The floor is an important part of the building. It has to be able to support the weight of any number of users at a time. And while serving its main function, it must remain of aesthetic value. This may be difficult, due to the constant wear and tear as a result of continuous usage and heavy traffic. With every passing day, floors are in danger of scratches, dents, and other minor and major damage.
The most preferred floor to use is wood, considering the beauty value it provides to a residence or office. The potential problems of hardwood floors varies. But a common problem with wood floors is dehydration. So while caring for your wooden floor, do remember to be on the lookout for dehydration.
As earlier stated, wood floors are popular mostly for how they look. Also propelled by their hardness and how easy it is clean. The reasons for their common use vary from one person to another. Either way, it should not be forgotten that wood is a natural material. This means that it is susceptible to attacks from moisture or humidity, temperature, and mold.
Keeping a wood floor free from scratches is wonderful. This way its original, shiny look is kept for as long as possible. But did you know that keeping a dehydrated floor is the same as ruining its look?
How To Know Your Wood Floor Is Dehydrated?
A high level of moisture is not wood floor friendly, same with if they end up being dehydrated or dried out. Dehydrated floors run the risk of shrinkage, cupping, squeaking, grapping, or the most common of all, cracking.
Believe it or not, wood floors have a low level of elasticity that allows them to expand or contract. If a hardwood floor that lacks any form of moisture gets to expand, it will lead to the creation of crevices (small cracks on the floor). This is a clear indicator that you need to rehydrate your floors as quickly as possible to avoid further complications.
How To Rehydrate Wood Floors
There are two simple and straightforward steps to follow, if you want your floors restored in this kind of situation, then follow these two main methods to the latter.
1. Cleaning Up The Floor
As simple as it may sound, this cost-friendly method is more effective than what credits the name gives it. It is very suitable for the early stages of dehydration. The steps involved are;
a. The first step is getting rid of all the furniture or other obstacles that may be in the way, or available within the working area. Note if the working area is large then it will be wise to divide it into reasonable portions.
b. The next step will be to get rid of all debris, dust, and trash, working on a dirty surface is not a good idea at all. This can be taken care of with ease by using a broom to sweep the wooden floor.
c. After the sweep-up, you can ensure a thorough job by mopping the floor with a cleaning solution. You can make a simple homemade solution by mixing ten parts water and one part vinegar together. With this mixture, you can mop the floor, dip a mop cloth or towel into the mixture to start.
Do ensure to wipe the floors gently to avoid scratch. Once done, wipe the dry area with a dry, clean cloth. This process is aimed at removing stains and dust, plus the moisture from this cleaning agent will seep through the cracks and kick start the rehydration process.
Revitalizing The Dried Floor
This method compared to its counterpart has a more professional outlook to it, even though it may cost a bit more. Either way, both methods are DIY friendly and can be done in combination with each other.
But it must be alternated, instead of doing both simultaneously on the same day. This is best suited for a near-extreme dehydration case. Here are the things involved with this method;
a. Use of Urethane
This product is useful in rehydrating excessively dried floors while restoring the old shine of the hard surface. There are two main types of urethane; Water-based Polyurethane and Oil-modified Urethane. Whatever you choose, do ensure to keep to the instructions of the product for its correct usage.
b. Increasing the Humidity
This is the best natural way of correcting the floor’s defect, the use of a humidifier is perfect for the job. This will improve the moisture in the air, which with ease can be absorbed by the wooden surface. If procuring a humidifier will be a huge strain on your financial expenditure, then this DIY method is suggested.
Leave an open pot of water to boil on the gas stove or any other heat source. The water vapor will make the air more humid, so make sure to not leave it unattended for long. A duration of 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the quantity of the water should be enough for the entire process.
Maintenance Tips For Rehydrating Hardwood Floor
The following are some guidelines and precautions when undertaking the task of bringing your floors to life. It is in your best interest to follow them to the latter;
a. Do not under any circumstance apply water to the affected wooden surface. One must not be tempted to apply water directly on the dehydrated floor, no matter the amount of dehydration visible. This can lead to other complications that can compromise the floor completely.
The best way to rehydrate the floor is by adding more moisture to the air, the floor can absorb moisture safely this way.
b. The level of humidity should be determined with the use of a hygrometer. Do follow the manufacturer’s instructions for its proper calibration and usage. The optimal humidity level is approximately 50 percent, this means that any number above this is excess.
This means the eventual outbreak of mold, mildew, and other conditions associated with much moisture. On the other hand, Numbers below the optimal level do indicate dehydration.
c. Whichever method of rehydration that you may go for, it is best to protect the wood floor from sunlight. Among the other effects it may have, it is mainly responsible for the drying up of water from floors. Too much exposure will thus lead to the floor’s dehydration.
Keep your curtains and window coverings closed at regular intervals. This may serve as a preventive measure, nevertheless, it is advisable during the process of rehydration.
Wood floors are great to use, even though some problems are unavoidable like dehydration. It is not wise to expose the floor to so much moisture but at the same time, a complete lack of this element must be avoided.
This could lead to small cracks within its surface, which if they expand further could cause splintering of the wood. This irreparable damage must be avoided at all cost, imagine the expenses involved in replacing them.
The early detection of this ugly phenomenon is the key to treating the wood successfully. This article has covered the bases involved in carrying out this restoration process. And lastly, it is best for homes or offices, who use wood floors to have a hygrometer, this way it is easy to keep track of a room’s humidity level. After all, a suitable humid level guarantees a hydrated floor for sure.