Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stop the Rot on Real Wood Floors

If you are fortunate enough to have uncovered an original wood floor under a heap of old carpeting or lino in your home then the chances are that you will want to restore it to its former glory. But before you get into the whole refurbishment process the first thing you need do (once you have removed the carpet of course) is to check for rot and mould, especially if the room is an attic, basement or annexe with exterior untreated walls.

If rot is discovered it must be treated at once otherwise, it will not only ruin the whole of the floor but also cause some serious damage to the foundations of the house. Both dry and wet rot thrive in damp areas and when rot gets a hold it makes its presence known by a distinctively unpleasant fungal-type smell.

Dry rot

Dry rot can live in any type of wood construction, from roof beams to flooring. Over time the fungus destroys the timber, leaving it a crumbling mass so brittle it can be broken away by hand. So called because it turns the wood to dry, crumbling dust, dry rot actually needs an abundance of humidity to grow. A constant moisture content (unventilated) of about 1/5th will ensure dry rot lives comfortably. Dry rot conditions are most commonly found on the underside of the floor boards. If the rot has advanced to such an extent that it can be seen from above then it is likely that the wood cannot be saved.

Dry rot spreads with alarming speed so if you discover this pest you must take action immediately. Left unchecked dry rot can spread through not only the wooden structures but also plaster and brickwork too.

You know you have dry rot when:

·       the planks have a light coloured growth which may be yellow or lilac tinged
·       the distinctive fungal smell is apparent
·       wood is gappy and crumbling and splits easily – poke a nail into the wood and if it sinks in easily chances are it’s dry rot

Dry rot in the advanced stage looks like a circular growth with a reddish knot at the centre.

Unless you are a DIY whiz you should bring in professional floor experts to deal with any rot problem. But you can check out the room thoroughly and note areas of leakages, broken or missing pipework, gaps in exterior doors and windows, missing tiles. Also check the last time your property was damp-proofed.

Wet rot

The more common enemy of the untreated Wood Floor Renovation is wet rot. It is less severe than dry rot, but only because this type of pest tends to keep to the wet patches and does not travel across the planking as does its dry rot cousin. Nevertheless, wet rot must be professionally treated as soon as it is discovered.

You know your floor has wet rot when the affected areas are darker than the rest of the floor. However, if the wood has been stained or painted the discolouration may be difficult to spot. Wet rot feels soft and sponge-like to the touch and will emit a foetid, mushroom-like odour.

In either case, the quicker you act the more of the floor you can save.

After treatment what next?

Once the Floor Sanding has been fully treated and is ready for a well-deserved makeover you can undertake the sanding and refinishing process yourself. Alternatively, you can obtain a free quotation from a professional floor sanding company that uses the latest technology to ensure your salvaged wood floor is returned to its original and sparkling beauty.

No comments:

Post a Comment