If you own a home, you probably already understand how much effort goes into cleaning and maintenance. Not only do you need to dust, vacuum, and wash, but certain areas of your home's interior and exterior may also require more extensive repairs and replacements. Considering buyers will spend an extra $2,000 on a house with hardwoods, maintaining your own wood floors should be a priority.

Regular dusting and mopping will keep your floors clean and neat, but they may require a  more detailed improvement over time. Refinishing not only removes imperfections, but it also restores your wood planks back to a healthy, attractive state. With this guide, you will learn when it is time to refinish your hardwood floors.

Dings, Dents & Scratches

Imperfections and slight damage to the wood are the most common signs that your floors require a refinishing. Since it is more cost effective to do the entire floor as opposed to one small area, consider refinishing only when you have numerous dings, dents, and scratches.   

The majority of scratches will only affect the wood surface, meaning the refinishing and a fresh coat of stain will restore your floor back to a new, appealing state. Dings and dents may affect a larger part of the floor's surface, so you may need to replace a few boards before refinishing and staining.

Faded Stain

If the interior of your home receives a good amount of natural light, the excess amount of UV light from the sun may begin to fade the stain on your floors. This fading will not affect the feel or durability of your hardwoods, but it can decrease the look and value of your floors.

Restoring the color of your floors is possible through refinishing. Choose a stain that matches the existing color or opt for a completely new look for your home.

Water Damage

Even the smallest leak can do enormous damage to your wood floors. Whether you have experienced a flood due to a broken water heater or are experiencing a slow plumbing leak under your home, water can wreak havoc on your hardwoods.

In severe cases, you may need to remove the entire subfloor and all of the wood planks. However, refinishing can repair slight cupping or warping and a separation of the boards.

Restoring your floors back to a healthy state after they experience water damage is a time-consuming and stressful task, but it is important to take the necessary steps to make sure your home and health are safe.

After a leak, it is wise to call in the professionals to inspect the floor, subfloor, and walls for signs of mold growth. Mold will spread quickly, decaying the floors and surrounding surfaces, but it can also lead to serious health concerns such as breathing issues and allergic reactions. Once contractors deem the home safe, the floors can be sanded down and stained.

Wood Is Gray or Black

When your hardwoods were initially installed, a coat of polyurethane was applied to the stained wood surface. Polyurethane protects the hardwood from a variety of potential risks including the sun's ultraviolet rays, mud, dirt, water, food and drinks, bodily fluids, and wear and tear from toys or your pet's paws. Without this layer of protection, your floors could be damaged very easily.

If you notice a heavy discoloration on your wood floors, it is most likely due to the polyurethane wearing off. When the polyurethane first begins to wear off, the wood may appear grey in areas. A complete refinishing that includes sanding, staining, and applying a new coat of polyurethane can help.

If your floors are turning black in areas, all of the polyurethane has worn off and your floors are no long protected. In this case, a complete flooring replacement may be necessary if the wood has already been damaged.

Proper cleaning and maintenance can protect your hardwoods, but a refinishing treatment is ideal if you notice one or more of the above signs. To learn more, contact companies like Blair  &  Sons Floor Co.