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Hardwood floors are durable, long-lasting, sophisticated investments that add elegance and a warm ambiance to any home. But, like any other home improvement project, hardwood floorings can deteriorate after decades of wear and tear, lack of care and maintenance, and wood aging. Learn more about the tell-tale signs indicating your hardwood floors need replacing in this quick guide.
Minor scratches on your hardwood floors are typical signs of regular usage that you can quickly remedy with a touch-up or refinish. Sometimes, naturally dark hardwood floors can even hide them unless you closely inspect the floorboards.
But if your floorings have noticeable marks, especially deep gouges, and scratches, it might signal a need for a replacement. When your hardwood floorings have these blemishes spread out across high foot traffic areas, they can compromise the look and functionality of the floorboards.
In addition, they make the floor more prone to water damage as liquid and moisture can seep into the wood easier. When this happens, you can experience frequent cracking, swelling, and warping planks that can damage the flooring's frame.
Hardwood floorboards can warp or buckle from prolonged exposure to moisture or sudden humidity level fluctuations. Warping can result in a "cupped" or "crowned" appearance, where the edges or center of the boards rise, respectively. Buckled floors, on the other hand, occur when the hardwood planks lift off the subfloor. These deformities not only look unsightly but can also pose tripping hazards.
During season changes, you can see your hardwood floors expand and contract due to the changes in moisture and humidity. Mediocre hardwood flooring installation can cause your floorboards to warp or buckle this way once or twice, but you can quickly fix them instead of replacing them. But incidents like flooding from hurricanes or unattended spills can turn warped or buckled hardwood planks irreparable.
When your hardwood floorboards experience widespread buckling and warping, replacing them is more cost-effective than attempting repairs.
Some homeowners find creaks and squeaks in their hardwood floors charming. Others believe the sounds add more character to their floorings and a sense of history to their homes. But persistent, loud noises can signify deeper structural problems you shouldn't avoid inspecting.
The most common cause of persistent floorboard noises is when the hardwood continuously rubs against itself or the subfloor structure. This occurrence is often due to aging floors, but it can also mean there's an issue with the structural integrity of your hardwood flooring.
In addition, also observe if there are noticeable movements in the floorboards beside the creaking and squeaking. Moving hardwood planks are signs of loose wood strips, unstable subfloors, or decay in the floor joists. Contact a professional hardwood floor inspector immediately to determine which issues are fixable or if you need to consider floor replacements.
Hardwood floors can fade or discolor for several reasons. The most common cause for a discolored hardwood floorboard is its long-term exposure to sunlight, causing the natural colors of your planks to fade or wash out. Another notable factor is using the wrong chemical cleaning agents during routine floor cleaning, which bleaches the floorboards into an unnatural and uneven light tone. In addition, water damage can leave gray stains and discoloration that gradually turn black the more you leave it.
Sometimes, dealing with faded or discolored hardwood floors can be easy as refinishing the floorboards and re-staining them along with the finish. During these cases, the sanding process helps restore the floor to its original color by removing the damaged surface layer.
But in extreme cases, uneven fading and discoloration make it impossible to regain a uniform appearance. In addition, graying or blackish stains from water damage also indicate that the hardwood has started oxidizing and decaying. The only solution when these happen is to replace the damaged hardwood planks.
Exposed nails are often easy to spot, but they can also be unnoticeable until it causes painful injuries to your family members, guests, or pets. Nails that peek through the floorboards occur in the areas with the most foot traffic, like the kitchen, hallways, and living room. Due to this, people are more prone to stubbing a toe or tripping. In addition, more exposed nails can lead to creaks and other damage.
Although exposed nails are not as problematic as the other signs in this list, they can still be a reason for a much-needed floor replacement. When more nails appear in many areas, you must replace your floorboards immediately.
Deciding to replace your hardwood floors is a serious matter and consideration, as it involves substantial time and expense. But, when your hardwood floorboards show signs of severe wear, warping, and persistent noise, replacement is the best choice to preserve its beauty, safety, and value.
Consult with the best hardwood floor repair services in Austin, TX, by visiting Kelly Hardwood Floors today!