December 23, 2022

The Top Five Hazards to Hardwood Floors and How to Prevent Them

Cute tabby cat sitting on the floor and washing itself.

In the past year, hardwood floors have become a popular addition to many residential homes and commercial spaces. These wooden floorings add richness, beauty, and elegance to any home or office area while complementing the place’s style. With proper installation and maintenance, hardwood floorings can last for a lifetime. Despite its durability, its wood qualities are still vulnerable to certain factors. Here are five hazards to your hardwood flooring and what you can do about them.

1.  Humidity Changes

One of the hardwood’s weaknesses is moisture. Like any other wooden floor, hardwood floors are responsive to moisture. When your air is humid, water fills the pores, and the planks expand. When the air is dry, water evaporates, making the wood contract.

Although most hardwood floors adapt to the gradual changes in humidity, sudden or extreme moisture imbalance can cause the floorboards to cup or crown. When this happens, the panels can also crack and separate.

Make sure that you acclimate your hardwood planks before installation. Before you lay your flooring, inspect the area for any high-moisture places or those with imbalanced humidity levels. In addition, set your project up during the warmer seasons to ensure less moisture.

2. Direct Sunlight

Natural lighting adds to the overall look and feel of your home. It brightens up the room and makes them wider and more spacious. While sunlight offers numerous perks to the interior and style of your place, it poses a huge threat to the longevity and appearance of your hardwood floors.

Exposed wood, like hardwood planks, is vulnerable to the effects of direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause your flooring to bleach over time. In addition, it creates unnatural color variances in your wooden flooring.

You can avoid this damage by drawing the curtains or shades when the sunlight directly hits your hardwood floors. Changing the layout of your room can also help as it allows you to place rugs or carpets on areas exposed to direct sunlight to cover them.

3. Heavy Foot Traffic

The most common danger to hardwood floors is the daily use damage they get from heavy foot traffic. While regular cleaning and maintenance help your flooring’s longevity, heavy foot traffic can make them prone to damage over time.

Homeowners need to expect general wear and tear, especially if they have had their hardwood flooring for years. In addition to the daily wearing of your floorboards from the weight of people’s feet and furniture, the dirt and dust they carry inside help hasten the process.

Most hardwood floorings are durable enough to handle foot traffic, but they need a good layer of finish for more protection. Check with your professional hardwood refinisher on which finish best suits your floorings and how long before you reapply them.

You can also place rug runners in heavy foot traffic areas and move your furniture every other month to change the traffic patterns. Having a shoeless or slipper inside rule in your house can also slow down the wear-and-tear.

4. Dirt, Dust, and Spills

The two biggest threats to hardwood floors are dirt and water. Dirt and dust can destroy the overall look of your hardwood flooring. When you include these particles with the daily foot traffic, your wooden floors become more susceptible to scratches and dents. Once you leave them unattended, they can go deeper and become irreparable.

Hardwood floors absorb water or moisture. When you have spillages and let them dry on their own, the water seeps into the planks. When they absorb too much water, your floorboards can buckle, warp, or crack due to the additional pressure. It can also rot your flooring and make them soft from molds.

Although hardwood floorings require little maintenance than other flooring options, having a regular cleaning routine is essential for their durability and longevity. Do routine cleanups by sweeping your floors daily and vacuuming them. It can also help to have scheduled deep-cleaning services to remove dirt and dust buildup in every corner.

Spills are unavoidable, but you can avoid these damage by cleaning them up with a dry cloth immediately. You can also place rugs and mats in areas where they often occur, like your kitchen and utility room.

5. Pet Feet

Your pets can become a consistent threat to your hardwood floors, especially your dogs. Dog toenails can cause deep scrapes on your flooring. While hardwood finishes protect the wood from scratches and scrapes, they thin faster. When you don’t reapply a layer of protective finish, your floorboards become more vulnerable to damage.

Make sure you trim your dog’s nails and buff them to reduce scratches. You can also keep your pets out of the rooms where the floorings are more vulnerable. Refinishing your hardwood floorboards every few years can also help.

Five Hardwood Flooring Hazards You Need to Know

Hardwood floors are one of the most durable flooring options for residential homes. While they’re sturdier than other choices, they are still prone to damage. Understanding the biggest hazards to hardwood floors will help homeowners find better ways to prevent them from happening. These five dangers to your favorite wooden floorings will help ensure their longevity and appearance.

Get to know more about hardwood hazards with your trusted hardwood flooring services in Austin, TX. Contact Kelly Hardwood Floors today!