Hardwood flooring provides a natural and warm element to your home's interior design. However, just like all other types of building materials, constant use, wear and tear, and age can cause your hardwood flooring to begin to fall apart. Understanding some of the most common warning signs associated with an old and worn out hardwood floor can help you identify when it's the best time to consider replacing your flooring.
One of the clearest signs that you may want to consider replacing your hardwood floor is if you've recently experienced any sort of water damage or flooding. Water exposure to hardwood can cause mold and mildew growth, both of which are serious health concerns; it can also cause your wood to shrink, swell, and otherwise physically deform, creating gaps in your floors which are both unsightly and a tripping hazard.
Soft to the Touch
If you notice that the surface of your hardwood flooring feels soft or spongy to the touch, especially following any sort of water damage, you should contact a contractor straight away. This softness points to wood rot, which can quickly spread from floorboard to floorboard and into other areas of your home, causing structural damage which can be expensive and difficult to repair.
Another good reason to consider replacing your hardwood floors is purely for aesthetics: worn out stain can be replaced through refinishing, which is when you sand down the surface of your flooring and then apply a new coat of stain. However, if your floors have been refinished a few times already, your floorboards likely do not have the thickness to be refinished again and remain structurally stable. In this instance, the only way to restore the worn-out color of your floorboards is to replace them entirely.
Finally, another clear indication that you should contact a flooring professional about replacing your hardwood flooring is if you notice that individual floorboards have begun to warp, twist, or otherwise bend themselves out of shape. This can happen due to water exposure over time, but it is also a common occurrence with age, and points to the fact that your hardwood floors have reached the end of their lifespan. For individual boards that are only slightly twisted, a contractor may try to flatten them out, but if large sections of your flooring are severely warped, replacement is the best course of action.