Maintaining Wooden Floors: Potential Threats and How to Prevent Them

There’s a certain elegance exclusive to wooden floorings. They present your property as more of a rustic sanctuary, one attuned to nature.

However, with elegance comes the need for extra care. Wood does have setbacks, and regardless of its source, it’s vulnerable to damage. Here are the threats to your wood flooring and how to address them:

Termites

If you think that you have termites in your Salt Lake City home, contact expert exterminators, even if just for an inspection. Some telltale signs are creaking floors and hollow sounds. Subterranean termites aren’t easily detected since they burrow into the subfloor. If left unattended, these pests can weaken your floor’s internal structure or your house’s entire integrity.

Moisture

If you live in a humid region or in a place where the weather can shift from really hot to really cold, then having wooden flooring might not be the best idea. Wood is highly prone to moisture, and under these conditions, it can wear quickly.

Opt for engineered flooring over solid hardwood flooring, as the former is more acclimated to fluctuating humidity. Make sure to maintain all your plumbing so that loose water doesn’t collect anywhere beneath your flooring. Reapply caulk to make sure that all pipes are sealed shut and apply wax to waterproof your floor.

Scratches and dents

If you have pets, small children, or usually walk with pointy heels or cleats, then it will show on your wooden floor. Anything that touches wood might leave scratches and dents.

Stick a felt or rubber pad on each leg of your furniture or install scratch-resistant wheels. Consider installing floor-wide carpets over the wood. Implement preventive policies such as leaving shoes at the entrance and scheduling regular cleaning sessions.

Weight

A slightly related topic is the threat of weight on your wooden floor. Wood is durable in itself but is also pliable, especially under immense loads. Frequent and consistent weight might warp the wood, causing misalignments, and narrow gaps within the boards.

The first thing to avoid is dropping heavy equipment onto your floors. If you have a gym, don’t drop your weights haphazardly. Avoid running around the house and always carry – don’t drag – heavy pieces of furniture across the floor.

Fading and wear

Depending on where wooden flooring is installed, it might also be prone to fading. This can either be through sun exposure or constant contact with substances, both organic and artificial. This pertains to our sweaty feet walking across our floors or the chemical cleaners we use on it.

Make it a habit to re-finish the floors to prevent fading and wear. If you want to reduce sunlight exposure, install blinds, glass blocks, or full casement windows that scatter the light around the room.

Fire hazards

Perhaps the most gaping threat to wooden flooring is fire. Wood will always remain a fire hazard, and this should concern you, especially if you have a fireplace or a wood stove.

Make sure that these furnishings have a clearance area that sets them apart from your wooden floor. Install a hearth extension and a hinged grate to these pieces of equipment for safety. Consider applying a fire-retardant coating on your floor. However, do this with caution or with the guidance of a construction expert.

As always, prevention is better than cure. Keep these things at bay, and you get the peace of mind and luxury of walking on stately wooden floors.

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