Flooring is an important part of your home's construction and appeal, but it also plays a role in your home's value. Certain types of flooring are more appealing and valuable than others. Considering hardwood floors can add 2.5 percent in value to your home, they are a great investment. Of course, proper cleaning and maintenance are key to protect the look and value of your wood floors.

With this guide, you will learn a few common issues and simple solutions to restore your hardwood floors back to a functional, attractive, and valuable state.

Cupping

Even though it is one of the most common issues your wood floors may develop, most people are not entirely familiar with cupping.

In most cases, cupping occurs when there is moisture under the wood planks. The moisture causes the wood boards to cup upwards, causing the surface of one or more boards to have a curved-like top.

If the wood floors are installed over a wet or damp crawlspace or basement, cupping may occur. Also, if any moisture penetrates the boards after a leak or a spill, the boards may begin cupping.

Fortunately, cupping is not usually a permanent problem. Once the moisture subsides, the floors will restore themselves back to their original state, but you may need to correct the moisture problem yourself.

A dehumidifier can help remove moisture from inside the home. Placing a dehumidifier in your basement or crawlspace may also be necessary if there are high levels of moisture or humidity in these spaces. Be sure to check underlying plumbing for signs of leaks as well, and consult a plumber if you believe there is a leak.

Gapping

Gapping is another common problem you may face with your hardwood floors. It is important to remember that some gaps will develop in between your floorboards at certain times of the year.

During times when the air is humid, the wood boards will secure to one another tightly. When the air is drier and less humid, the wood boards may pull away from each other slightly, causing the gaps.

If the gaps are very noticeable or the boards are gapping during abnormal times/temperatures, there may be a more involved issue to address with the floors. The underlying floor surface should be evaluated for water/moisture, which may cause gaps to develop.

Repairing the abnormal gaps may involve replacing multiple wood boards or filling in the gaps with wood filler. The type of repair will depend on the severity of the gaps and your contractor.

Buckling

Buckling is a serious problem that can affect your hardwood floors. Basically, this issue occurs if too much moisture builds up in and under the wood boards, causing them to crush together, cup, and eventually lift up off the subfloor.

The buckling boards not only affect your actual floors. Buckling boards can also affect molding, trim, and doorframes. If the wood floors buckle to a point where other areas of your home are affected, you will not only need to repair the floors, but also your trim and doors.

Buckling is also dangerous. You or your family members may trip on the wood planks that have lifted off the ground. Buckling can also expose nails, screws, and wood splinters, which can be dangerous while walking on your wood floors.

If the buckling has torn or cracked the actual wood planks or the tongue and grooves used for installation, replacing multiple boards will be necessary to restore the floors back to a functional and appealing state.

In minor cases of buckling, securing the boards back down into the subfloor may be an option. However, make sure to address the moisture issue that has led to the buckling.

Ensuring your hardwood floors are in good condition is key if you want to protect your home's appeal and value. Reach out to a place that does hardwood floor maintenance, such as Blair & Sons Floor Co, for more information. 

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