Determining If Your Floor Needs To Be Sanded
The floor sanding and refinishing process is important to make the installation new and restore its protection. Over time, the daily usage that the floor handles causes it to get worn out, and the finishes that have been applied need to be replaced. Ignoring this puts the structural integrity of your installation at peril, and extensive damage can occur which would force you to have it replaced. There isn’t a fixed schedule that works for all wood floors. However, there are signs that you can watch out for that will tell you if your installation is due for a sanding and refinishing. These include:
- A dull, tired finish
Here, the floor has lost its charm. That elegant finish that had been applied has been replaced with a forlorn look, that cannot be improved even with a thorough cleaning job. The finish needs to be replaced. For this to happen, the original one that had been applied should be sanded off, exposing the bare wood for the new treatment to be applied. There are cases where it gets so worn out that one can easily scratch the surface with their fingernails and remove the wax. By this time, the floor is in dire needs of maintenance.
- Dents and scratches in the wood
If they are a couple on the floor- it’s normal. Some can even be hid under the area rug, buying you some extra time to budget for the floor sanding that will be required. However, if the surface is already covered in loads of scratches, then the sanding is overdue. The scratches that get to the wood tissue increase the risk of damage to the structure.
- Cracks on the floor
They have a myriad of causes, from water damage, abrasive grit, pets scratching incessantly at spots of the floor, furniture, and cases where the wrong detergents are used for the cleaning process. If there is a considerable number of cracks on your wood floor, call in the professional floor sanding team to resolve the issue. Filler products are used, which when mixed with the dust from sanding the wood will give the resultant substance similar properties with the rest of the floor.
- Uneven floor
This has different causes. Some areas may be more worn out than others. It can be as a result of permanent deformities in the structure that were caused by the repeated cupping or crowning of the floor in reaction to the moisture changes in its environment.
- The water test
For this, simply place some drops of water onto the floor. If the water remains on the surface, then the finish is still in good condition. If it is absorbed slowly over a couple of minutes, then you can clean and touch up the polish coat. The faster the rate at which the water is absorbed, the more you should consider having it refinished. However, if the water is absorbed immediately, then the floor needs to be sanded and refinished as soon as possible.
Avoid the risks that come with the DIY process
Floor sanding is not as easy as the professionals make it look. Remember that they have been taken through stringent training, and also come with years of experience under their belt. They have handled loads of jobs, in commercial and residential premises alike. What’s more, they have high-powered machinery needed to handle the work. Their industrial-grade units are expensive and pack a punch, providing more power and efficiency compared to the units available for rent from the local dealership stores. This is not comparable to the DIYer who is simply relying on blog posts and the occasional video tutorial to carry out the sanding. This often leads to mistakes being made which can permanently damage the floor. These are the likes of:
- Sanding too much into the wood
In a bid to remove those thick layers of varnish or lacquers on the surface, DIYers may work with grit levels that are too coarse, which ends up grinding excessively into the wood and causing deep scratches that will need to be removed, adding to the workload. On the other hand, making slow passes with the sander over the floor will cause the machine to grind away deeper into the wood than is expected, reducing the number of times that the sanding and refinishing can be carried out in future, while also reducing the strength of the structure.
- Barely sanding enough
On the other hand, there are those who, due to a fear of damaging the wood, may sand with grit levels that are too fine for the task. For instance, starting out the sanding with sandpaper of grit 20 means that the existing layers of finish won’t be removed, with there being particles of it left strewn all over the surface. The new treatments that are to be applied will not be able to bond well with the wood underneath, affecting the quality of the results that are obtained.
- Improper edging
The drum sander that is used on the open floor space doesn’t work effectively when it comes to those sections that are next to the walls, and the baseboards. Here, the edgers are used, as it has been purposefully designed or these situations- hence the name. There is also lots of work involved here, painstakingly ensuring that the areas have been adequately sanded. Granted, one doesn’t exactly look forward to those hours that will be spent gradually working on the edges of the floor- especially after spending most of the day working on the rest of the flooring. As such, DIYers tend to rush this bit, which disrupts the quality of the results. Unless properly sanded, the edges end up having stark colour and texture differences with the rest of the flooring.
You don’t have to run these risks. Simply call in the experts for the task. A site visit will be required to give you an accurate quotation, where the personnel will explain to you the different options available for handling your floor.