To keep your home running like a well-oiled machine, you need to be mindful of every little squeak and creak your house makes. When it comes to upkeep, it is no surprise that any house’s flooring needs special attention; after all, it experiences the most wear and tear from shoes, furniture, and spills. Compared to carpeting, floorboards typically have a longer life; however, it depends on usage and the kind of damage inflicted.
Perhaps you have purchased an old house with floorboards that have aged or even a new one in which they are beginning to show signs of needing repair. In some cases, the situation could be at a point where the flooring is beyond repair and would need to be replaced altogether. Regardless, it pays to know the signs that your floorboard needs help before it becomes too costly. Once you know the extent of the damage, you can research floorboard repair prices and budget accordingly.
If you are a new homeowner or are confused about where to begin, we have put together a complete guide to help you understand the tell-tale signs of flooring damage. Here are the top signs that your floorboard needs repair or replacement.
Your Floorboard Is Making Squeaky Noises
Is your floorboard making eerie creaking noises as you walk over it? Do you find yourself waking up to the sound of someone making their way to the kitchen for a midnight snack? No, it is not your imagination but, in fact, your flooring complaining of an ailment.
Your floorboard could be moving as it adjusts to changes in temperature or humidity, or you could have a case of loose boards with joists that are too far apart to provide enough support. Larger floorboards mean the gaps will be bigger as well as the creaks. This mostly occurs in old flooring and is an indicator of a weak overall structure. You should keep an eye out for the floorboards bending, shifting, or swelling because this could either mean that there is structural damage to the foundation or water damage.
The minute you start to hear such noises, you should inspect your flooring and get to the root of the problem before it turns into a bigger issue.
The Surface Appears Uneven And Cracked
If you take a look around the room and notice that your flooring appears to be uneven and, in some areas, soft, it means that there is a problem. A soft spot usually indicates weak panels that could be due to moisture and rotting. This is a serious concern that should be dealt with immediately because flooring that has sustained water damage needs to be replaced. If caught early, you would need to repair the damaged part, but if left unattended, it could mean redoing the floors altogether.
Another aspect to watch out for are cracks along with the flooring. Not only do they look bad and can decrease the value of your property, but they can also lead to several different types of problems such as insect or mice infestations. Cracks appear in older houses or if the flooring is loose but can be a quick fix if you pay attention to when they begin to appear.
An Appearance Of Stains and Discoloration
Stains are a common feature of any house, especially if you have children, pets, or both! But if you find your floor too heavily stained where no matter what you do, you cannot seem to get rid of the discoloration, it is time to repair or replace your flooring.
If your flooring has not been upgraded for a while, long-term exposure to the sun could have caused the hardwood to change color. This is easily repairable through restaining the floor and making it come alive once again. But if the stains are deeper and reappear despite refinishing the flooring, this could have happened due to moisture or water. Water makes the hardwood’s surface oxidize and becomes darker, leading to grey stains on the flooring. When this begins to happen, you can immediately fix the water damage and refinish the area. However, if the stain turns black, this means that the wood has been completely damaged and will need to get replaced. So keep an eye out for stains that no longer get removed despite hours of repeated cleaning.
An Overall Musty Smell
An alarming aspect of flooring to watch out for is a general musty smell in a room. This is usually the smell of mildew and mold, which occurs due to water damage and is often very tricky to find. Because mold is so difficult to find, it can be particularly dangerous as it can multiply if left untreated. Mold is also hazardous for human health, so if you or your family feel sick and don’t know why, it could be because of a rotting floorboard.
In some cases, you can clean mold, but it is usually found at a point where it has spread drastically and cannot be removed. In this case, you should evacuate your home and get professionals to fix the problem. Some other signs to watch out for mold are dampness and bubbles and dark spots on the flooring.
The floor of your house forms one of the main aspects of its foundation; therefore, you must keep it thoroughly intact at all times. Remember to pay attention to the early warning signs that we have discussed and to really listen to what your floor is trying to tell you. Once you are aware of the problem, dig deep to find the source, and seek professional help to fix it before the damage is too significant and too heavy on the pocket.
What has your experience been with detecting floorboard problems? Do you have any tips and tricks when it comes to repairs? We love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment down below.