Give Your Floor A Fresh Start With Professional Sanding Services
Though hardwood floors are durable and can withstand high levels of foot traffic, they still need proper care and maintenance. This ranges from the regular dusting and cleaning, to the occasional floor sanding and refinishing. There are various signs to that tell you when it’s time for the latter. These include:
- Surface covered in scratches
Lots of scratches indicate that the finish has undergone extensive wear. This is especially for those cases where the scratches have gone right through the wood stain that had been applied. In case the wood had been treated with a dark stain, the scratches will be more prominent. The size of the scratches can range from those marks that are left behind by the sharp claws of pets, plus the gritty soiling that gets abraded against the flooring under people’s shoes, to deep grooves and gouges like what happens when heavy furniture gets dragged on the wood surface. Spiky shoes, the popular stilettos and cleats also tend to cause scratches. With the floor sanding, the surface will be smoothened out, getting rid of the scratches, preparing it to be treated with the new finish.
After the floor sanding and refinishing, taking steps to prevent scratches is key. A simple measure like getting your family members to take off their shoes before walking into the house will go a long way. For business premises, where you can’t have your guests do this, purchasing items like mats at the entrance of the building, and also walk-off mats, will reduce the amount of dirt that gets tracked onto the floor. For the furniture, use felt pads to protect the underlying flooring. This is especially for the furniture that is heavily used, since there will be high chances of it occasionally moving. Note that even the slightest motions will cause it to affect the wood floor, due to the weight of the sofa itself added to that of the people sitting on it. Area rugs also come in handy for those sections where the chairs are often moved, such as in the dining room. You can also place a plastic mat under rolling chairs.
- When the wood turns grey
At this point, your floor is in dire need of attention. Without it being addressed, you could end up with extensive damage. What causes the greying? It starts with the protective finish treatments that had been previously applied wearing off. The wood structure then absorbs water at a faster rate. This can be from drink spills, rainwater for the cases of leaking roofs, or even simply the routine mopping. As more moisture is absorbed by the wood structure, it oxidizes, and the colour gradually turns grey. This will continue happening until it darkens and becomes black, at which point the affected floorboards will likely need to be replaced. As such, you want to have this taken care of before it deteriorates. Immediately the grey hue begins developing, have the floor sanding carried out, and refinish the surface to restore its protection.
- Water damage
This manifests itself in signs such as cupping or crowning. Basically, the hardwood planks absorb too much moisture causing the edges to rise and the centre dip (cupping) or the middle section rises higher than the edges (crowning). The excessive water can be from different sources, ranging from plumbing issues be it a leaking pipe or overflowing toilet, cases of flooding in basements, pet damage, or spills that remained on the surface for too long. Ice damming is also an issue, plus those cases of wet mopping where water seeps into the subfloor through the cracks and edges of the board, accumulating under the wood and being absorbed gradually by the structure. Here, the first step is identifying the cause of the water damage and addressing it. From repairing the leaking roofs that are letting in rainwater, to fixing the broken pipes- they need to be resolved, otherwise the danger will still be posed to the wood floor. Next is allowing the wood to dry, acclimating to the surrounding environment. After this, the condition of the surface is assessed, with the floor sanding coming in to even out the boards and restore a smooth surface that can then be treated with the wood stains, sealants and finishes.
- Fading or yellowing
Here, the main culprit is the sun. The radiation affects the wood and the applied treatments, causing colour changes. Some of the affected wood species will lighten, others will darken. The wood stains and finishes can develop an unsightly yellow hue, which ruins the appeal of the installation. The floor sanding and refinishing will resolve this, removing the affected top layer and allowing a new stain to be applied.
Why You Should Enlist The Pros For The Floor Sanding
While warnings against DIY floor sanding may sound self-serving (coming from the companies that provide the services), it is important to take note of them. This is not the everyday DIY project, where a person can challenge themselves, take on the task, and end up with quality results. There are so many factors that come into play, putting not just the ability to perform a thorough job, but also the safety of the property, and your health, on the line. For starters, the sanders that are available from the rental companies have a reduced capacity compared to the machinery that the professionals use. While the DIYer may rent a sander operating at 110V, the pros work with units that operate north of 220V. This is their bread and butter, hence they pump loads of capital in getting the appropriate machinery for the task. When you have a line-up of multiple residential and commercial establishments waiting to have their floor sanding needs attended to, industrial-grade machinery is needed to effectively deliver.
Then there is the skill involved. Acquiring the equipment and using it appropriately at different things. Mistakes can result in anything from swirl marks and divots being formed on the floor to outright damage that requires the boards to be replaced- which ends up costing you more in the long run. Even aspects such as how the dust is handled are key, with dustless floor sanding being emphasised to protect the persons on the property from respiratory-related ramifications, fire risks due to the inflammable nature of the dust, plus the cleaning workloads involved should the interior premises be covered with the sanding dust particles.