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Pets and Wood Floor Damage
Dog's and cat's toenails can easily scratch a wooden floor. The pets cannot help but shed their hair occasionally and this doesn’t make the floor any cleaner. Here and there "accidents" happen which can also negatively affect the floor. How to deal with this?
It is a good idea to trim the pet’s nails regularly. Scratching is one the worst kind of damage a floor can suffer because any further harm on that spot will not be mitigated by the already penetrated protective coating.
Spills from the food/water bowl are usually no problem if wiped up in on time. Still, it won’t hurt to keep pet food and water in easy to the cleanroom. Preferably one where there are no hardwood floors. If it cannot be helped, having a mat can partly resolve the problem. Walk-Off mats near the doors can be very useful if your pet likes to make a mess when they enter or leave the house.
Which Floors Are the Most Pet-Friendly?
Different floor types have specific properties and some will be better suited for a house with pets. Hardwood flooring and pets do not get along very well, in general. Engineered floors can only be sanded limited amount of times so they are not a good choice. Solid wood can be refinished much more often but it depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations, the equipment used and the type and severity of the damage suffered. Wood species also play a part. White Oak, Hickory, Brazilian Cherry are all expensive types of timber and for a good reason because they are tougher and more resistant to damage.
Hardwood is not the only option, though. Vinyl floors are incredibly durable, cheap, highly resistant to dirt and water and very easy to clean. Many come with a warranty of at least 15 years and if you take good care of them they won’t have a problem lasting well over 20 years. If you have pets, vinyl flooring is probably your best bet but keep in mind it won’t add value to your property if you are ever to resale. Also, once installed it is difficult to remove and sharp objects or moving furniture can gouge it.
Water Damage Protection
Many activities can cause water damage and this is probably the reason why it’s such a common problem. Many people like to install hardwood floor even in areas unsuitable for it, like bathrooms, only to find out it was a bad idea in the first place. Here is what you can do to prevent water damage:
- Wipe Any Spills Immediately. Incidents happen all the time. If water spills anywhere on your floor, clean it without delay.
- Try Not to Use Water to Deal With Water Damage. There are water-free cleaning products which can help remove stains without exposing your floor to even more moisture. When cleaning, in general, avoid using wet mops. Damp one will do fine work as long as you don’t soak it too much.
- Floor Surface Protection. It has already been mentioned that mats and rugs can help preserve your floor and protect from dirt. You can also try waterproof sealants but they need reapplication every 12 to 18 months.
- Waxing Can Be the Solution You Need. Waxes can be used on top of other finishing products but once applied you cannot re-coat. The only way to refinish is to sand and remove the already existing coating. However, waxes grant more water protection and additional shine.