8 Troubles Faces By Your Wood Floor
While it’s renowned for its strength and durability, wood is still not an invincible flooring option- no type of material is. They all come under a barrage of abuse, with the effect being delayed or accelerated based on the structural integrity of the material itself. That charm and elegance that wood floors are known for will gradually change due to the effects of everyday life. Here are common issues that will be faced by your wood floor:
- Daily wear and tear
It comes from different sources. Foot traffic as people walk about, grinding dirt particles under the soles of their shoes against the floor surface, scratches from the toys that the kids use to play around, those miniature rail tracks that are set up for their model trains games, issues like pets clawing at the surface intentionally, or simply scratching it was they run around- the finish coats that had been applied wear off. Even with footwear, there are those that increase the risk of damage meted out onto the wood- like the case of high heeled and spiked shoes. These add to the strain that bears down on the installation. Sections that are frequently walked on will have a different look compared do those under furniture- as a sign of what they go through. If the wearing down is happening at a fast rate- like in just a couple of months after the surface treatment, it is likely because of a subpar finishing job, where the treatment was not applied appropriately.
- Urine stains
These are a particular concern for households with pets. Urine stains are especially problematic because of their higher tendency to soak through the finish coats, getting to the wood fibres themselves. They should be addressed early before this occurs. What’s more, specialized urine stain removers are required. When the staining is extensive and it has already got to the wood tissue itself, floor sanding will be needed to remove the finish coats and the spot treated. In dire cases, wood bleach is used, and one may need to have the affected boards replaced- hence the emphasis on ensuring that you begin attending to the pet stain the moment you notice it.
- Solar radiation
The sun’s UV radiation also has an impact on the installation. This depends on the particular wood species, as some are more photosensitive than others. For instance, species like Tigerwood and Brazilian Cherry will darken quickly on exposure to the sun, while those like Red Oak and Maple tend to get bleached out- though this occurs at a slow pace. The radiation may also affect the finish that has been applied, causing it to yellow over time, affecting the aesthetic appeal of the installation. There are a couple of ways that you can reduce the effect of sunlight on your wood flooring. First, investing in UV inhibiting finishes will greatly slow down the fading or darkening of your installation. Aspects like rotating the rugs and furniture occasionally, and working with window coverings such as drapes, curtains and shutters- rotating what gets opened at different times of the day, will come in handy.
- Peeling finish
This is mainly attributed to blunders made during the finishing process. Eventually, all finishes will begin showing signs of wear. However, when this happens so soon, there were likely to be oversights made during the application process. For instance, one may have skipped out on the cleaning, meaning there will be dirt particles on the floor surface. These contaminate the finish, interfering with its bonding process with the underlying wood. The floor sanding itself may have been carried out inappropriately- such as with the DIY jobs or when one is dealing with rookie contractors. Light sanding that does not remove the previous coats of finish will mean that new ones applied will not get to properly adhere to the structure. Over burnishing the wood, where the surface is made too smooth, will also affect the bonding process with the wood grain.
Here, the cause is water absorption by the wood. This is due to the hygroscopic nature of the material. The cupped floorboards will have the edges being raised higher than the centre. It can occur when the wood floor has been installed on top of a wet subfloor, but it’s also attributed to the routine changes in relative humidity levels. Later on, as the floors dry out and lose their excess moisture, the floors will flatten out. However, there will be cases where floor sanding will be needed to smoothen out the surface.
- Crowned floorboards
The centre of the floorboards here lift higher than their edges. While cupping usually occurs when there is moisture under the boards, crowning tends to occur during those instances when water is left standing on top of the floor. It also occurs when the cupped floors get sanded out before ensuring that the moisture issue has been addressed.
This is an extreme reaction to moisture changes. It’s usually witnessed in cases where there has been flooring. However, even the normal moisture issues can result in buckling if there is a problem with the installation. For instance, the floorboards may have been installed really close together, such that there isn’t sufficient room to expand.
- Sanding defects
Mistakes made during different floor sanding stages- from those made before the finishes are applied, to those which are done in between consecutive coats of varnish or lacquers, will affect the final outcome. For instance, pausing on one spot for too long with the sander will cause it to dig deeper into the structure. Not following the proper grit sequence can lead to scratches being left behind on the surface. While this may appear miniscule, they will be made more prominent by the finish products that will be applied. When sanding in between finish coasts, issues like using worn out sanding pads or abrasive screens will cause unsightly scratches to occur on the layer being worked on. This can only be resolved by another sanding to remove the affected layer.