Common Things That Will Damage Your Wood Floor
Wood is one of the most durable flooring options, which is a key reason behind why it is used in high traffic environments. However, this is not to say that is it invincible. When properly installed and maintained, it will keep that elegant look for years. The normal wear will slowly happen but there will be long duration in between the need for a floor sanding and refinishing. Some aspects will cause it to get damaged faster though, forcing you to have to budget for repairs much sooner than had been anticipated. These include:
- Excessive moisture
Many look at moisture as being wood floor’s #1 enemy, and it is not difficult to see why. Many of the wood floor installations end up suffering damage from the excessive moisture that is absorbed by the material. It causes the boards to expand, pushing against the adjacent boards. This causes issues like buckling, convex and concave deformities on the installation, and in some cases the boards become loose.
It’s important to ensure that the moisture levels in the interior space are controlled, to prevent excessive expansion or contraction of the wood as it responds to the changes in the indoor humidity. For those new installations that are being set up, ensure that the boards have been allowed to acclimate to the conditions of the particular area before being hammered into position.
- Excessive Heat
This is tied to the variations of the moisture content within the wood. When the wood floor is exposed to too much heat, there is excessive moisture loss from the wood, causing it to shrink. Gaps end up forming. Note that the seasonal changes in indoor temperature and humidity conditions will usually lead to normalcy being restored, as they are cyclic occurrences. The problems come in when there is excessive amount – like for the wood floor that is exposed to sunlight for longer periods, compared to the adjacent boards, such as the flooring close to the windows. Fortunately, the gaps can be resolved by using filler products. Here, dust from the floor sanding process is mixed with a filler agent, forming a paste whose properties -including colour and contraction/expansion rates- are close to that of the rest of the wood floor. This paste is then applied into the gaps.
- Direct damage
Here, issues range from hard objects falling to the ground, heavy furniture being dragged across the floor and ending up scraping the surface, to the kin d of footwear people use – such as the case for high heeled stilettos which exert loads of pressure on the floor surface. Some can be avoided. For instance, when moving furniture, it should be lifted and carried to the preferred spot, as opposed to dragging it across the surface. Other aspects like wear from foot traffic can be mitigated by ensuring that the wood floor has been finished with a durable formulation that acts to protect the underlying structure from damage.
Over time, the damage to the wood floor will be hard to ignore. Scratches from furniture and pet claws, wear from the abrasive effects of soiling that was grinded against the surface under people’s shoes, all through to the occasional oversight where a person drags heavy appliances like refrigerators across the floor– all these leave marks. Areas that experience high levels of foot traffic, like the doorways and hallways, plus sections like the floor under the dining table where furniture keeps getting pushed and pulled, will have more scratches on them over time. There are measures you can take to protect your floor from these kinds of damage. Take using doormats for instance. Positioned at the entryway into the building, these help in reducing the amount of dirt and debris that is tracked into the house. Area rugs for those high traffic sections will also reduce how much abuse is meted out onto the floor.
For the floors that look worse for wear, you can bring back their elegance by having them sanded and refinished. Here, the old coats are grinded off the floor, and the surface smoothened to allow new treatments to be applied. The floor sanding is a taxing job, one that requires powerful machinery and the right skills to get it done, which is why it is recommended that you hire professionals for the task. This is also to avoid DIY blunders like oversanding the floor, which reduces the thickness of the wear layer too much and negatively impacts the structural integrity of the installation; under-sanding where there are patches of the old finish that are left on the floor, and this will prevent the new treatments from bonding properly with the installation.
With professional floor sanding services, you also get to benefit from the dustless systems that are used. Dust is one of the main concerns that homeowners have about the floor sanding process, especially with the amount of clean-up that will be required after. No one looks forward to dust covering their floors, walls, getting into the sinks and ductwork, coating the chandeliers and cabinets, or remaining airborne for weeks after the restoration project has been completed. However, with dustless floor sanding systems, this will not be a concern, given that the machinery used can capture 99% of the dust, making it a much safer and less messy approach to the sanding process.
When choosing between the different contractors to take on the floor restoration job, be keen on their track record. How long has the company in question been in operation, and what do clients who had previously hired their services have to say about it? Going through the comments left behind on the review sections of their business directory listings, all through to their social media pages, will enable you to have a picture of the kind of quality of services to expect from the firm. Ask about the certification of the employees, and the accreditation that the company has as well.