Prolonging The Life Of Your Wood Floor
Wood floors have been universally recognised as one of the most durable flooring options. The installation can last for long if well taken care of, with there being buildings where the hardwood clocks even a century. The key emphasis here is proper care. Wood, despite its durability and hardwearing nature, is still susceptible to damage from the daily usage that it handles. Some of the main factors that contribute to the wearing down of wood floors include:
- Soiled shoes
The dirt and grime that is tracked into the building is abrasive. These particles are ground against the surface of the floor, acting like tiny bits of sandpaper. Frequently walked on areas are notably different compared to the adjacent floor sections. Reducing the amount of dirt that reaches the floor goes a long way in protecting your installation. This can be achieved through measures such as placing a shoe rack by the door to encourage family members and guests to remove their footwear after entering the house. Entrance mats also aid in scraping off the gunk that is at the bottom of people’s shoes, preventing it from making it to the open floor space. In fact, it is recommended that you have entrance mats at the different doors into the house- from the front door, the door leading in from the backyard, and even that from the garage.
- Furniture and heavy appliances
Those heavy sets of furniture, like the sofas and bookshelves, put a strain on the floor. Using furniture glides or area rugs aids in protecting the underlying wood. Mistakes like dragging the future when moving it- instead of lifting it, should also be avoided. This extends to appliances like the refrigerator, where dragging it across the wood floor will result in unsightly scratches or gouges being formed.
Do your chairs have casters? Sure, this makes it convenient to roll around the floor. However, metal caster wheels are notorious for leaving scratches all over the wood floors. As such, it is advisable to use caters that have nylon, polyurethane or neoprene rubber, as it will be safer for the floor.
A household with young kids is bound to get messy at one point or another. With all their games and “accidents”, the floor will bear the brunt. Take the toys with wheels for instance- from cars to model trains. Sure, they look innocent, but when the floor is a road for the toys, they end up scratching the surface. For those cases of arts and crafts, where the kids are keen on showcasing their artistry skills, it is common to find paint messes on the floor. For the spills, one should be keen on addressing them as soon as possible, cleaning up the spot before it soaks deep into the wood.
Revitalising your wood floor
When the existing finish has got worn out, you can easily have it replaced. One of the benefits of hardwood flooring is the numerous opportunities for a fresh new start. Simply have the floor sanding carried out, then apply new treatments to the installation- from the wood stains, to the lacquers and varnishes. This gets to restore the protection to your wood floor, keeping it elegant for longer.
For the floor sanding, it is recommended that you engage the services of a professional. This is a tough task, and mistakes made can be costly to resolve. Tales of DIY jobs gone wrong are numerous. Effects here range from the frustrations that come with scratches and uneven surfaces which distort the final look and feel of the floor, chatter marks, divots, and other structural blemishes that result from improperly using the sanders, all through to the mess that comes with all the dust that is generated during the process. When you turn to the professionals, you get to avoid the headaches involved, and the task is carried out in a fraction of the time that would have been required with the DIY route.
Importance of checking the moisture content (MC) of the floor when it is being sanded
It’s common for the floor installer to assess the subfloor and the MC of the boards before they are installed. However, this is commonly overlooked during the DIY and rookie floor sanding processes. The sanding and refinishing should be done only when the floor has acclimated to the moisture content of the day-to-day living conditions. Recording the MC of the floor before it is sanded allows the value to be compared to the MC that had been recorded at the installation. It is particularly important to do this if water-based finishes will be applied, as it provides the baseline value that allows you to tell when the finish has completely dried as the MC will ideally revert to its original value. Professional contractors also keep track of the MX during the job in case disputes should arise later on. For instance, there have been cases of the HVAC of the building malfunctioning after the floor sanding and refinishing was completed, and the property owner blamed the contractor for the flooring problems that crop up thereafter. If the MC had been recorded, the contractor is able to prove that it had been checked and factored into the process.
Prevent debris from winding up in the finish
After the floor sanding, the next stage will be treating the surface. However, before the wood stains, sealants and lacquers, varnishes and other products are applied, it is important to ensure that the surface clean. The wet finish is like a giant piece of flypaper. Dust particles, animal fur, and other items that end up on it will be trapped by the finish as it dries. After the drying and curing process, it will even look far much worse, ruining the quality of the results. To prevent such issues from occurring, ensure that all the surfaces in the room have been cleaned, from wiping down the walls and light fixtures, to vacuuming up the floor adjacent areas. He applicator that will be used to spread the products onto the floor should also be cleaned, ensuring that you have removed any loose fibres from it.