Wood Floor Repair Chicago

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Bud's Floor Service can do a variety of repairs. Generally, these include board replacement and refinishing the floor in which the boards have been replaced. Generally, we will not replace boards unless we are refinishing the floor, in which the boards are being replaced. The reason for this is that the board must be sanded flat with the rest of the floor and we can't sand and finish a section of flooring and get the stain and finish to match exactly. We replace the boards in the existing floors on a regular basis; however floors must be fully re-sanded and refinished to guarantee an exact match.

When refinishing floors, we must sand and finish from wall to wall. We can generally match any stain fairly closely. However if you are not planning on refinishing your entire floor, you need to expect some color and sheen difference. We can only stop sanding in doorways that run parallel to the seam of the boards. The doorway runs perpendicular to the seam of a board; we must either continue the refinishing to the next room or install a mini threshold to cover the line where we stop sanding.

Common Repairs

The most common types of repairs we do consist scratches, dents, gouges, water damage, chemical/fire (sparks) burns, pet stains, plant stains, holes from preexisting cable or wire installations are all very common repairs. All of these repairs repairs require the sanding and finishing of the whole floor, not just sections. Sections of floor cannot be matched up or blended into existing areas without doing the whole floor.

Repairs can be done in almost any situation. However, the extent of the repair depends on various factors. Bud's Floor Service is limited to hardwood flooring and refinishing repairs, as well as small subfloor repairs. If there are subfloor repairs we don't feel comfortable addressing, we will let you know and you may need to call a carpenter. We have repaired and refinished floors that are over 100 years old and made them look close to new. We most certainly can help with your hardwood needs!

Repairs on finished floors are very difficult. Deep scratches and dents usually require entire floor sanding to repair the damage. Occasionally, light scratches can be touched up, but they will usually not look perfect. Floor finishes begin to change color after 6 months, which makes the repair process more costly and extensive.

Scratches, Dents, and Gouges

Dents, gouges, and scratches that are less than 1/8 inch deep can usually be repaired by sanding and refinishing. If any of these are deeper than this, the board/s will have to be replaced and the whole floor sanded and finished.

Chemical/Fire (sparks) Burns, Pet Stains, and Plant Stains

These types of occurrences can be sanded and finished unless they are too deep into the wood. All of these have the potential to have boards replace, sanded, and finished. Once again, anytime we mention sanding and finishing, it requires the whole floor, not just a section where the damage has occured.

Holes in the Floor

Nail holes, and staple holes caused from carpet installation, can be filled, sanded and finished. This is the true use of wood filler. Holes in the floor resulting from cable or speaker wire installation may be able to be filled also; however most require board replacement, sanding, and finishing.

Water Damage

Water damage can occur from many differenct sources. Refrigerators, dishwashers, toilets, water damming from rooftops, pipes leaking, and over watering of plants, are all common problems. When the damage occurs:

  • First, mop up all the water in sight. Find the source of water and repair immediately.
  • Second, place a fan blowing across the affected area.
  • Third, place a dehumidifier on the affected area, and if you have a humidifier on the furnace, shut it off.

If you do all of these things immediately after water incident, it is possible that the damage will be minimal and may not even require that anything be done. The things that you may see on your floor could be finish peeling or flaking off the boards, discoloration of the wood, boards cupping (warping), or gaps created when the wood is drying out. If you experience cupping immediately, do not get alarmed and have someone or yourself remove the wood. Some amount of cupping occurs in all water damage cases. Even after you have done all of the above, a dehumidifier can usually get the floor's moisture content to a 12% level. After this level is reached, the floor has to dry on its own. Here in the Chicago area 6-8% is normal for most homes, except for the Lake Michigan shore can be different. A 6% moisture content must be reached and maintained for at least 4-6 weeks prior to repair. This process can take a considerable amount of time, and each case it may be different lengths of time.

If you are unfortunate, and were unable to control the damage, most floors only need to be sanded and finished, cupping and peeling finish included. Board replacement is necessary if the boards are discolored and the discoloration cannot be removed by sanding. Gapping caused by water damage can only be repaired by replacing wood where the gaps begin to the nearest wall line. Some gaps may be able to be filled depending on the severity of the damage.

As mentioned above, moisture content is key to a successful repair with no further repercussions. If a floor is repaired before the moisture content is corrected, two things may occur. First, if a floor is sanded too soon, the floor can recup or the floor may crown. These may not occur for as much as 3-4 months. Second, if board replacement is necessary and the moisture is too high, the moisture will transfer and put the floor back into the same problems. Many people, for many apparent reasons, want their floor fixed quickly. A common question asked is, "Why can't you remove the wood, let it dry out and sand and finish"? The answer is that we can, but the homeowner may have to live the the floor torn up for several weeks while drying to a 6% moisture level, and then wait 4-6 weeks at theat level before wood can be reinstalled, sanded and finished.