Wooden floor problems – the top five
If you look after a wooden floor properly it should last you a lifetime (in fact, most wooden floors will outlast most of us!). But as with anything around the home, leave it for too long and problems can start to crop up that leave you with a floor you wouldn’t show to the dog, let alone visitors. Don’t hide your wooden floor sins under the carpet and forget about them; it’s time to face up to the top five wooden floor problems – and how easy they actually are to put right.
#1 – general wear and tear
The most common problem for wooden floors is simply classed as ‘general wear and tear’. This is not just the usual scratches, stains and dirt accumulated over time, but the generally dull patina that wooden floors can develop as the surface becomes damaged and eroded. The result is a ‘grey’ look that dulls the true pattern of the wood down to almost nothing. A tired looking floor will drag down the rest of your décor, no matter how fresh your paintwork is or how recently you changed the curtains. However, simply by sanding the top layer of the floor you can reveal a completely fresh new floor underneath – rather like exfoliating your skin! It’s a relatively simple job if handed over to the professionals, and the quickest way to breathe new life into your home.
#2 – Scratches
Scratches range in severity, from a barely noticeable mark to a deep gouge that cuts down into the wood itself. An ugly scratch can ruin the look of an otherwise pristine floor, and surprisingly it is hardwood floors rather than softwoods that are most susceptible to scratches. Depending on the depth of the scratch they can either be easily polished or sanded out or, for deeper scratches, filled and then polished.
#3 – stains
We’ve all had a ‘Ribena moment’, especially if you have children! Although most spillages can be easily wiped off, some products can stain wooden flooring remarkably easily. Most staining problems for wooden floors are the result of using cleaning products not designed for use on wood. Again, unless the stain has penetrated deep into the wood itself, sanding off the top surface of the wood and repolishing, waxing or applying the right type of wood stain should fix the problem. If your staining has been caused by using the wrong type of cleaner, have a chat with your floor sanding experts to find out the best way of maintaining your floor properly.
#4 – warping
Warping is a little more serious. This is usually the result of exposure to extreme heat or prolonged water damage, or it could be an indication of a more serious problem with the stability of your home (i.e. subsidence). Warped wooden floors are unfortunately very difficult if not impossible to repair, and usually the only alternative is replacement. If you have warped boards then you need to speak to a professional floor expert to find out the best way to proceed.
#5 – gaps
Over time, gaps between floor boards can develop. Not only are they unsightly, but they also act as dust magnets, and reduce the thermal efficiency of your floors. Even small gaps can allow draughts to whistle around your ankles in the winter months, making a surprising difference to the warmth of your home and pushing up your heating bills. Fortunately, professional floor sanding experts are able to fill these gaps relatively easily and quickly, dramatically improving the thermal efficiency of your floor, cutting out draughts and cutting down your heating costs. Once a floor has been properly filled, polished and sealed with a top layer of varnish or polish, it will also look stunning once again, and be easier to keep clean.