They’re durable and long-lasting, but every now and then your hardwood floor will need some extra care, and that may be refinishing.

Here’s the good news: Wood floor refinishing can be a simple service, especially since not all of them need sanding.

Assessing Your Wood Floor for Refinishing
Delair’s Carpet Barn is an expert on the subject and, while you should always have a professional do the actual wood floor refinishing, there’s a simple way to tell if you need the service in the first place.

Drop a little water on the floor. Does it just sit there, or absorb very slowly? If so, chances are that your floor is dull from dirt, and a good cleaning will do the trick.

First, sweep or mop. Do not ignore this step! Otherwise, you’ll only rub the dirt further into the floor when you mop.

Second, use a damp mop with a manufacturer-approved cleaner, but you can also use one cup of vinegar to every gallon of water. Wring well before you mop; excess water warps the wood.

Third, but most important: Avoid the problem in the first place by removing shoes and boots first, so you don’t track in dirt on dirty footwear. Remember, sand acts as little razor blades and can scratch the wood.

Does the Water Absorb Quickly?
That means you’ll most likely need a floor refinishing, but it can be simple, no sanding.

Scratches are just part of that whole “life happens” thing, so we’re not talking about a small scratch here and there . However, if there are a lot of scratches over a large area, you’ll definitely want this service.

Many scratches are actually in the stain, and not the wood itself, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. The stain protects the floor, and eventually the scratch will eat through the stain and go into the wood.

When You Have Gouges, Dents and Buckling
Unfortunately, that can mean structural damage, and there’s just not much you can do other than replacing the floor.

Buckling should be addressed specifically, because that’s almost always caused by excess water. Hardwood expands and contracts to adjust to the climate; and when there’s excessive water and humidity, the planks will swell, and the other planks will rise up, in an effort to give them the extra space they need.

Come into the Delair’s Carpet Barn showroom in East Montpelier, Vermont, and our experts will tell you more.