Everything in your home needs to have a maintenance check every now and then. It is the same for your tiles, carpets, and even your hardwood floors. The task can feel daunting and there is always that nag in the back of your head which is telling you that it’s not that important.
The thing is, if you don’t take care of your hardwood floors then they will wear down quicker and leave you with either a lifeless, chipped, and bowed floorboard, or you have to pay a ton of money to get the boards replaced. All of that faff and money could have been avoided if you only maintained your hardwood floors.
Protecting your floors will keep your home looking beautiful, fresh, and comfortable, and it isn’t something that you have to do often. Did you know you can disinfect and sanitize your floor with an option like white vinegar and water? And what if you have unfinished floors, can you mop them?
When Should I Reseal My Hardwood Floors?
Recoating is when you add a new layer of coating (normally polyurethane) to your hardwood floors.
It is also known as resealing, as this process seals the wood, keeping it protected from potential scratches. This should really be happening every 3 to 5 years, but it all depends on how often you use those floors.
If it is a room that is in constant use, then you should be looking for any sign of discoloring, dull color, or light scratches. If you notice any light scratches, then you should give that area a deep elbow clean and then finish it up with a polish. If that didn’t remove the scratches then you are in need of a recoating.
If you don’t use the room in question that often, then every 3 years you should start looking for any sign that the color is becoming dull. There is no harm in resealing the floor sooner rather than later because you are putting on a layer of protection.
Adding the new coating too early will only result in paying more money than you necessarily needed to.
Recoating gives your hardwood floors an extra layer of protection from deep scratches that would otherwise need a refinish instead.
How Do I Know If My Hardwood Floors Are Sealed?
An easy way to figure this out is by dropping a little dab of water onto an area that is often unseen. If you notice that the wood is soaking up the water, then the floor isn’t sealed.
If you see that the beads of water are staying as beads and not being soaked up, then your floor is sealed.
What Happens When My Hardwood Floor is Resealed?
During this process, the top layer will be lightly sanded. This is to remove any scuffs that might have affected the wood and to make sure the wood is still level.
Once this part has been completed, a layer of coat or polyurethane is laid onto the floor. This adds a deep sheen to the wood and gives it a coating of protection.
Normally this process will take about a day. This gives time for the sanding to be completed, and then brushed clean, and then for the coating to dry. However, if you have a large number of wooden floors, then this process may take longer.
When Should I Refinish My Hardwood Floors?
You can reseal or recoat a hardwood floor if the scuffs and scratches are small, but if you have found stains or deep scratches in your floors, then you will need to start a more dramatic process.
Refinishing is often used when sunlight or age has so badly affected hardwood floors, that the ground starts to bow, seems brittle or the color has all but disappeared. If you are not sure what we mean by discoloration, then keep an eye out for the color gray.
The wood will start to turn gray when it has been oxidized and it will only oxidize when it has spent too much time unsealed.
If your wooden floors have turned black, then you need to replace them as they have become too dangerous for any amount of weight. You should only refinish your hardwood floors when recoating or resealing isn’t an option anymore.
Refinishing is a difficult process and shouldn’t be done as a weekend DIY project, unless you already have experience in the complex nature of the task. If you undertake refinishing without the skills required, then you could damage the floors easily.
Using the wrong equipment could snap the wood, and applying the wrong finish could harm it over time. Most of the issues a DIY fix has created can be corrected, but we would recommend calling a professional to take on the task.
What Happens When My Hardwood Floor is Refinished?
First off the bat, the professional will start to do some heavy sanding. This is to remove all the coats and previous finishing work that might still be on the wood. They will then do another process of sanding, this time to remove the deep scratches and large discoloration that made recoating an unattainable option.
After the sanding is complete, the workers will start to stain the wood and they will do that a number of times. Lastly, the coating or sealing process will start.
Once that last coat has been added you have to wait a least a day before being able to move on the floor. This includes adding light objects. It is best to leave the floors alone until the coats have dried.