The Two Biggest Threats to Hardwood Floors: Water and Pets
Water leaks and floods, although they do happen more than you would think, are not the most dangerous threat to your hardwood floors. The most dangerous threat to hardwood floors in most homes center around Fido and Fluffy, your pets.
Eventually your pet is going to have an accident and leave a puddle on the floor. If you catch this right away and wipe it up as soon as it happens the problem is minimal. Modern floor finishes are designed to resist accidents like this.
This is especially true if the puddle happens on a carpet or rug. These items will remain wet longer and may allow the urine to stay in contact with the floor for an extended period of time.
The problem usually worsens because once a pet has “marked” a spot they continue to return to it time after time. That means there may frequently be a new supply of fresh ammonia at that location. Neither the wood finish nor the wood itself can survive this onslaught for very long.
If you find a stain and suspect it hasn’t been there for any longer than 4 hours, try pouring a measured amount of vinegar on it. The vinegar will counteract the alkali in the urine’s ammonia. This will at least neutralize the urine’s effect. However, before attempting any further corrective action, the area must be completely dry. Dragon Restoration has the skill and equipment necessary to thoroughly dry hardwood floors and we have been successfully drying them for more than 16 years.
Pets’ Toenail Scratches
Scratches from your pets’ claws are very unlikely to cause permanent damage even when the scratches go through the finish and into the wood. To prevent this type of damage there are a few things that you can do:
1. You can use more coats of finish.
2. You can apply a tougher finish that is more resistant to scratches.
3. You can use area rugs in places that are traffic lanes for your pets, like near the door the pet most often uses to go in and out.
4. You should regularly trim your pet’s claws. And remember, the larger the animal, the larger the claws and the more weight that is placed on them (image 10 pairs of stiletto heels pounding on your wood floor).