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Common Hardwood Flooring Problems and How To Prevent Them

Common Hardwood Flooring Problems and How To Prevent Them

Hardwood floors are certainly a valuable & appealing investment. That makes them worth taking care of with proper maintenance so they can retain their form longer. 

But when it comes to hardwood floors, problems like scratches, stains, dents, etc., are common. And to maintain your floors in a flawless state, you would want to avoid these issues from occurring in the first place. 

So here are some common hardwood flooring problems and the ways to prevent them. So that your floors keep looking stunning for decades to come. 

How To Prevent Common Hardwood Flooring Problems?

1. Scratches & Dents

Light scratches and dents are one of the common problems associated with hardwood flooring. Scratches are scraping on the surface of wood and dents are indentations due to excess weight. 

They can often be a result of foot traffic, pet claws, or dragging of heavy furniture or scratchy items. These are not only damaging to your floors but also make them look dull and unappealing. 

To prevent scratches and scuff marks on your hardwood floors, restrict walking over them with shoes on. Make sure you have furniture pads under them and avoid dragging heavy items. You can also place rugs or mats to protect your floors. 

2. Stains

Yet another common issue with wood floors is stains. Spills and stains are inevitable and can leave a mark that makes your floors look dirty and stained. The thing is, the longer they sit there, the tougher they become.

Although there are ways to remove tough stains from your hardwood floors, your best bet would be to avoid them in the first place. One of the best ways to prevent stains from occurring is to clean the spills as soon as possible. This way they will not have time to seep and will be easy to remove, avoiding the staining. 

3. Fading

Fading is when your hardwood floors lose their original shine and color. This often occurs when they are exposed to UV rays from direct sunlight over a long time. 

Moreover, your floors can also fade due to the discoloration by harsh chemicals. Stains, particularly high-ammonia stains, like pet stains, are also responsible for fading if kept for long.

To avoid the problem of fading on your hardwood floors, protect them from direct exposure to sunlight. You can position your furniture in a way that protects them from sun rays. 

You can also pull blinds and curtains for that. Placing plants in front of your windows is also a great way to stop sun rays from directly falling over your wood floors.

Moreover, when it comes to fading from stains and harsh chemicals, avoid using harmful agents to clean your floors. Make sure you clean up the pet stains (and others) quickly. 

4. Squeaking & Loose floorboards

When your floors fail to stay in place and become loose, they start making noise when you walk over them. One of the main reasons behind that is improper installation or an issue with the subfloor. Floorboards can also loosen due to loosened nails and other fixtures.

To avoid that, make sure your floors are installed properly. Ensure that the subfloor is strong enough. Also, make sure the nails and other fasteners are adequately and properly fixed. 

5. Cupping & Crowning

Cupping is when your hardwood floorboards start to bend down from the center and rise from the edges. Crowning is exactly the opposite of it. The problems of cupping and crowning are often a result of moisture issues.

Cupping occurs when there is the presence of water or moisture under your floors. Crowning occurs when your floors have come in contact with water from their surface. This can direct water contact, a leak underneath, or moisture in the air. 

To prevent your floors from cupping and crowning, keep an eye on your plumbing system and avoid leaks. Avoid overwetting your floors when mopping, which is also a common mistake when cleaning hardwood floors

Do not let the moisture sit there for long. Keep your indoor air well-balanced and keep moist air away with the help of proper ventilation. 

6. Gaps

Gaps or spaces between the floorboards are one of the concerning problems with these floors. Like cupping and crowning, gapping is also associated with moisture issues. That is because, in a humid climate, your wood floors tend to swell and expand. And in the drying/winter months, they start shrinking. 

So if you’ve installed your floors in summer times, they will start forming gaps as the drying climate approaches. Not letting your wood floors align with your home’s indoor atmosphere is also a cause.

You can prevent forming gaps in your wood floors by installing them in a stable climate. Maintaining a balanced indoor atmosphere (not too dry; not too humid) can also help. 

7. Fractures & Cracks

When your floorboards start splitting, they form cracks or fractures. The most common cause of that could be improper nailing while installation. Deliberate drying with heating and not allowing enough time to dry the floors can also lead to cracks.

To avoid them, ensure to nail them properly with the help of nail adapters. Make sure you let your floors take enough time to dry completely. 

Summing Up

Scratches, gaps, cupping, and crowning are some common issues that occur with hardwood floors. By getting aware of what they are and what causes them, along with the above-mentioned prevention tips, you can easily avoid them. So that your floors stay intact in a well-kept state for a long time.


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