Hardwood floors are an elegant feature that many homeowners jump at the chance to incorporate into their space. They add a touch of coziness to any home and the variety of grains and colors ensure there’s something everyone will love.
Unfortunately, all of the qualities that make it a homeowner favorite can also be the causes of various problems leading to a headache, or worse: spending tons of money on maintenance and repair in the future.
Considering installing hardwood floors or buying a home with these features?
You should keep these common problems at the forefront of your mind to save yourself from any trouble in the future.
Common Issues with Hardwood Floors
Wood is naturally susceptible to “movement”. So when seasons change, it will expand and contract.
But there are certain times when serious problems can arise. While not all issues are related to moisture, quite a few are.
Take a look at our list of typical problems:
Cracks and spaces between boards
Heated homes in the winter and the relatively low humidity levels in the wood will sink it, leading to the eventual shrinkage of boards.
Sometimes these spaces will close up on their own throughout the season. But you can limit these seasonal shifts by adding moisture to the air with a humidifier.
This occurs when your boards are higher in the center than around the edges due to an imbalance or exposure of excess moisture being left and not dried soon after.
It’s the opposite of crowning, when the center of your boards seems to sink in below the sides. This is typical after accidents like spilling liquid on the floor or soon after installation.
During installation, it’s possible that an incorrect amount of space was left between the floorboards or sub-flooring panels and the constant expansion can loosen nails.
When someone steps on the floorboards, they will scratch the nails causing a squeaky sound.
Perhaps the most severe side effect of moisture issues, buckling is an extreme case of crowning and usually occurs after flooding.
Whenever a floor is contaminated or improperly prepped before applying the finish, it can lead to problems down the road. Additionally, failing to clean stain residue from the floor before applying finish can also cause this issue.
Debris in the finish
Fortunately, this is an easy problem to avoid.
If you’re preparing to apply finish to your floors, go through the whole house and vacuum and dust — everything! Little particles of dust can go from your light fixtures onto the wet floor finish.
While this list may seem overwhelming, they’re all are possible, preventable, or even manageable for those with hardwood floors. If you’re concerned that your home may be suffering from these issues, give us a call!
Our team of experienced professionals at EIG are ready to put your mind at ease with one of our thorough home inspections. Schedule yours here with our easy online scheduling tool!