Ignore These 3 Myths On Floor Sanding And Restoration
Floor maintenance is a diverse industry, with lots of players. Contractors carrying out the jobs on the ground, brands pushing for the adoption of their products for the process, residential and commercial clients, all through to scammers looking for an opportunity to make a quick buck. Professionals, rookies, enthusiastic DIYers – the industry sees it all. All the interaction has led to lots of questions, assumptions, myths and outright lies to be peddled in the industry. Here, we will take a look at some of the misconceptions that have been doing rounds.
- I need to recoat my floor every three years to keep it in top shape.
One common notion that is also unfortunately peddled by some floor sanding contractors is that you should recoat the floor every 2-3 years for it to last for longer. Sure, carrying out this regular maintenance will protect your floor – but is only feasible if you have the budget to support it. Besides, modern floor finishing agents have been developed to provide durability for numerous years. If the initial contractor carrying out the floor sanding and finishing did it well, you may not even need to have the process repeated for the next 7 years. There are floors that remain in good shape for even double that time with no need to be refinished. Here, two issues are key: the initial sanding and refinishing job being done appropriately; and you taking proper care of the floor, which includes the routine cleaning and putting in place measures to reduce the risk of scratches and scuffing.
So how can you identify that the floor refinishing is due? Here are some of the signs that you should keep an eye out for:
- Scratches galore
Sure, scratches are inevitable. While you don’t need to panic with every scratch that occurs, it will reach a point where there are too many on the surface of the floor, ruining its appeal. This goes beyond the aesthetics. When deep scratches are formed such that they get through to the bare wood, they provide points of weakness in the finish, since they will allow water to get to the wood itself. These actions also form areas of grime build-up, further increasing the threat to the underlying structure. So, when there is excessive scratching of the wood floor, then you should start looking into floor sanding and refinishing services.
- Permanent stains
Despite one’s best efforts to make a clean and sparkling interior space, there is always that occasional spill that results in an unsightly mess, which refuses to come off. This is especially the case for the spills that went unnoticed for long – like the pet knocking over mugs while you were away at the office, and you come home to find a stain that has set into the finish. Pet urine, staining from water damage such as when there are broken water heaters – they ruin the appeal of the floor. One or two stains can be overlooked, and even hidden under an area rug if need be. However, over time, there will be lots of stains that end up defying your scrubbing efforts. When it gets to this point, simply get rid of the existing finish through a floor sanding, and reapply new coats onto the surface. Speaking of which, during the refinishing, it’s recommended that you use products that have strain-resisting properties, in order to increase the protection of your floor against the spills.
- Greying floorboards
These are caused by the polyurethane finishes wearing off, a factor which causes more water to be absorbed into the wood. This water can be from spills, wet pet paws, and even the cleaning products that are used when working on the floor. The hardwood then starts oxidising, resulting in the grey effect. Note that once you start seeing this effect you should have the floor sanded and refinished as soon as possible. If the oxidising is allowed to continue the boards will gradually turn black, and at this stage they will need to be replaced.
This is usually an effect of solar radiation on the wood floor. Consequently, the most severe discolouration is seen on the flooring that is close to the windows or the patio doors. Removing the finish coats and the top wood layer through the floor sanding will give you the opportunity to apply new, uniform coats. Note that if the only issue with the current finish coats is being dull, then you can simply have a “light sanding” carried out. Here, the wood is screened and recoated, which can be done every three or four years since it is not invasive.
Not necessarily. This depends on why the nails are visible. For instance, the nails can be pushing up from the wood due to the floor installation being improperly done, or for cases where there is a weak underlayer. As such, this does not equate to you having to replace the floorboards. Some unscrupulous floor installation contractors may be suggesting it in order to convince you to set aside more funds for the product. Whether or not a floor can be sanded will largely depend on how much of the wear layer is left. If your wood floor still has an extra decade of life left in it, you can have the sanding done in order to revitalise the installation, breathing new life into the floor.
While advances in floor sanding techniques have led to a drastic reduction in the amount of sanding dust that is spread in the space during the process, no measure is 100% dust-free. However, the professionals use vacuuming systems that reduce the amount of dust drastically compared to the conventional approach of using sanders with dust bags. This makes it a less messy process, which has the welcome benefit of reducing the amount of time needed before you proceed with the rest of the restoration process.