When Your Dog Threatens Your Wood Floor
Wood floors are quite an elegant installation. From the warmth they add to the home, plus that aesthetic touch that accentuates the décor, it’s not hard to see why they are a popular choice for homeowners around the world. Their durability adds to their positive attributes, where the structure has the strength to withstand high traffic levels. With a routine cleaning, and planning for a floor sanding and refinishing after a couple of years – even more than 7 years for those with high-strength finish coats, the wood floor will keep the space looking elegant. However, for those with pets – specifically cats and dogs, there will be more that goes into the maintenance.
The furry little friends are members of the family no doubt. However, they can be a threat to the floor. From the water that is lapped off their drinking bowls, scratches as their sharp claws dig into the wood while they dash across the floor, to the occasional urine stain – these can wreak havoc on your hardwood floor. Here are steps you can take to protect your installation.
- Get a waterproof mat for the drinking bowl
Dogs are particularly notorious for slobbering up water and splashing it around the water bowl. As the floor installer may have mentioned, wood and water don’t mix. Due to this pet behaviour, steps need to be taken to protect the underlying floor from water damage, which is where the waterproof comes in. Placing it under the bowl will protect the underlying wood, and prevent cases of discolouration, water stains, or even cupping at the spot.
While the waterproof mat is one measure, you should also ensure that the area is frequently moped, especially for the spills that get beyond the mat. Also clean the mat regularly, and it’s recommended to have a couple of them that can be switched out as needed.
- Trim the pet’s nails
That excited dance that Fluffy makes when you get home, to those runs as your furry friend plays in the house, will require them to dig their claws into the wood to give then traction. This will leave behind scratches. Note that it is quite impossible to completely avoid scratches from forming on the floor. In fact, when there are few scratches, homeowners simply ignore them, only bringing in the floor sanding crew when the area gets all covered in scratches. However, you can still reduce the rate at which the scratches develop by getting the nails of the dog trimmed. You can do this yourself or make it part of the services provided during the routine check-ups at the vet. It’s also advisable to place throw rugs at your pet’s favourite napping spots.
- Deal with pet urine immediately
Pet urine can quickly ruin your wood floor. It soaks into the floorboards, creating an unsightly stain, and will also chemically attack the wood tissue. The longer that the stain is allowed to remain on the spot, the greater the extent of the damage. Then there is also that unpleasant odour that will have developed. Clean up the area, using urine removal products that are safe for application of wood. Is it an old stain that has already discoloured the floor? Some patching up may be required to make the area new again, with floor sanding coming in to get to the bare wood, and a new wood stain and finish coat applied on the area.
Remember to address the cause of the pet peeing on that area. You don’t want a recurrence. For instance, if it’s a behavioural issue where the pet decides that that spot will be its go-to area for peeing, then there will be extensive damage that will result. The urine accidents can be due to issues like the dog not grasping its house-training, separation anxiety, or even a health problem that affects its urinary tract. This will need to be addressed to prevent future urine accidents.
When time comes to revitalise the floor, perhaps due to too many scratches, the finish becoming dull after numerous intense cleaning sessions, or it’s a case of the area being riddled with stains, you want to ensure that the contractor that you hire to carry out the restoration job will deliver on their mandate. Getting the wood floor installed must have cost a pretty penny, and the last thing you want is a rookie coming to “test things out” on it. Don’t be swayed by those cheap rates that are way below those quoted by the competition. For a company to offer floor sanding and refinishing services at rock-bottom prices, it means that there will be compromises being made in the course of the project. This can range from relying on unskilled personnel, using low capacity machinery to skipping out on the insurance, which exposes you to liabilities in case of damages being made. Ask about the experience level of the personnel who are to be tasked with the project, as well as certification and accreditation obtained by the company.
Reviews from past clients are key as well. Go through the social media handles of the company, checking comments left behind by people who had hired them to work on their floors. What is the general perception that you get about the firm – is it positive or negative? This kind of feedback will help you deciding whether you should go ahead and hire the firm.
Ask about the business; insurance coverage as well. Since accidents can happen, what measures are put in place to compensate you? This need for insurance also spread to the personnel who will be trying out the task. Does the floor sanding and restoration company have a worker’s compensation policy? What of the warranty for the task – which looks at remedial measures in case you’re not satisfied with the results of the process? Getting this clarified upfront will enable you to be sure about what you’re signing up for. Note that the quotation for the services to be rendered should be in writing. This is to avoid disagreements later on.