it can lead to discolouration of the material or form a permanent stain. However, in case it has reached to this point, don’t fret. The situation can still be salvaged. Here, a floor sanding will be required, to remove the affected layers of finish. Strong urine removers may also be needed to clean the area and remove any residue content. This is then followed with a refinishing, applying the wood stain, polyurethane coat, varnish or other preferred type of finish.
- Water dish damage
Pet owners also have this to contend with. Spills at the pet’s water dish can have long term negative effects on the wood. This is why it is recommended that you place a mat under the dish, that will catch the water and prevent it from getting to the underlying flooring. Even then, you should still ensure that the mat is dried out from time to time, that way moisture won’t soak through to the wood and cause the very problem that you were looking to prevent. You may also consider using spill-proof dishes, which come with broad bases which are more stable. There are even those that have stands. Basically, the goal here is to take prudent measures to prevent the water from getting to the floor- and you can go with the method that is most preferable for your situation.