Instructions to Help You Prevent and Repair Hardwood Floor Damage

Posted on: 16 May 2017

When you first have new wood floors installed in your home, their beauty and shine can change the entire look of your home. Along with being attractive, hardwood floors are durable, but they also require the right care and maintenance to keep them looking as good as possible for as long as possible before you need to refinish them completely. Regular use from foot traffic and extra wear from pets and furniture can damage your floors. Here are some instructions to help you prevent some common damage and make repairs when it is necessary.

Protect Your Floors

The first line of defense against damage to your hardwood floors is to protect them from unnecessary scratching. Moving furniture around your wood floors is an easy task because the surface of the wood floors does not create a lot of resistance, but be careful the legs and bottom edges of your furniture don't scratch into the finish and wood.

You can buy and install felt patches that are placed on the underside of your furniture's legs. Then, as you are moving the furniture around, the feet of the furniture won't gouge, scuff, or scratch the flooring. You can also place these onto kitchen chair legs to further prevent daily damage from using your chairs.

To protect your floors from excess traffic, especially from pets that have sharp claws that can scratch your floors, strategically position rugs over the hardwood where heavy traffic occurs. Be sure to use a rubberized lining between the rug and your hardwood floor so each rug remains in place and does not slide and create a hazard. Some rugs come with their own rubberized backing and others do not. You can purchase a separate rug lining in most carpeting and rug departments of your local home store for the rugs without their own backing.

Repair Your Floors

Surface Scratches

One of the first types of damage to your floor is from surface scratches, meaning those that are not deep but can still be seen across the floors. This can occur from running pets, objects that slide across the surface, and regular everyday use. To remove these scratches, apply a paste wax onto a rag and rub it across the surface of the scratches. Buff the paste into the floor until the flooring has its shine restored. You can also use acrylic floor polish on a rag to buff the scratches from the surface.

Another type of scratch can occur as the surface of the floor's sealant has been scratched, leaving behind a shallow channel of damage. To repair this type of surface damage, you can apply a hardwood floor refresher or renewal product. Be sure to thoroughly clean your floors before you apply this surface renewal product, as it will trap in any dirt and debris onto the finished surface. Experts recommend to reapply this product every several months to keep up the appearance and condition of your wood floors.

Deep Gouges

To repair a deep-set gouge in your wood that has gone into the wood floorboards, you will need to fill and resurface the gouge. Sand down the floorboards or the area where the gouge sits. Wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any dust and sanding particles, allow it to dry, then fill the gouge with a matching wood putty. Smooth the wood putty level with the surrounding surface and allow it to dry.

Next, you will need to restain the sanded wood to match any existing stain, then coat it with a new layer of polyurethane sealant. It is important to complete this repair so it blends in with the rest of your wood flooring. 

Completing floor repairs in smaller sections can restore your floor's appearance without having to refinish the entire floor. Each time you sand down and refinish your floors, it removes some of the surface of the wood. For this reason, refinishing your floors can only be completed a limited number of times. For example, solid wood floors can only be refinished an average of four times, so it is better to repair the floor in small sections, when possible.

Whether you already have hardwood flooring or you're preparing for hardwood floor installation, this information will help you.


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