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When you own or install hardwood flooring, you don’t think about that things that can cause damage immediately.  You may have already put sliders on your furniture or make sure you take off your shoes when you get home.  You may have even known that the sun can cause fading so you close your blinds everyday when you’re at work.  But what about those uncommon causes of damage?  What can cause unexpected damage to the hardwood flooring you love?


Different types of mold are typically a sign of a bigger water problem.  Warping and musty smells are a bigger indicator that something bigger is going on.  If you visually see mold, try wiping it off the hardwoods using a light vinegar and water solution.  Mildew should wipe off of properly sealed floors.  However, further damage may need a professional.  Black mold is dangerous and if you find black mold under or in your flooring, it’s time to call in the professionals and replace the floor.  

Entomology Infestation

No one wants to think about bugs in their floor, however wood is the home for many types of beetles and termites.  Professionally installed hardwood floors should not have this problem but over time termites could move in or you may have bought a home where someone did a DIY flooring project with reclaimed wood.  As beautiful as reclaimed wood can be, not properly treated and you can have all types of beetles crawling out.  Timber like douglas-fir subflooring has had greater demands on it in past years so wood that may have been rejected in the past is being used.  If you are concerned about the wood you’re using, simply pick a kiln dried product or one that has had a longer length of air-seasoning.

Smoke Damage

Though uncommon smoke damage can be a big problem.  Even if you’ve never had a fire in your home, fires in nearby areas can cause interior smoke damage.  Smoke is basically unburned fuel.  It’s small particles of carbon and other contaminants that get in the air.  Properly sealed floors should be able to repel small quantities of smoke.  However, improperly sealed floors will allow smoke to penetrate them, allowing buildup of airborne contaminants.  Homes that have experienced fires or been near firezones should have the floors, walls, and interior air quality checked.  It may be necessary to replace the floors in order to fully resolve the problems that arise from smoke damage.  

Dog Urine

Probably more common than most, dog urine can really cause damage to hardwood flooring.  Let’s face it, we love our pets but they can be hard on a home.  Maybe you’ve had a new puppy and they’ve had some accidents on the flooring.  Or perhaps you have a dog that is notorious for marking.  Like other moisture it’s important to clean dog urine up as quickly as possible.  After blotting up the spill, clean gently around outside the area.  Lay baking soda over the spill and let sit for a bit to help remove any moisture.  Lastly, try an enzyme spray approved for hardwood flooring.  This will discourage piddling in the same spot in the future.

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