How to Tell When Your Hardwood Flooring is in Need of Repair
Hardwood flooring is adored for many reasons, one of them being its incredible level of natural beauty. With that beauty, though, comes the price of keeping it intact. That means staining, finishing, and occasional sanding when the situation calls for it. Even with perfect maintenance, however, your hardwood floors can fall into a state of disrepair that requires a more rigorous repair job to restore them to their former glory.
If you have hardwood floors that might be in need of repair, here’s how to tell if they do need some fixing up, and how you can avoid complications in the process of repairs.
If you see your boards starting to bend upwards at the ends or buckle in the middle, this is a sign they need to be replaced. There’s nothing you can do to restore boards that have begun to buckle, so this a surefire sign you need to do some repairs. Water damage is the most common cause of buckling, so this could be a sign you have a leak somewhere or it could be from repeated exposure to spills and moisture.
Chips and Cracks
Even the best stains and finishes can’t prevent a hardwood floor from chipping or cracking. This is usually from falling objects but can result from a gradual wearing away of the finish as well, leaving the wood underneath to dry out and become brittle. You might be able to sand out small chips, but cracking and excessive chipping will require replacement in most cases.
Stains that Won’t Come Out
If you have a good coat of finish on your hardwood floors, it’s going to be hard to stain them. Even if you do get a stain on your floor, you can usually sand it out. However, if you find stains that have sunken too deep to be sanded out, you might have no choice but to replace the boards.
Not only is a stain hard to cover up with just wood-stain or finish alone, but it can also compromise the integrity of the boards as well, leading to worse problems down the line. If you find stubborn stains like this, it’s a big sign you need larger repairs.
While creaky hardwood floors do have a certain charm to them, not many of us realize that hardwood floors aren’t actually supposed to creak. Creaking generally comes from shrinkage and warping, leading to movement and a creaking noise that tends to echo throughout the house. Some of us are able to tolerate different levels of creaking, but it’s become annoying to you at all, you might as well go ahead and repair them.
Rotting floors rarely take the form of smelly, gunky areas that you can easily identify. Oftentimes, a spill gets into the wood and starts to rot it but gets a chance to dry out. This can leave you with soft, easily picked apart areas that seem to look worse and get bigger every time you walk past them. If you notice splintering and a weakening of a certain area of your hardwood floors, there’s a good chance that rot has ravaged them.
How to Best Complete Your Hardwood Flooring Repairs
When performing hardwood flooring repairs, the biggest mistake people make is to not do the floors last. Performing all other work on the walls and ceiling before you address the floors ensures that the floors can be repaired and not damaged in the process of working on the rest of a room.
Doing the floors last gives you a chance to let the stain and finish properly dry. It also makes it easier to remove grease from concrete foundation materials beneath the flooring. This is important for keeping the concrete healthy and lays the groundwork for you to begin repairing your hardwood floors.
Making sure you get repairs completed soon as they are needed is crucial to maintaining the health of your floors. Any of the warning signs we’ve listed here are likely to get worse if you ignore them, potentially leading to further breakdown and even full collapse of your hardwood floors.
By carefully inspecting your floors for any of the problems listed above, removing grease from the concrete beneath them, and saving the floors for last when working on a room, you can effectively repair them and get them looking brand-new once again.
Skylar Ross is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. He is a blogger and content writer for the residential and commercial flooring industry. Skylar is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and manufacturers discover materials and methods of installation that increase property value, improve durability, and discover innovative flooring options for their home or commercial space.