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The 5 Most Common Floor Repair Questions Answered
http://media.merchantcircle.comHardwood floors are very often the centerpiece of a beautiful interior decorating plan.  So it is always a priority to take very good care of your wood floors.  That means a vigilant program of care and maintenance for your hardwood floors .   But it also means having a plan for when your floors sustain damage.

Whenever something as valuable as your hardwood floors sustain damage, the first question that comes to mind is, "What do I do?".  So lets discuss some common floor repair questions to get the process of making a floor repair game plan underway.

When I see a scratch in my wood floor, does that automatically mean a costly repair?

No there might be a visible scratch that is superficial which means the finish of the wood is scratched but the wood itself is not damaged.  That means that you can simply repair the finish or the wax and not have to strip down to the wood level to perform the repair.  The fix is an easy one that usually just involves stripping the wax, refinishing the spot and the buffing it to the same shine as the rest of the floor.

Is there such a thing as a "tiny scratch" which would not involve an extensive repair operation?

Yes, if the scratch is in the surface of the wood but it has not gone so deep into the wood as to cut into the sub floor level, that would be considered a light scratch.  Usually a light scratch like this just calls for you to strip off the wax and repair the flaw with some varnish that matches the existing color of the floor.  Your flooring supplier should be able to help you find just the right varnish that you can apply to the scratch with a q-tip.  After the repair dries, rewax and buff out the flawed area and it will be good as new.

What kinds of things cause damage to hardwood floors and can I avoid them all?

The kinds of things that damage hardwood floors that are avoidable have to do with keeping the flooring clean and free of moisture or corrosive chemicals.  By maintaining some simple but strict rules about food and drink around the hardwood floor, you can reduce the risk that spills will stain the flooring.  While a stain is not extensive damage, it can cause you to have to perform a repair on the flooring.

Whether the flooring is hardwood down to the sub flooring or layers of other kinds of wood as in the case of engineered hardwood or hardwood laminate, water or other fluids can drip down into the infrastructure of the flooring and cause damage.  So make sure that spills are cleaned up quickly and that the cleaning procedures does not expose the flooring to excessive moisture.  

But there are some types of damage that cannot be avoided.  Big temperature variations can cause wood to shift, push up or crack.  Excessive environmental humidity can have the same effect.  If the damage is a natural reaction to the environment of your area of the country, here was nothing you can do and your only recourse is to effect a repair.

What is involved if I want to do an extensive repair myself?

If the damage is extensive, you will need to have the tools and the skills to strip a single board right down to the wood.  That means stripping off the wax, the varnish and any sealant on the wood.  This will call for a portable sander that you can maneuver in the narrow area between the slats of the boards.   If the plank is split or damaged extensively, you will need to use wood glue to repair the damage and be able to clamp the repair in place until the glue has set.  When the repair is done, you will have to use varnish to hide the flawed area and the seal, wax and polish the finished product.  

In some cases if the damage is quite extensive, you may have to remove sections of the wood flooring and replace them with new slats.  Many of the same tools are needed as a repair job but you will also have to pull the damaged slats up from the sub floor and then reattach the new slats with adhesive or nails when you are ready to put the new boards in place.

What are my options if I don't have the skills to repair my hardwood floor?

The process described above calls for an advanced knowledge of woodworking and some tools and the skills that not everybody has.  In this case, calling on your supplier or the installer who laid your wood flooring in the first place to find a skilled wood floor specialist is in order.  You will be glad you used a skilled workman for a repair of this size.  And when the repair is done and it looks great again, it will have been money well spent to have your hardwood floor looking great once more.


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