Wood floors are beautiful and durable, but they can get damaged over time. If scratches or dents occur, there are several methods you can try to repair them. These range from disguising them with wax pens and wood markers to using wood filler and sanding.
Sweep your hardwoods regularly to minimise damage. Use rugs and doormats at entrances to keep dirt and debris from grinding into the finish. Consider UV-blocking window coverings to minimise direct sunlight, which can cause fading and discoloration.
Keep the Humidity Levels Right
When it comes to wood flooring, humidity is one of the most important factors. The reason is that wood expands and contracts depending on the relative humidity of the surrounding air, and extreme changes can lead to gaps between floor boards or even buckling. Moisture build-up can be caused by sudden spills that aren’t cleaned up quickly, or it may happen gradually over time from normal household activities.
Ideally, your home should have a humidity range of 35 to 50 percent, which is the optimal level for your hardwood floors. If you find that the relative humidity of your house is too low, use a humidifier to increase the moisture content of your indoor air. Conversely, if the humidity in your home is too high, use a dehumidifier to lower it.
Another way to keep your wood floors healthy is to prevent moisture damage by using protective coatings for your floors. These coatings can be applied with a paintbrush or sprayer and can be sprayed on as needed or at least once per year. These coatings can help protect your floor from stains and other water-related damage, but they won’t stop scratches or dents that occur in the surface of your wood floors.
While wood scratches and dents can be fixed with various methods, some require a professional flooring repair service to ensure the results last. If the damage extends to a large area of your wood floor, you’ll want to refinish the entire area. To do this, you’ll need to sand the affected areas, first with 100-grit sandpaper and then with 150-grit. When the sanding is complete, vacuum the affected areas to remove any dust that’s created. Then, wipe the area with mineral spirits for an oil-based stain or water for a latex stain to clean it before staining it.
If the damage to your wood floor is more severe, you may need to replace a section of your hardwood floors. If this is the case, you should always contact a professional flooring company for a consultation and to collect repair estimates. They can advise you on the best type of flooring to replace your damaged wood floors with, and they can also install it for you.
Protect Furniture Legs
Wood floors are beautiful, but furniture and chair legs can cause unsightly scratches if they’re not properly protected. Unprotected chairs and furniture legs can grind grit into hardwood flooring’s finish, leaving unsightly gouges in the surface of the floor that are often hard to fix and require extensive sanding. You can prevent these scratches with furniture feet protectors that you can buy at your local home improvement store. These protectors are small pads that you attach to the bottom of each furniture leg and act as a cushion between the leg and your floor. They are available in a variety of colors to match the color of your floor and can be easily installed with adhesive.
These are the simplest and most inexpensive option for protecting your floor. Typically made from felt, they are simply stuck to the bottom of each chair or furniture leg and provide a soft layer between your floor and the leg. They are usually also designed to be as discreet as possible so they don’t detract from the look of your floor.
You can purchase nail-on protectors that you screw into the bottom of each leg to provide a more permanent solution to preventing scratching. They are a good choice for those with the time and the tools to install them, but they can be somewhat costly and may not always provide a completely secure fit.
There are also self-adhesive protectors that you can peel and stick to the bottom of your furniture legs. These are often the cheapest and easiest to apply but they have the downside of being less secure than other types of furniture feet protectors and tend to fall off fairly quickly.
For a more creative and long-term solution, you can create your own furniture feet protectors by using old blankets or quilts that you cut to size and then place under the legs of each piece of furniture. This is a great option for those who want to infuse their home’s decor with a personal touch and may be more attractive than the utilitarian alternatives available at your local hardware store.
Keep Pets’ Nails Trimmed
Those claws are a vital tool for your pet’s survival in the wild, but they can cause a lot of damage to your wood floors at home. Keep them trimmed, especially if you have a large dog that is very active. Nail trimmers and a trip to the groomer will help keep claws at a safe length, and they can be painted or even covered with nail caps to minimize scratches. These protective coverings make the nails more difficult to grip on hardwood flooring and furniture, which reduces scratching.
It is also important to pick a flooring material that is less susceptible to scratching from animals’ claws. Hardwoods with a higher Janka rating like oak, hickory and maple are more resistant than softer species of wood like pine or birch. In addition, choosing a floor with a more solid grain pattern instead of a swirled or patterned grain may provide added durability against scratches.
Moisture damage is another common problem for wood floors. Even if the wood is sealed, urine that seeps into the boards can discolor them and leave a dark stain that may not be removable without resealing. It can also create an ammonia-like odor that is almost impossible to get rid of.
Promptly cleaning up any spills and addressing urine accidents as soon as they occur can minimize moisture damage to wood flooring. Depending on the severity of the damage, it may be necessary to sand the wood and use bleach to eliminate any remaining stains and odors before the area can be refinished.
While repairing wood flooring from pets’ damage is inevitable, it is possible to minimize the impact by following these simple steps. Regular maintenance, keeping pets’ nails trimmed and promptly attending to any accidents will ensure that your beautiful wood floors can remain in great condition for years to come. When the time comes for refinishing, professional refinishers can address scratches and dents with ease and beauty. Contact us for a free estimate. We are the local experts!
Scratches and scuffs can mar wood floors, reducing their value and attracting dust. If you can, avoid scratches whenever possible by using soft-soled shoes, a furniture protector, and keeping pet nails trimmed. Then, when they occur, follow these wood floor repair tips to minimize the damage.
First, examine the extent of the scratch. If the scrapes are only on the surface, they may be buffed away with steel wool and progressively finer sandpaper grits. If they are deeper, you will have to use a more intensive approach, such as massaging some oil into the scratches and then staining them with wood marker or blending pencils.
It is also possible to mask minor scratches with wood colorants that match your flooring. These can be purchased at most home improvement stores, though you will have to test several colors until you find one that closely resembles the original stain. A plastic putty knife works well to apply the stain because it is softer than a metal one and will not cause further scratches.
If you are dealing with deep or wide scratches, you will probably need to refinish your wood flooring. This will be more expensive than touching up the scratches, but it will restore the look of your hardwood flooring and extend its life.
To prevent future scratches, ask family members to remove their high heels or other sharp footwear indoors, and keep rugs inside doors to trap the dirt that can scratch wood floors. Similarly, you might consider adding felt pads to the bottoms of chair and table legs so that they don’t damage your hardwood floors when you move them around.
It is also worth considering replacing your office chairs with ones that do not have hard plastic wheels, which can damage the finish on wood floors. Many people solve this problem by placing a mat or rug under their chair, but this is unsightly and doesn’t allow the chair to glide smoothly across the floor. Consider getting swivel office chairs with wooden safe caster wheels instead. This will save you the cost and hassle of refinishing your floor.