Common Repairs Needed for Hardwood Floors: A Homeowner's Guide
As a homeowner, you take pride in your hardwood floors – their beauty, durability, and classic charm. However, even the most well-maintained floors can experience wear and tear over time. As a hardwood flooring professional, I've encountered many common issues that require repairs. Here, I will discuss the most frequent repairs needed for hardwood floors, helping you identify and address these problems as they arise. Each day, we receieve many calls for many different reasons. We have a few of the problems listed below.
Pet Urine Stains
Pet accidents can create unsightly stains on hardwood floors. When pet urine seeps into the wood, it can cause discoloration, foul odors, and even damage to the floor's finish. To address this issue, you may need to sand the affected area, apply wood bleach, and refinish the floor. For severe staining, the damaged boards may need to be replaced.
How do we fix these? If severe and are solid oak planks, we will do a full replacment and a full sanding. If a factory finished product, we'll requested to have more of the exact same boards onsite to replace.
Heavy furniture, falling objects, or high-heeled shoes can cause gouges in your hardwood floors. Depending on the depth of the gouge, you might be able to fill it in with wood filler, sand the area smooth, and refinish it. In cases where the damage is too severe, you may need to replace the affected boards.
Scratches are inevitable with hardwood floors. Minor scratches can often be buffed out with a touch-up kit or fine steel wool. For deeper scratches, sanding and refinishing the affected area is often necessary. To prevent future scratches, consider using furniture pads, area rugs, and ensuring your pet's nails are regularly trimmed.
How do we fix these? If severe and are solid oak planks, we will do a full replacment and a full sanding. If a factory finished product, we'll requested to have more of the exact same boards onsite to replace. In some cases, we'll be able to color in the scratch and help hide it somewhat but only full replacment will fix deeply gouged boards.
Accidental chemical spills, such as paint or harsh cleaning solutions, can damage your hardwood floors. Even pet vomit or anyting acidic can ruin your floors. Quickly cleaning up spills and using a mild cleaner can minimize the risk of damage. If the spill has caused discoloration or damaged the floor's finish, you might need to sand and refinish the area.
How can we fix these issues? If the damage is minor and only affects the finish coats, we'll perform spot sanding and apply a new layer of polyurethane. However, there may be visible differences due to age and sheen discrepancies. If the damage is severe and involves solid oak planks, we will opt for a full replacement and comprehensive sanding. In the case of factory-finished products, we'll request additional identical boards to be available on site for replacement purposes.
Damage from Movers
Moving heavy furniture or appliances can cause dents, scratches, and gouges in your hardwood floors. To avoid this, use furniture sliders or appliance mats when moving heavy items. If damage does occur, repairing the affected area may involve filling, sanding, and refinishing, or even replacing damaged boards.
How do we fix these? If minor and affecting only the finish coats, we'll do a spot sanding and add a new layer of polyurethane. Differences may show due to to age and sheen differences. If severe and are solid oak planks, we will do a full replacment and a full sanding. If a factory finished product, we'll requested to have more of the exact same boards onsite to replace.
Damage from Moving a Fridge without Appliance Mats
Dragging a fridge across hardwood floors without using appliance mats can result in deep scratches or gouges. To repair this damage, you may need to sand down the affected area and refinish the floor, or replace the damaged boards entirely.
How do we fix these? For minor damage affecting only the finish coats, we'll perform spot sanding and apply a new layer of polyurethane. Keep in mind that variations may be noticeable due to age and sheen differences. If the damage is severe and involves solid oak planks, we will undertake a full replacement and thorough sanding. In cases where the flooring is a factory-finished product, we'll ensure that identical boards are available on site for replacement purposes.
Residue or Wax Buildup from Cleaners
Using inappropriate cleaners on hardwood floors can leave residue or cause wax buildup. This can dull the appearance of your floors and create a sticky surface. To restore your floor's shine, you might need to strip the wax with a specialized wax remover, then clean and refinish the floor. Always check the labels on cleaning products to ensure they are safe for hardwood floors. We only recommend Bona Hardwood Cleaner or any product that won't leave a residue. Never use anything that is a "polish".
How do we fix these? If minor, we can do a light cleaning and a screen and recoats. If major, we may need to do a full wax extraction and then a screen a recoat. Call for details.
Water and Hardwood Floors:
A Challenging Combination Water can be detrimental to hardwood floors, as the naturally porous nature of hardwood makes it susceptible to moisture damage. When exposed to water, hardwood absorbs it and swells to accommodate the additional moisture. As the wood dries and the moisture evaporates, the floor contracts, which can result in warping and buckling. Therefore, it's essential to protect your hardwood floors from water exposure to maintain their beauty and longevity.
How do we fix these? Board replacement and full sanding. These are very difficult as there is an underlying issue. What caused the problem? This has to be remedied before repairs can be done.
Damage from Planters?
Avoid placing plants directly onto a wood floor, even if they are on a waterproof saucer, to avoid excessive moisture buildup. To allow for air circulation underneath the pot and saucer, always use trivets or short stands. By doing this, you can keep your wooden floor from being harmed by condensation on the saucer.
How do we fix these? Full replacment of the board is normally necessary. Then sanding of the floors to blend. Factory finished boards will require more like planks onsite for replacment.
Normal Wear and Tear
Over time, hardwood floors can lose their luster and develop worn patches due to normal wear and tear. Regular maintenance, such as sweeping and mopping with a damp microfiber cloth, can help prolong the life of your floor's finish. However, eventually, the floor will need to be sanded and refinished to restore its original beauty. Choosing the right finish will make a huge difference in the longevity of your floors.
Hardwood floors are a timeless and elegant addition to any home, but they do require proper care and maintenance. By being mindful of these common repairs and addressing them promptly, you can keep your hardwood floors looking their best for years to come. And remember, when in doubt, call The Hardwood Guys for a consulation. We offer repairs, full sanding, cleaning, and screen and recoat services.