Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rejuvenate Wood Floors in Your Rental Property

A shiny and healthy wood floor is a real asset to any UK rental property and such an attractive feature should be well presented to ensure your property remains in demand. Consequently if you have a rental property with wood floors that need a bit of a facelift then a little care and attention now will minimise costly repairs and maintenance later on.

In addition to attracting desirable tenants, a properly maintained real wood floor adds considerable value to the property should you decide to sell. While this can never be set in stone, particularly in today’s sluggish market, it would be fair to say that any additional value will always outweigh the expense of rejuvenation and repair.

Wood flooring can last for 50 years

Generally speaking a reasonably well maintained Hardwood Floor Sanding should have a lifespan of around 50 years. Surface marks, scratches, cuts, bevels and other small damages can be eradicated by sanding and refinishing, but it may be necessary to replace any boards which are heavily damaged or rotted.

However most floors fall prey to small blemishes caused by things being dropped onto the surface, spillages, water damage and surface scratches. These can be taken care of with relative simplicity and minimum expense. Marks and scratches that do not go deep into the boards can be sanded away by shaving off 1mm and recoating the wood using the same finishing as the rest of the floor. This method is effective if the floor is not badly damaged and you know what type of finishing was originally used.

If the floor is more seriously damaged or is simply tired due to natural wear and tear then you will need to carry out a complete re-sanding of the floor. This can be done by a DIY-er with reasonable knowledge of carpentry and involves hiring a sanding machine which you then ‘walk’ along the board lengths, sanding as you go.

If you have limited DIY experience but would still like to rejuvenate the Floor Sanding yourself then you can use a hand-held orbital sander, which is easier to use with less chance of the machine ‘running away with you’ and damaging the planks. However with this method you will have to get down on your hands and knees and be prepared to put a bit more effort into the process. However, despite it taking longer than using a sander, a good refinishing can be achieved by using a small hand sander and a fair bit of elbow grease! If the room is small to medium-sized then this may be a viable option, but orbital sanding is not recommended for large rooms or function rooms.

When the floor has been fully sanded the topcoat can then be applied. Be aware you may have to re-sand more than once, depending upon the floor’s condition. So it is always best to do this work when the property is empty of tenants.

When you are ready to apply finishing there is a wide selection of non-toxic products on the market which are suitable for rental premises. The most popular finishing is varnish, which provides tough and long-lasting protection to the wood. If you are applying the finishing yourself then don’t be tempted to spread across large areas with a brush. All types of finishing should be introduced to the floor with a lint-free cloth and covering small areas at a time. Many a good sanding job has been ruined by a hastily applied finishing layer, so it is always worth spending time on the finishing.

Do not expect to get the whole job completed in a day or even in a weekend. Taking drying times into consideration you would be better placed to set aside 4 days for the rejuvenation of your wood floor.

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