Hardwood floors are known for their beauty as well as being able to stand the test of time. But they do require maintenance as well as care to reach their full potential. From time to time the floors need to be sanded and refinished. But how do you know it’s time? Here are the top signs it’s time to restore and refinish your floors.
After being sealed correctly, hardwood floors can be capable of resisting some moisture. As in, if you spill a little water, it should bead up and give you time to clean it up. But over time, constant foot traffic and daily wear and tear can wear down the sealant. So when you notice liquids soaking into the flooring right away, they need to be refinished and resealed before any warping and stains occur.
If your wood flooring has sustained water damage, you can see separation or cupping on some of the boards, and even stained, dark areas. If the boards are just cupping a little, this can usually be fixed with sanding, but if there is major separation then you’re more than likely going to have to replace the boards in full or even sections if boards turn black.
Lots of Scratches
Having a large number of scratches on your hardwood floors is one of the more obvious signs that your floors are in need of being refinished, especially if those scratches have worn through the stain. A few scratches can be normal and aren’t something to worry about but if your floor is covered in them, especially in areas you can’t easily with a rug, it might be time to refinish them. Sanding and resealing will smooth out the surface of the wood and make it look like it was newly installed. Even paint that has dripped on the floor will be removed. But every once in a while you may have large gouges and places where wood has been deeply cut or split. These tend to be less common and when they do happen, you can replace just those pieces of wood with new ones. But rest assured that most of the scratches should come out with a simple sand and refinish.
Overtime, ultraviolet (UV) rays cause the hardwood to look dull and faded. This is the most common on the floors closest to the windows. If you have area rugs or large furniture, fading may become unevenly distributed, usually only becoming noticeable when you move furniture around to redecorate or move. Refinishing the floors and applying a new stain will help renew their protection against sunlight and keep the colors of your floors vibrant at the same time.
Boards Turning Gray
When the boards on your hardwood start to turn gray, it’s definitely time to refinish them. And you should do it sooner than later before you have even more damage. Your floors are begging you for help! When the polyurethane (top coat) wears off, the layer of protection is gone and the wood can now absorb the water. This water can come from rain, snow, pets paws, a spilled drink and even just common cleaning products (during normal maintenance). When the wood absorbs the water, it oxidizes and turns gray. If you don’t repair these boards, the wood will eventually turn darker until it’s black. At this point, you will need to replace them as sanding will not solve this.