Hardwood flooring is a beautiful and durable flooring option but that does not mean it does not require some maintenance and care. Sanding and refinishing your floors periodically is the ideal way to protect your investment. It can be hard to know when it’s time to sand and refinish your floors. There are five signs to look for to know it’s time to refinish your floors in 2022. Some of the signs are easy to spot while others are less obvious.
- Large scratches or a large quantity of scratches. If you are starting to see a lot of scratching on your floor it is time to consider refinishing your flooring. If the scratches are wearing through into the stain or in the raw wood it is vital that you address it. The longer wood is exposed without a seal and finish coat, the more damage it will withstand. If there are only a few minor scratches on your floor you don’t have anything to worry about, but large unsightly deep scratches or a lot of area of scratching is a sign that your floor needs to be re-finished. The scratches can become unsightly and allow the wood to become damaged. If you start to notice areas are scratching more heavily than other parts of your floor you may want to consider adding a rug. The majority of scratching to your floor is topical and doesn’t damage the wood, but some scratching is deep enough that it gouges into the wood and can damage the plank. The professional can assess the damage to your floor and see if a replacement board is needed.
- The wood is beginning to turn gray. If you start to notice that your hardwood floor is turning gray overtime you will want to have it refinished quickly. When the floor finish is walked through the wood will start to absorb water and cleaning products. Rain, snow, wet dog paws, spills and other moisture that is introduced to the floor is absorbed into the grain and oxidizers which is why it turns gray. If you do not repair this graying effect the floor will become darker and look more and more damaged. This graying resembles an unsealed fence that is left out in the elements. If the graying is not addressed quickly it can lead to irreparable damage. This is an easy sign to catch that your floor needs a refinish in 2022.
- Boards have turned black. If you have boards in your floor that have turned black you will want to call an expert immediately. This can only be repaired through a refinish and often board replacements. Once the floor has begun to turn black it is only a matter of time before the damage spreads further causing even more necessary repairs. We often see spots in our floors that have turned black due to water damage or pet stains. These can be covered up with a dark stain but sometimes a board replacement may be necessary.
- Water damage. Water damage is one of the most common reasons to need to refinish your flooring. Water damage appears in a few different ways including separation and gapping between the boards or cupping where the edges start to rise like a bowl. Black boards are also a sign of water damage. Water damage comes from a variety of different reasons including flooding, pet accidents, an overflowing toilet, a leak in the pipes or icemaker. There are other causes as well like moisture rising from the basement into the floor. If you have cupping hardwood you will have to have a cupping sanded down to bring the floor back to flat. Popping, black boards and separation may need a replacement to fix. Some water damage is covered by insurance though which makes these replacement less of a burden for homeowners.
- Fading. Fading is a sign of damage to the floor caused by UV light. When your floor begins to fade you might not notice immediately but the floor will eventually start to look pale, unhealthy, and discolored. If you have large windows you will often notice what is called a picture frame where a portion of the floor is lightened while other areas are not. Picture framing also occurs when a floor has an area rug over the top in a sunny area and the area under the rug is not lightened but around it is. This sort of damage is generally wiped out with a sand and refinish. Sometimes the sun damage is bad enough that a new stain color is needed to revitalize the wood.
A refinish is a great way to maintain your hardwood flooring. Buff and coats are also a great option for maintaining hardwood before it has any of the issues listed above. As you can tell some damage to your hardwood flooring can be so bad that replacement is the only solution. Preventative maintenance is key to protecting your hardwood flooring and 2022 is the perfect year to get your floor done.