Issues That Your Wood Floor Can Face
The sales pitch that convinced you to have a wood floor installed in your home or office space must have included how durable it is. This is true. Wood floors are some of the most durable options available, capable of taking a beating and keeping on going. They can last for decades – just as long as they are well maintained. Let’s look into what your wood floor can face, and how do deal with them to prolong the life of your installation.
Starting us off are the annoying scratches. These are inevitable. As long as there will be activity in the building, scratches will pop up on the floor. Debris that is under people’s shoes that gets grinded against the floor surface, sweeping with a traditional broom as opposed to using softer materials like microfibre dusters, scratches from pets as they play around the house, all through to dragging furniture across the floor instead of lifting and carrying it – they all factor in. Areas like the dining table where furniture is frequently moved also ends up seeing higher degrees of scratches. Fortunately, these scratches can all be removed as part of the floor sanding and restoration process. Measures like having a strong finish coat applied will reduce the rate at which scratches develop, as well as setting up welcome mats at the doorway to reduce the amount of dirt that is on people’s shoes as they walk into the building. Getting furniture pads also helps here.
Stains from those liquids that were spilled and ended up being absorbed by the wood tissue create unsightly spots that clash with the rest of the décor. The absorbent nature of the wood tissue here doesn’t help things, since it causes the liquids to get deeper into the layers of the board. This is why one of the key considerations when selecting a floor finishing product is its level of stain resistance, since you want one that will ward off the liquids. When cleaning the spot, ensure you use a product that will be safe for your wood floor, avoiding harsh cleaners that will corrode the finish or dull the surfaces. The conventional oil-based soap used for other cleaning tasks around the household, ammonia-based solutions that are effective in getting rid of the stains on the countertops and cabinets – these can end up ruining your wood floor.
Everyday traffic also contributes to the finish coats that have been applied losing their sheen. This will no doubt affect the décor of the rest of the space. You can give your installation a new look and feel by bringing in the floor sanding pros to remove those old and worn out layers, and have fresh treatment products applied.
Water can be said to be the #1 enemy of wood floors, given that it is an ever-present concern, and can lead to costly damages. This all comes down to the hygroscopic nature of the wood tissue, which causes it to gain or lose moisture depending on how steep the moisture gradient is with the surrounding environment. Seasonal changes with the fluctuating temperature and humidity conditions cause cyclic expansion and contraction of the floor, and the effect of this will depend on factors such as whether or not the wood was allowed to acclimate before installation, as well as the size of the expansion gaps that were allowed. If the expansion gaps were too small, or the wood was installed when it was too dry such that it rapidly absorbed more moisture in an attempt to stabilize with the condition of the environment, then it can end up warping or buckling.
Crowning and cupping are some of the most frequent water damage issues that affect wood floors. With cupping, the edges of the boards are elevated higher than the centre, forming a “cup” shape. This can be due to high relative humidity or the wood floor being installed on a wet subfloor. The crowning effect is basically “reverse cupping”, where the centre raises higher than the edges. This is often seen when water is allowed to remain on top of the floorboards for long, or when the floor sanding is carried out before the moisture problem is removed and the wood allowed to stabilise.
Mould and rot are a concern as well, and can occur when there is excessive – and prolonged, exposure to moisture. This can be due to anything from the planks being installed over a wet subfloor, or the clean up and drying that takes place after a flooding incident being slow.
That squeaking sound that comes with every step you take can be exasperating. Squeaky floors occur when the loose boards are rubbed against each other, adjacent ductworks or pipes, or even against nails. It also happens when there are so many knots on the joists causing them to flex too much.
Having your wood floor installed is great for your interior décor, and you’d like your flooring to last for long, while looking elegant all through. For this to be a reality, the proper measures need to be taken right from the word go. This includes getting professionals for the installation, and ensuring that the wood has acclimated to the environment that it is to be placed in, adequate expansion gaps are allowed, and that treatment products have been applied to increase its resistance to abrasion and staining. This is followed with routine cleaning to get rid of the debris and spills on the floor, while ensuring that you don’t use too much water, or harsh cleaning chemicals. When the finish coats that have been applied wear out, dial up the floor sanding experts to come in and give you a fresh start.
Additional measures such as trimming your pets claws to reduce the scratching that occurs, getting guests and family members to switch to indoor footwear like slippers when they walk into your house as opposed to remaining in the shoes they were outdoors – these can help in protecting your floor. pay attention to issues like squeaking floors, cupping or warping, and have these resolved early in order to prevent permanent damage to the installation.