Looking For Dust Free Floor Sanding Services? We’re Here For You
While wood floors are highly durable, they still need proper care. They are not invincible, and will eventually wear down. Foot traffic that gradually abrades the finish, soiling that is ground against the surface of the floor, heavy items being dragged across the surface, scratches from pets and the toys that kids play with, all through to the occasional item that gets dropped onto it- there’s loads of abuse meted out against the floor. Add to this the accidental spills, which result in water-based and oil-based stains. Depending on how they are addressed, these can be quickly removed or if left unattended to, seep into the structure. Speaking of which, even the routine cleaning contributes to the wear- especially after those multiple intense scrubbing sessions to remove the dirt and grime. After a while, even a thorough cleaning will not restore the beauty to your installation due to the finish itself having been worn down. Here, it’s time to do an overhaul, and replace it with new treatments. That’s where floor sanding comes in, allowing you to give your installation a fresh start.
Sometimes there are situations where the error was made during the initial installation and finishing process, probably as a result of hiring a rookie company for the job, or going the DIY route. For instance, working with abrasive screens and sanding pads between the different coats of finish can form scratches, and the subsequent coats will make the imperfections more prominent. The floor not being sanded properly in the first place, or the finish coats were applied hastily without allowing sufficient drying and curing time, will result in a weak result. When the sealers, and treatment formulations are applied without the surface being finely sanded, they don’t bond strongly enough to the bare wood. When exposed to the everyday traffic, this treatment breaks down faster, causing the surface to deteriorate. When there is debris that is not cleaned before applying the finish, it gets trapped in it. This can be anything from dust to pet fur that is left behind due to not vacuuming the area thoroughly. While it may not be immediately noticeable when carrying out the finish, once it is dry it become more prominent. When there is debris in the finish, repairs are made by floor sanding, after which a new top coat is applied.
The Floor Restoration Process
It is twofold: the floor sanding, then the refinishing. Heavy dirty machines are used to removing the current finishing that is on the floor, from the polishes to the wood stains and sealants, and get to the bare wood underneath. This needs to be done by the professionals to ensure that just the right depth of sanding is achieved, since you wouldn’t want to eat too deep into the wood surface, which would put its structural integrity at risk.
With the finishing process, different approaches are used, based on the particular situation, and the end-goal that is to be achieved. For instance, a wood stain can first be applied, which can be of the same colour as the wood, a clear formulation that lets the natural grain patters and character of the wood to be visible, or you can go with a completely different look. After the wood stain dries, a sealer is applied, which is then followed by the finish product. Polishing can also be carried out, to enhance the shine of the treatment.
Trouble With Water Damaged Floors? Sanding And Refinishing Also Comes In Handy
Though hardwood is a very durable structure, it is vulnerable when it comes to moisture. This is due to its hygroscopic nature, which makes it absorb moisture from the surrounding. Usually, that isn’t an issue, since it will be finding a balance with the surrounding environment. However, sometimes the gradient is too high, causing a build-up of moisture within the wood. This is especially when there is water standing on the surface- it can be anything from spills that are left to dwell for too long, to outright flooding caused by broken pipes or leaking roofs that let in the rain. Even for the treated wood floors, there can still be water getting into the structure through the seams and joints, plus the minuscule cracks on the finish coats that have been applied. When there is water damage, signs such as cupping and crowning are common. With cupping, the expansion caused by the moisture being absorbed by the wood causes the boards to be pushed over and deformed in the centre, with the edges rising higher. Crowning is the opposite, with the boards being pushed together and rising in the centre. If it is not attended to soon, buckling can occur, in which case the boards literally get yanked off the subfloor, resulting in extensive damage. Signs like cracking may also be witnessed, which is usually as a result of the boards getting separated. Whichever the case, as soon as you notice signs of water damage, it is prudent that you get the issue resolved as soon as possible, to avert heavy losses later on.
The first thing that is done is preventing the water damage from spreading. This is by identifying the source of the excessive moisture that is getting to the wood floor, and fixing it. Whether it is a spill, a leak, or perhaps the wood flooring was installed on top of a concrete slab which hadn’t dried and cured fully- it needs to be resolved, otherwise you will end up in the same situation, negating your efforts. Diagnosing the problem and rectifying it can be done with professional assistance, especially when dealing with structures that are core in the building- such as by calling in plumbers to repair the broken pipes. After the problem has been resolved, next is letting the floor to dry. To reduce the wait, you can take measures to improve the air circulation in the building, such as by leaving the air conditioner turned on.
