Cracks between Boards: Almost every wood floor endures some expansion and contraction as seasons and humidity levels change. When homes are heated, humidity levels plummet, boards shrink and spaces appear between the boards. In dry months, cracks can easily develop to the thickness of a dime on a typical solid 2 1/4 -inch oak floor, with light-colored woods making the cracks larger. The type of flooring you have, may also reveal the cracks more – e.g. plank floors will show cracks more. These spaces are to be expected and usually close as the season changes and moisture returns to the air.
Cupping: As with cracks between boards, both cupping and crowning are natural reactions to moisture and should not be a concern if they occur only to a minor extent. More severe cases, however, indicate a serious moisture problem. “Cupping” describes a condition in which the edges of a board are high and its center is lower. Humidity is usually the culprit, although cupping also can happen after water has been spilled onto the floor and absorbed into the wood. The moisture causes the wood to swell, crushing the boards together and deforming them at the edges. In order to repair the floor, the cause of the moisture must be identified. Most often, indoor humidity will have to be controlled. Other causes could include situations such as a plumbing leak in the basement, which can allow moisture to migrate up into the subfloor and the wood flooring. Once the cause of moisture is controlled, cupping usually can be reversed. Oftentimes, the floor cupping may naturally dry out and improve over time. After the floor has dried, it may be necessary to recoat the floor with finish, or to sand and refinish the floor.
Crowning: “Crowning” is the opposite of cupping: The middle of the board is higher than the edges of the board. This can occur when the surface of the floor encounters moisture. More often, it results when a floor has been sanded too soon after it has cupped. When this happens, the top edges of the board are sanded off, and thus are lower than the rest of the board when it returns to a normal moisture content.
OVERVIEW OF FLOORING SERVICE PROCESS
Selection of Flooring
The first step in your hardwood project is choosing the right materials. You need the type of wood that can work with the physical layout of the installation, match the intended décor, and fit into your overall budget. Gerry’s Custom Flooring will provide expert guidance and work with you to identify which type of wood will best fit your project.
Choosing the right wood is just the first step to getting a beautiful hardwood floor. The second critical factor is the installation itself. Even the best wood will not show properly if the workmanship and installation are not top quality. Gerry’s Custom Flooring has been installing floors for over 30 years, and provides quality services.
Finishing and Refinishing
After repairing or installation of your hardwood floors, Gerry’s Custom Flooring with work with you to select the finish of your choice, and apply water based or oil based polyurethane with the option of a gloss finish, semi-gloss, satin or matte finish.
Cleaning your wood floors:
– Mix dish detergent with warm water, or warm water alone is okay.
– Use a damp swiffer type flat head mop or a washrag/cloth.
– Wring out the mop or rag well, before using on the floor, use only a slightly dampened mop.
– Dry floors with towel after washing.
- Never use a soaking wet mop, use only a damp cloth or slightly dampened mop.
- A swiffer type flat head mop or cloth is recommended.
- Warm water alone, or warm water with dish detergent is recommended.
- Never use bleach.
- Never use wax based products on a polyurethane floor.
- Never use Murphys Oil.
- Never let water puddle on the floor.
- Dry floor with a towel immediately after you wash the floor.
- Washing and drying the floor in sections is recommended.
– Vacuum regularly.
– Place mats and throw rugs at doorway exteriors and interiors to help prevent the tracking of grit, dirt and sand.
– Never wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood, and leave a discoloring residue.
– Wipe up food and other spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
– Put soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. – Keep temperature constant year-round.
– Use a humidifier in the home throughout the winter months to keep all wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum.
– Remember that cleats, sports shoes, and high heels can dent any floor surface.
– When moving heavy furniture, completely pick up the furniture and carry, rather than slide, to best protect the wood flooring.
– For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink and stove to help catch any food and water spills.
– Never use linoleum or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly. The only remedy in this situation is to sand and refinish the floor.
– Never use waxed based products on a polyurethane floor.
– Never use petroleum based cleaners on a water based finish.
– Do not over-wax a wood floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax build-up under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
– When the floor begins to lose its luster, you should contact us to refinish your floor and restore it to its original beauty.