If you’re interested in Clean & Recoat, there are a few ways to check to see if your floor is a candidate. You’re mainly checking to see if they’re too old for sanding or if the damage isn’t too advanced and the floors need sanding. With a little help from a certified “old geezer” who’s seen thousands of old wood floors, I think I can help you better understand how and what to look for.
- Let’s start with the age and number of owners of the house. The older the floor and the more times it’s changed hands, the more likely it has been refinished multiple times and will develop structural issues from weakening the wood.
- Look for the exposed nail heads that were formerly hidden below the wood but are now shiny and in plain view.
- Look for cracks running parallel to the long edge seams of the flooring. This is often a sign of excessive loss of wood from too much sanding.
- Check for wear patterns at all entrances (especially those coming in directly from outside), the infamous kitchen triangle (fridge to sink to stove), around tables, chairs and desks and any areas where water or other liquids are likely present such as bathrooms and exterior entrances. If you see patterns, take action to avoid the situation from getting out of hand.
- Learn the difference between wear in the finish and wear in the wood. Wear patterns on finish usually turn light and chalky. Wear patterns in the wood often expose the grain of the wood and make it vulnerable to damage from cleaners, especially if they have vinegar.
- If you see wear patterns in the kitchen area, take action ASAP. If moisture gets under the finish, it will gradually start turning the wood darker and this is bad. The earlier you catch it, the more options you have.
- As a general rule of thumb, if the wear patterns appear lighter than the floor, that’s good. When appears darker than the wood, that’s bad. The darker appearance means the damage is in the wood, not the finish.