Once the installation is dry, it is now time for the dust free floor sanding. This removes the wood stains, sealers and other finishes- which will likely have been weakened by the water damage, and also levels the floor, leaving it smooth. For the really damaged floor boards like when the structure is buckling, the affected planks may need to be removed and replaced. Sometimes the warping is too extensive for the boards to be salvaged- hence the insistence on identifying and resolving the problems as quickly as possible. The floor sanding will also need to be carried out on the new boards that are installed, in readiness for the treatment and finishing process. Note that in many cases, this is not localised- the entire room will need to be sanded and refinished. This is because of the difficulty in hiding the lap and cut lines when sections of the surface have a new finish and the surrounding one remains with the old treatment. The difference between the repaired and the original areas will be noticeable- even with the “strokes” that are used when applying the coating.
Take Away The Burden Of DIY Floor Sanding
It’s not a walk in the park. It’s a taxing process, involving lots of sweat, dust and back-breaking labour- and high chances of still ending up with low quality results. On top of this is the risks to your health and that of the persons on the premises that is brought about by the dust generated during the sanding, the intensive cleaning chore that awaits you, amount of time spent on the task- putting in mind that the rental charges for the floor sanding equipment leased from the department store accumulate on a daily basis, plus the risk of damaging the floor itself. So many things can go wrong with the DIY process. One common occurrence that results in resource wastage is using the wrong grit sandpaper. For each point in the process of the sanding, there is the appropriate grit that is required. A simple mistake like starting out with a paper that is too fine- perhaps due to the fear of sanding way too much of the flooring, will just waste your time and the paper. Since it will clog up quickly. The clogged sandpaper is technically useless, and you will be forced to keep replacing it, ramping your costs. Note that the dirt and current varnish that is on the flooring needs to be removed, which calls for coarser grits.
There are also those situations during the DIY projects where the sanding is not adequate. It’s not just about removing the varnish and noticing the difference on the surface. If the floor boards are not completely flat, the sander’s drum may not have been able to get to the entire surface in a single pass, resulting in shades being formed at the edges of the board or in the middle. After the initial stages where there are stark differences between the sanded sections and those areas that have not been attended to, the progress will seem to slow down. There’s no escaping the fact that it will be a physically tiring process, and sanding away those last bits can get on your nerves. Dealing with the edges is another annoying point. Hovering over one section for hours is not how you picture spending your weekends or days off from work. Moreover, one needs to ensure that the sanded edges blend well with the rest of the flooring- which is a tall order when working without the requisite skills needed for the task. Avoid the hassle of it all by getting the floor sanding specialists to handle the task for you.
Wood dust comes with its risks and frustrations. There’s more to worry about than just the surfaces in the interior space being covered by layers of the dust. Take irritation for instance. Every wood species used for the flooring is an irritant at varying intensities. The dust generated as the wood is sanded down can cause issues like itching, sneezing, a runny nose, irritated eyes, skin flushing, and short term breathing difficulties. These directly affect the personnel carrying out the sanding, making the DIY process even more risky. In addition, the fine floor sanding dust particles will float around the air space for longer, putting the rest of the persons accessing the premises at risk. Then there is the sensitivity. While the body usually adapts and becomes less sensitive to various irritants over time, with wood, the opposite happens, which is why it is actually classified as a sensitizer. The longer that one is exposed to the sanding dust, the more severe the reactions become. These primarily affect the respiratory system, causing long-term health problems. Damage like scarring of the air sacs in the lungs is irreversible, and reduces the lung capacity. Why put yourself through such a risk? Avoid it by turning to the dust free floor sanding services.
Then there are the toxins involved in the process. Note that as the floor is sanded, it’s not just the wood that is being abraded. The treatments that had been applied, from the wood stains, sealers and water repellents, to the finishes that came in handy to increase the durability and enhance the shine of the surface- these chemicals are all mixed up in the sanding dust. They are developed for use on the floor, and you don’t want them getting into your body system. They can lead to a wide assortment of health problems, ranging from high blood pressure, kidney damage, all through to cancers affecting the respiratory tract. The most suitable means of control is making the process a dust free process as much as possible. This is why dust free sanding processes are essential. The equipment that is used by the processions has far superior dust control mechanisms compared to the units that are rented out. The sanders are connected to high-powered vacuums, where the suction picks up both the coarse and fine sand particles the moment they are generated, and then directed to dust containment units that are outside the property, for proper disposal.