Restoring Your Hardwood Floors
Part of wood floor maintenance is occasionally having it refinished. The treatments that are applied onto the surface wear out over time, and it will be vital to have them sanded off, for fresh coats to be applied to continue protecting the floor. How do you know when it’s time for this?
Signs That It’s Time To Refinish The Hardwood Floor
- Scratches and dents on the floor
Despite one’s best efforts, it’s really impossible to 100% prevent scratches from being formed on wood floors. The scratches can be due to multiple issues, from the debris that is grinded against the floor surface as people walk on it, pet’s claws as the cats and dogs run around the premises, toy cars and trains that the kids play with which leave behind marks on the floor, chairs and the dinner table getting pushed and pulled – which end up scratching the surface, mistakes like dragging furniture across the floor – over time the scratches will be too many to ignore. This especially affects the high traffic areas of the building, including hallways and doorways.
There are two main causes that trigger the need for a refinishing: when there are excessive scratches on the floor which takes away the appeal of the installation, and when there are deep scratches that have even got through the wood stain. For the deep scratches in particular the urgency is because they form points of weakness through which water can penetrate into the wood. The installation becomes vulnerable to water damage. You cannot just apply a sealant on those deep scratches, as this will in turn become a nightmare, due to the patchy look that will result. Have the floor sanding crew come in and do a complete overhaul, that will allow a new wood stain and finish coats to be applied.
- Grey discolouration
One may assume that the floor turning grey is a sign of the wood aging, but that’s usually not the case. The greying wood floor is attributed to water damage, caused by the protective sealant that had been applied wearing out over time, allowing water to get to the wood. This is not just about spills. The occasional mopping, splashes, and even high humidity will lead to more moisture getting absorbed by the wood. With a weak sealant, the wood soaks in more moisture over time. Oxidation occurs within the wood tissue, leading to the greyish coloration. If you notice this occurring on your floor, you need to arrange to have it refinished as soon as possible. When ignored, the boards will eventually become black, and by this time the floorboards will need to be replaced.
- Stubborn, old stains
If there was a 100% foolproof method of preventing stains, every homeowner would know it by now. They are such a nuisance, with the patches on the floor being a stark contrast to the surrounding colour and sheen. Unfortunately, they are a part of life. Those occasional spills that and beverages all over the floor, random inkblots, cases of nail polish dripping during the rushed morning preparations, pet urine stains for those with cats and dogs that have health or behavioural issues – these all mess up the floor. With the right cleaning products, and if the spill is got to in time, the spot can be removed and the beauty restored to your floor. Over time though, there will be the occasional stains that slip out of hand – perhaps due to noticing them too late, or the cleaning products were not readily available to deal with them. They set into the floor, creating permanent spots that ruin the decor. These can be got rid of during the routine floor sanding and refinishing, bringing a fresh start to your installation.
- It’s renovation time
Perhaps you’re having the indoor design of the house redone, from the walls to the cabinets, and tiles. Then don’t forget about the wood floors. You don’t have to replace the floorboards. One of the benefits of wood floors is that simply having them sanded and refinished with the new wood stains and lacquers of your choice will give them a different look. Getting the colour and gloss that matches the new home style will accentuate the space. Remember to protect the floor as you renovate the rest of the household., including putting a protecting cover on it as the painting is being carried out, or the furniture is being moved. For the floor sanding itself, it is highly recommended that you hire professionals to carry out the task, to ensure that the installation will be safe.
There are simply too many risks involved. A simple mishap can ruin the quality of the results or irrevocably damage the floor. Start the sander when the drum is in contact with the floor? A divot is created by the machine spinning on one spot. Move the sander too quickly over the surface? The old coats are not sufficiently removed, and this will interfere with the new treatments that are to be applied. Move the sander too slowly? Then you run the risk of sanding away too much of the wood, weakening the floor and reducing the number of times that you can have it restored in future. Ignore an exposed nail head and it cap rip the sanding belt of the rented machine. Sand too early when the floor is cupped as a result of water damage, then it ends up being uneven. Use the improper grit sequence – you end up with scratches all over the floor. What about the dust? While the professionals come with powerful dustless floor sanding systems that can achieve over 99% dust collection rate, the DIYers are usually limited to the sanders available from dealership stores which work with dust bags, still allowing copious amounts of dust to escape into the surrounding space.
Then there is the amount of time and resources that goes into the task. Renting the floor sanding machines, buying all that sandpaper and safety gear required for the task, the intense clean-up that will be required if the dust is not properly contained, all through to the exasperating passes over the floor to smoothen it yet the changes are not immediately visible – this is not how you picture spending your free time. Free up your time and leave the job to the pros.