Winter And The Threats To Your Wood Floor
Wood floors are adored for the charm that they bring to the indoor space. The warmth and beauty that they add to the room cannot be easily replicated with other kinds of installations. This, coupled with their durability that enables them to last for decades, makes them an asset that you want to protect. The need for proper care is especially key over the cold winter months, with the humidity levels decreasing and snow and ice being tracked into the household – plus the damage caused by day-to-day living since family members will be indoors for longer time periods.
- Increased gapping
Gaps are expected to occur with the seasonal changes, as the wood loses moisture to its environment. The cold winter months see the air drying, which creates a steep moisture gradient with the wood floor. While this is bound to occur, focus shifts to reducing the intensity. You don’t want gaps that become so extreme, where there is increased strain between the floor boards, joists and the sections where they have been nailed down. Cranking up the humidifier in your home will enable you to increase the amount of moisture in the air space, to enable to the wood floor to stabilise and reduce the size of the gaps.
- Water and residue
The snow and ice that is tracked into the home will melt. Wood, being hygroscopic, will absorb the excess moisture – and this will be a problem. Those localised areas of increased water content can witness cases of cupping or crowning. The wood floor can also end up warping, with the affected planks damaging the surrounding boards. As such, you will need to mop the floor frequently to clear up the wetness and protect the installation.
Dirt and debris will also be a concern. This is all year round. The abrasive particles wear down the finish, causing it to become dull and deteriorate. Here, measures like setting up welcome mats at the doorway to reduce the amount of debris being brought into the home, vacuuming often, and maintaining a strict cleaning schedule will enable you to protect your floor.
- Salt and Ice Melt
Sodium chloride – rock salt, that is sprinkled all over the sidewalks can end up in the house, carried over by the shoes of family members and visitors. Ice melt chemicals like calcium chloride can also wind up on the floor, and these will break down the protective treatments that had been applied on the surface, while occasionally leaving behind a white film on the floor. This accelerates the rate at which the installation loses its shine.
- Children and pets
The little one s love playing in the snow – and will inadvertently bring it into the house, where it will melt the wood floor and increase the risks of water damage. Letting your cats and dogs into the house through the laundry room or garage will limit the amount of residue that reaches the living areas. You can also go a step higher, wiping off their paws using a towel when they get bac from their outdoor escapades. With the kids, ensure that you have emphasised that they should shake off the excess snow before they get into the house. Getting them to remove the boots, mittens, coats in a designated spot immediately they get into the house will also go a long way in protecting the flooring.
Despite one’s best efforts, the floor will eventually lose its appeal. Over the years, the finish coats wear down, scratches increase to a level that you can no longer ignore, there may be stains that have set into the surface, all through to cracks and chips on the floor. One of the benefits of having wood floors is you can get a fresh start. Simply schedule a floor sanding session, where those old coats are removed and the floor sanded down to the bare wood. New wood stains and lacquer coats can then be applied, to give your floor the look and feel that you desire.
Note that the floor sanding can only be done for a limited number of times, depending on how thick the wear layer is. As such, it is imperative that during the process only the necessary amount of wood tissue is removed. Sanding too much into the wood will reduce the lifespan of your installation, which is unfortunately one of the common mistakes witnessed during the DIY floor sanding. It is recommended that you get a professional for this, where you also have the welcome bonus of avoiding the workload that comes with the task.
So how do you determine whether a specific floor sanding and restoration contractor will be suitable for your needs? There are a couple of issues you can look into. For starters, how long has the company been in operation? Sure, new start-ups have their merit, but you can’t deny that dealing with a well-established business that has been providing the floor sanding services for years will give you more peace of mind. Next, ask about the certification of the employees tasked with the job, as well as the accreditation of the company. Given that technological advancements in the flooring industry keep increasing, does the company invest in the professional development of their crew to keep up with the advances? The feedback that the company has received from its previous clients also matters. Here look through the comments have been left behind on its business listings for directories that have the review feature, as well as those comments on their social media handles. Here you will be able to judge the kind of rapport that the company has developed with its clientele.
When it comes to the pricing, this will vary based on your particular needs. Aspects like the strength of the existing finish that is to be removed – especially for those cases where there were multiple layers involved, the condition of the floor including the kind of damage that is to be fixed, plus the size of the area being covered, all through to cases where gaps need to be filled – all these will be factored in since they will determine the kinds of resources required for the project.