With Floor Care, It’s All About Proper Maintenance
You walk on them daily. Items are dropped occasionally and then there are those accidental spills. They see furniture getting dragged across them, and those with casters being wheeled gleefully on the surface. Pets running around dig into the surface with their claws to give them traction. Solar radiation beaming onto the floor can affect the finish coats that have been applied, causing changes in the colouration. Abrasive dirt that is ground against the surface, rising damp that gets through the subfloor to the wood itself- the floor comes under different kinds of attacks, varying from one building to the next. You already spend loads of funds to have the right wood flooring installed in your home or business premises. It was worth it, given the charm and appeal they add to the interior space. That natural look and feel accentuates the ambience, and with the wide array of finish products available you get to set the tone that matches your personal style home or gives your business that professional image that you desire. Certainly, you don’t want to watch that investment going down the drain. The wood floor comes under a barrage of abuse each day, and it is prudent that you put in place measures that will protect it, thus prolonging its life and enabling you to enjoy it all through.
- When your floors have excessive wear
The wear and tear that occurs on wood flooring has different causes- not just the dogs and cats running around and scratching up the surface with their sharp claws. Sure, it’s expected that wood floors will all eventually wear out- even after a decade or so, and will require a new finish to be applied. However, when they are out of shape in just a year or two after the treatment, then there was something that went wrong. This can be due to a myriad of reasons, from the floor not being sanded properly, the finishing coats being applied too quickly, or the floor was simply not being maintained correctly. For instance, in case the surface has not been sanded finely enough, then there will be uneven, rough sections. When the finish coats are applied onto these grooves, the products used- wood stains, lacquers and the like, will settle at the bottom of the grooves, with the top sections getting covered in little of the finish. Thereafter, under the day-to-day wear from aspects like foot traffic, these top sections will break down faster, exposing the wood itself to more damage.
When applying the different coats of finish, they have the strict drying time that should be allowed before subsequent coats are spread onto the surface. If this is not followed, the curing time will increase, while taking away the aesthetic appeal of the installation. The curing process can end up taking as many as 6 months, in which time your floor will look as though it has been through 10 years of use. Even when the floor has been properly sanded and refinished, regular maintenance is still required. That soiling that accumulates on the floor on a daily basis, the grit tracked in from the outdoors by both humans and pets, to the dust settling on it form the air above- these build up. The particles are abrasive when ground underfoot, acting like tiny bits of sandpaper on the finishes. With furniture feet that are not protected, metal caster wheels, and for those households where the pet’s nails have not been trimmed, there will be more incidences of scratches being formed on the installation. If there has been lots of wear and the finish has deteriorated, or it’s a case of scratches galore on your installation, then it is recommended that you have a complete floor sanding and refinishing carried out.
- Trouble with a peeling finish?
Here, the two main causes are contamination in the finish, or the surface not being prepared well before the treatment. Take excessive floor sanding for instance. When the surface is sanded with such a high grit of sandpaper that it makes the floor too smooth, this will prevent the finish product that will be applied from bonding strongly with the wood. On the other hand, lightly sanding such that there will be patches of the previous finish still on the surface will also lead to a similar result. For the contamination, the issue is usually dust or dirt getting trapped in the finish coats before they have dried. As such, there is strong emphasis on ensuring that the floor has been thoroughly cleaned before the application of the finishes.
What do you do when the finish starts peeling off? The most appropriate remedy is simply having the floor sanding back down to the bare wood, and a new finish being applied. Light abrasion and applying and extra coat on the existing finish may not fix the problem, and it will even result in a poor aesthetic outcome.
- Sanding blemishes
These are common with eh DIY flor sanding jobs, and for those cases where rookie companies are hired for the task. Without the requisite skills to take on the job, there are plenty of mistakes that can be made, each with consequences for your installation. For instance, the pace with which one moves with the sander across the floor surface also has an effect. Moving too slow with the sander causes the too much of the surface to be ground away, weakening the structure. Sticking on one spot for too long has the potential of digging a depression into the floor. Starting the sander when the drum is already in contact with the wood surface results in it spinning on the spot, creating a divot. Even the equipment that one works with should be properly maintained. Belt sanders that are out of tune are notorious for leaving chatter marks on the floor. Sanding blunders also extend to the finishing process. Working with abrasive screens or sanding pads that have worn out as the subsequent finish coats are being applied will create more scratches, which will be further magnified as the additional coats are applied.