Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Floor Sanding Contractor
Hiring the right contractor to handle the floor sanding project is critical in getting quality results. There are different service providers available, and you want to get one who will deliver on the task without putting your installation at risk. After all, wood floors are pricy to set up, and you don’t want a routine maintenance job damaging the planks in the process. Here are questions that you should bring up as you discuss with the company personnel:
- How do they deal with the dust?
One of the biggest concerns with floor sanding is the dust that is generated. The very nature of the job means that there will be particles getting grinded off the floor, and this will be a mixture of the old finish coats, plus the wood tissue. You don’t want the premises left covered in a mess. So ask about the processes used by the company to mitigate the dust. This is where systems like dustless floor sanding machinery come in, where even 99% of the dust that is produced is picked up and directed off the premises into waiting containment units.
- What accreditation have the company and its employees received?
The flooring industry is one with lots of technological advancements taking place. You want to hire a service that keeps up with the latest setups, and has acquired the relevant accreditation for the location in which the services are being provided. What kind of training have the employees received? This will enable you to determine how much the company prioritises optimising their service delivery.
- Does the floor sanding company have a business liability policy?
Accidents can happen. No company is 100% immune from mishaps. A proper liability policy is needed to provide coverage in case of an accident occurring as the service is being provided. What is the process of filing for a claim, and what is the size of the coverage? Is the policy available upon request? A workers compensation policy is also important, to protect the personnel of the floor sanding company as they go about their task.
- Does the company use its own personnel, or does it use subcontractors?
While there is no law against using subcontractors – as different companies have their varying processes, you want to get this clarified upfront. When a company is using its in-house technicians, they can vouch for their crew and it will be easier to follow up. For those that work with subcontractors, it will require some more digging to get information on their qualification, and to look up their track records. Also ask if the subcontractors have insurance policies in place.
- Is there a warranty?
What happens when you’re not satisfied with the results of the floor sanding? Is there a warranty covering the workmanship that has been provided? Can you get a copy of the warranty upon request? This comes in as an additional layer of protection for you as the client.
Avoid The Strain Of The DIY Floor Sanding Process
But can’t you just sand the floor yourself? While it is doable, there is simply lots of room for error, and you can ruin your wood floor in the process. Common mistakes that DIYers make include:
- Moving too slowly over the floor
The sanders are heavy sets of equipment. The slower one manoeuvres the machine over the floor, giving it more time dwell on sections of the surface, the deeper it will grind into the wood tissue. This leads to oversanding, which reduces the wear layer and makes the floor weaker. What’s more, it cuts down the number of times that the floor can be sanded and refinished in future.
- Using the wrong grit of sandpaper
The grit that one works with depends on the state of the floorboards. In addition, one needs to follow through the sequence, from the coarse, to the medium and fine grit sandpaper. Starting out with the fine grit sandpaper increases your workload and also makes you end up using way much more sandpaper than was required. Woking with sandpaper that is too fine can also cause it to clog up quickly, which essentially makes it useless, and you’ll need to replace it. Skipping grit levels on the other hand leaves behind scratches on the surface, which will no doubt become more prominent once the finish coats are applied.
This is when one fails to sand the surface enough. It can be due to a myriad of issues. For instance, moving the sander too quickly over the surface will leave sections with patches of the old treatment, and this will affect the bonding process with the new wood stain and lacquers to be applied. It can also be due to the rushing the process. There’s no getting around this. The floor sanding is tedious work. When you start the process, there will be huge observable differences between the sections that still have the floor finish, and those that have been sanded. Once these layers are removed and focus shifts to smoothening the surface, the progress will seem slow, which may make the DIYer decide to hurriedly move the sander over the floor – and this will leave behind scratches and uneven sections on the floor. The under-sanding can also be due to the floorboard being uneven, meaning the drum isn’t able to get to all the floorboards being covered in one go, leaving shadows at the middle or edges of the floorboards.
Add this to working with low-capacity machinery that causes the task to take far much longer than desired, and lack of sufficient dust control measures for the process. You don’t have to put yourself through all this. Not only it is expensive, but it can also take away your peace of mind, especially with the exasperation that comes when you end up with low quality results, or you find yourself faced with an additional bill for repairs to the floor or equipment used if it gets damaged in the process. Call in the professional floor sanding and restoration crew to work on your unit, to deliver the desired quality of results in moments.