Hardwood floors may significantly increase the value of a home. Nothing beats the rich natural wood’s elegance, beauty, and warmth. Unfortunately, even the best-protected hardwood floors will ultimately show signs of wear and tear, necessitating refinishing. Of course, not all damage is equal, and although some can be easily repaired, more serious damage demands quick treatment. If you don’t address any damage to your floors right once, it will most certainly become more serious and require repair or replacement.
The problem for homeowners is determining when it’s time to refinish their floors. How do you know when your floors require more than routine cleaning and maintenance?
The following are some signs that it’s time to refinish your hardwood floor.
- Water Damage – Water is a hardwood floor’s biggest enemy.
Even a small amount of water can cause damage over time. It’s critical to dry out your hardwood as soon as possible if there’s a leak or other situation that results in standing water. Severe water damage can cause warping, cupping, or buckling of the wood, necessitating its replacement. You may simply have stains in less severe situations, which may usually be rectified by sanding and refinishing. The sooner you handle the issue, the better off you will be and the more money you will save in the long term.
- Scratches – Scratching is inevitable when you have a wood floor.
It’s a common adverse effect of everyday use, particularly in high-traffic locations. Light scratches in a single location are usually not a cause for alarm. If the scratches are limited to the stain, they might not need to be repaired. Scratches that penetrate deeper into the wood are more significant and indicate that your floor needs to be refinished. Any scrape in the wood that penetrates offers up a potential entryway for water, which can cause more significant damage, so the scratch must be repaired. It’s also vital to realize that merely applying a new coat of stain won’t fix scratches because the color of the wood will change, making the repair evident. Sanding and refinishing the floor is the only way to ensure thorough repair.
- Gouges and Chipping — Wherever there is wood and traffic, there will very certainly be damage that extends beyond simple scratches.
This is particularly true in households with children and pets, but it can occur in any household over time. Gouges and huge chips, like deep scratches, can allow water to soak in and severely destroy the wood, and splintering can be dangerous for everyone in the family.
- Wood Graying – If you find areas of your wood floor turning gray, it’s not only a normal indicator of aging.
Water damage manifests itself in the form of graying or other discoloration of wood, indicating that the polyurethane finish has begun to wear away. The gray tint indicates that the wood is oxidizing, and if not addressed, the wood will darken until it turns black. The more discolored your floor becomes, the more structural damage occurs, which can be hazardous. If your floor has started to turn gray in areas, it’s time to refinish to avoid more serious damage.
- Excessive Staining – Staining is an unavoidable part of living with hardwood floors, just like scratching.
Although it may be impossible to avoid staining, if it becomes extreme, you should consider refinishing.
You can try to remove stains using common cleaning agents, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to sand and refinish the floor.
- Sun Damage — While having lots of natural light in your home is great, it can lead to hardwood floor damage and discoloration. If your floor is exposed to a lot of direct sunshine, it may become faded or washed out.
Reapplying stain may help, but it will not solve the problem; refinishing is the only method to fully resolve the issue.
- Worn Areas – Hardwood will become worn over time if it is subjected to a lot of traffic.
It’s time to think about refinishing if you detect areas where the stain appears to be wearing away. If the stain is not removed as soon as it appears, it can lead to splintering, which is even more dangerous. This type of regular wear is most evident in high-traffic areas such as doorways and hallways, but it can also occur in other high-use areas such as beneath often moved chairs and tables. Also keep in mind that when the stain wears away, water can seep in and deform the wood, as well as lead to mold growth. If not addressed soon, this type of damage can become very costly, since it may necessitate the replacement of the entire floor. While these are the most prevalent indicators of damage that necessitates refinishing, there are more.
It’s critical to be aware of the quality of your hardwood floors whenever you have them so that any potential concerns can be identified as soon as feasible. This will not only keep your hardwood floors looking nice, but it will also help them endure longer. Even though your floors appear to be in good shape, it’s a good idea to examine them on a regular basis to make sure the seal coat is still intact and providing the necessary barrier to avoid water damage. Pouring roughly a tablespoon of water on the floor, especially in places that appear worn, is a simple way to achieve this.
The seal is still intact and doing its function if the water beads up in little droplets or pools together rather than seeping into the wood. If the water seeps into the wood, the seal has been compromised, and you should consider sanding and refinishing right away. If there are signs of damage, refinishing is necessary, but you don’t have to wait for these clues to refinish your floor. If you’re unhappy with the look of your house and want to change the color of your hardwood floors, refinishing is an option.
Good-looking floors can be readily updated by sanding and refinishing with a new stain color. This will not only assist to keep your home looking new, but it will also increase the selling value if you ever decide to sell it. There is almost no better way to increase the value of your property than by installing high-quality hardwood flooring, which most realtors will tell you are one of the first things buyers check for.
If you decide to refinish your hardwood floors, there are a few things to consider. It’s critical to complete the task correctly in order to keep your floor in good shape. In most circumstances, this means hiring a professional flooring contractor with the appropriate skills and experience to complete the task correctly. Hardwood floors are a terrific investment for any home, but they do require a lot of upkeep. Keep an eye on your floor’s condition and look for signals that it’s time to refinish. The sooner you have your floors refinished, the better and longer you will be able to enjoy them.