Threats That Your Wood Floor Faces
Getting a wood floor installed enhances the decor of the premises, and the installation comes with plenty of functional benefits – from the warmth and insulation, to the durability of the structure that enables it to withstand high levels of traffic. However, just like any other installation in the premises, it needs proper care to retain its optimal condition. Let’s look at some of the dangers that it faces, and what you can do to protect your floor.
- High moisture levels
Being hygroscopic, wood is highly affected by the levels of moisture in its surrounding. The wood tissue will absorb excess moisture, causing issues like cupping, crowning, or even warping. For the cyclical atmospheric changes between the seasons, the wood floor should revert back to its original shape. However, to ensure that there is no strain to its structure that can lead to permanent damage, the floorboards should have been allowed to acclimate to their end-use environment right before the installation itself. When it comes to day-to-day maintenance, issues like spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent them from being soaked up by the wood or getting into the seams. When mopping, using equipment like spray a mop system will enable you to minimise the amount of liquid that is getting to the floor, with only a little being misted out at a time. For the traditional yarn mops, wring them so that they are just damp before proceeding with the mopping process.
- Foot traffic
How much footfall does your floor handle? The normal day-to-day use sees the floor surface get lots of friction, which slowly wears it down. This is exacerbated when there is dirt and grime on the surface. The gritty particles being grinded against the floor accelerate the abrasive effect. Those sections that are frequently walked on will quickly develop traffic lanes, sections that have faded in appearance compared to the lest of the floor. Sure, you can’t technically prevent people from using your wood floor. However, there are steps that you can take to protect it. These include:
- Treating the floor with a durable finish.
Here, you want to work with a product that is suited to the level of traffic handled in the premises. For instance, with the Tover Idrolak DR 97, the formulation targets establishments with high traffic levels. It is a two-component lacquer whose mechanical properties increase the ability of the floor to withstand abrasive effects that would otherwise lead to its deterioration over time. The water based Tover Idrolak DR 97 does this by forming a barrier of protection that wards off the wear effects that would have resulted from the day-to-day usage of the floor, preserving its structural integrity for longer. Moreover, its chemical resistance protects the structure from the corrosive effects of household chemicals.
With this particular finish, you get to enhance the ambience of the premises. It gives the wood floor a natural effect, and is available in different sheens, including Semi Gloss, Matt and Extra Matt.
With regards to the aesthetics, you can have different results based on the finishing cycle that you opt for:
- Using it with the Idrofondo H20 or Mito water-based primers will bring out the look and feel of the pure wood.
- The Tone-Up water-based sealer will deliver a warm chromatic feel to the floor.
You can also opt for a mixed cycle treatment, applying a solvent-based primer such as Fondo Isolante AL, then adding the Tover Idrolak DR 97. The durability that you get from the lacquer enables you to retain the resultant beauty for longer.
- Getting walk off mats.
These are positioned at the entrance of the building and the corridors, and they reduce the amount of dirt that would have otherwise got transferred to the rest of the floor. They scrape off the dirt and debris that is at the bottom of people’s shoes, absorb moisture and dry the soles. They also have the welcome benefit of reducing risks of slip and fall accidents, and this is especially vital during those winter months when there are high chances of snow and ice being trekked into the building. Floor treatments like the Tover Idrolak DR 97 also come with antislip properties, providing increased traction as people walk about, further minimising the risks of accidents.
- Getting area rugs
These have more purpose than just adding style to the space. When positioned at sections such as the living room in front of the heavily used furniture, this reduces the amount of wear that the underlying wood floor will be exposed to. Remember when you have carried out a refinishing project, do not place back the area rugs until the treatment has fully cured. Also ensure that the area rugs you use are ideal for wood floors.
- Pet claws
They are a leading cause of scratches on the wood floor. Just check areas like the pet’s favourite resting spot, under tables, and near corners. The scratches are not only unsightly, but they pose a risk to the structural integrity of the wood floor, especially for the deep scratches that have gone through the finish and exposed the bare wood. This is as they form areas of weakness through which more spills can get into the wood tissue – increasing the risks of water damage – and where dirt can collect. The more scratches there are on the floor, the more deteriorated the premises feels, which takes away the comfort of the residential or commercial space, and eats away at your peace of mind. Getting the claws of your pet trimmed regularly will go a long way in protecting your wood floor. This can be done at the vet’s office, by professional groomers, or even by yourself using pet nail clippers that have been specially designed for the task. In addition, with protective floor lacquers like the Tover Idrolak DR 97 having been applied, it increases the resistance of the structure to scratches, enabling it to retain its beauty for longer.