4 Common Causes of Hardwood Floor Damage and What to Do

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Hardwood flooring is loved for it’s long lasting appeal and durability.  But problems can occur over time that damage even the strongest of hardwoods.  More often than not a good refinishing can resolve many forms of damage but there are others where the only option is to replace the floor entirely.  Take the time to learn about what types of damage hardwood flooring can sustain and what can be done to resolve the problem.

 

Buckling and Crowning

Also called cupping and crowning, this is when hardwoods respond to moisture absorption.  Hardwood planks are a bit like plate tectonics.  They sit on the surface of the subfloor and line up nicely next to one another.  When a plank is exposed to moisture, it will absorb it and push out in a concave manner.  This is crowning.  As the planks press against one another this can cause others to buckle in a convex manner, which causes cupping.  Floors that have become uneven through this manner will wear unevenly and be more susceptible to further damage.  The only way to fix this problem is by sanding the floor until it is even and restaining.  Many floors are not candidates for this as you may need to take off over a quarter of an inch.  

 

Fading

Very few people consider that the sun can do damage to just about anything and hardwood floors are no exception.  UV rays can cause fading in areas that are exposed to regular sunlight.  This can cause patchy stain colors and in some cases, distinct differences in color.  This can get so bad that when you go to move furniture you will get defined lines from where the sun did not gain exposure to the hardwoods.  An easy hardwood floor refinishing can help resolve this problem.  Also, applying a UV protectant during the refinish process will help reduce the fading.  To help subvert this problem on new floors, try to keep blinds and curtains shut especially when you aren’t home.

 

Scratches and Dents

Hardwood floors are meant to be enjoy and this includes daily wear and tear.  Protective finishes can wear off over time, allowing them to become more susceptible to scratches, dings, and dents.  These are the most common forms of hardwood floor damage and by far the easiest to fix.  Refinishing can really reduce the scratches that accumulated over time.  Preventatively, try not to wear shoes in the house and provide padding or rugs for furniture to sit on.  Also, consider keeping puppy nails trimmed and plenty of rugs for them to run on.  

 

Warping

Warping is caused when hardwood flooring is exposed to larger quantities of water.  This can happen from any number of plumbing leaks or other failures in house seals.  Wood will absorb the water and then start to cause waves.  Most warping will require at least a partial replacement job.  For smaller areas, replacing the wood floor through matching the planks, sanding, and then staining will be necessary.  For larger areas, it’s probably beneficial to replace the entirety of the floor.  Give your local hardwood flooring professionals a call to find out what the best approach will be.  

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