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Wood Floors Got Soaked – What Now?

by Paul Bianchina
House in hands photoQ: During our remodel, our existing wood floors got soaked during an unexpected rainstorm in the spring. They were refinished in September. I’ve noticed some gaps between the lengths of the boards, maybe 1/16 inch wide.
Is there a way to fill the gaps without refinishing the whole floor?
Should I fill these gaps or leave them alone?
The wood floors are 3/4-inch red oak and nearly 40 years old, and they have been refinished two times. –Cindy K.

A: There are ways to fill the gaps and repair the finish, but they are difficult to do correctly for a nonprofessional. They should also not be left alone, because gaps in the finish will more readily allow for the intrusion of dirt and, more importantly, moisture, which can damage the floor in the future.

It sounds as though the floor may have been refinished before it had dried down to a low-enough moisture content for finishing. As a result, when the boards completed drying, the gaps opened up. Since the floor was just refinished last September, in my opinion the flooring contractor needs to come back out and make the necessary repairs for you.

Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul at [email protected].
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Copyright 2008 Inman News

See Paul Bianchina’s feature, Deck Railings Become Fun and Exciting.

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