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Posted by St. Martin Team on 3/19/2020

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

As homeowners, we can get fairly strategic about hiding the flaws in our home. We might move the sofa over a water stain on the hardwood or put a rug over a crack, tear or discoloration. While you'd never try to hide this stuff from potential homebuyers, it does keep it out of view when guests come over. And at least for a moment you too forget the damage is there.

But covering floor damage isn't always your best option. And knowing when to cover and when you resurface is vital to your home's health and happiness. 

When Not to Cover

Don't cover if:

  • Damage is in a location with significant foot traffic. In these cases, covering could cause a tripping hazard.
  • Spot smells bad. If that spot is a pet mistake or smells mildewy, then you may no longer smell it. But your house guests do, and a rug will just soak up the smell. Refinishing can remove layers of deep-set smells from your floor.
  • The floor is sinking or uneven. This might suggest a rotting baseboard, which needs to be replaced. It's pretty easy to replace baseboards. But you'd need to pull up a section of your floor to do so, which may require professional help.
  • In these scenarios, it's time to refinish the floor. Here's how it's done.

    How to Refinish a Hardwood Floor

    First, check to make sure your floor is refinishable. A faux wood floor can be convincing. If it's laminate, then you'll need to replace it. But the good news is that you may only have to replace sections if they still make the product.

    You can refinish:

  • Wood
  • Bamboo
  • Cork (but only a professional should attempt it)
  • Remove everything in the room, including items on the wall. Dust will get everywhere. It's easier to clean up if you have fewer surfaces to dust afterward.

    Next, rent an electric floor sander. They come in coarse, medium and fine. You need all three to do the job, starting with coarse then moving back to fine. Always put on your safety goggles when using a hand or electric sander.

    If you have any nicks to fill, use wood putty. Slather it over the area. Let it dry. Then sand with a hand sander using fine sandpaper.

    Remove the dust you produced while sanding with a dust filtered shop vacuum. But you'll find that doesn't get all of it. A wax-impregnated cheese cloth can pick up what remains.

    Now, apply at least two coats of your polyurethane, varnish or penetrating sealer. Let that final coat dry at least 24 hours before moving furniture back in.

    For more helpful home revitalization tips, follow our blog. 




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    Posted by St. Martin Team on 4/25/2019

    Although not everyone is a fan of carpeting, there are definitely benefits to having it in your home. The big question is, "Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?"

    Well, that answer depends on a lot of variables, but if you happen to like the look and feel of carpeting, then it's probably worth having. Assuming the carpet fibers are made of a soft material, it offers an extra layer of comfort for walking barefoot and sitting on the floor. It also provides some minor benefits, in terms of both sound absorption and heat insulation.

    One of the negative aspects of carpeting is that it tends to conceal dirt, allergens, and food crumbs. Depending on whether it's a stain-resistant carpet, keeping it looking clean could be an ongoing challenge. That, of course, would be especially true if you have children, pets, or a spill-prone spouse!

    Although stain-resistant carpets are supposed to be easy to clean, you can't help but wonder if that applies to pet accidents and grape juice spills that aren't immediately cleaned up. Another possible pitfall of carpeting involves the risk of using carpet spot-cleaning sprays and solutions. Some cleaning products could cause the color of your carpeting to fade in the treated areas. So while it may remove the stain, it may also leave permanent faded spots in the area you cleaned -- hardly the effect you were aiming for!

    If you or a member of your family has allergies or asthma, a carpeted floor could potentially trigger unpleasant symptoms, too. Since carpeting is known to harbor everything from dust mites and mold spores, to pet dander and pollen, it could be the source of discomfort for allergy sufferers and others.

    From the standpoint of improved air quality and reducing allergens, carpets made of nylon, short fiber strands, and/or tightly woven strands are said to be less of an issue. Another partial solution is to ask family members and visitors to remove their shoes before entering a carpeted area. Pro tip: this is much easier to accomplish if you get everyone in the habit of removing their shoes at the front door.

    For homeowners planning to put their property on the market in the near future, the presence of carpeting could have a negative effect on its marketability. That's not to say that carpeting is going to prevent you from being able to sell your home, but it may reduce the number of prospective buyers who are actively interested in it. If you happen to have hardwood floors underneath that carpeting, it may pay to remove the carpeting -- a sometimes difficult task, which is often best left to the professionals.

    If you are getting ready to sell your home, remember, it's essential to clean your carpeting as thoroughly as possible before real estate agents show your home to the public. Hire a professional carpet cleaner, or check out some DIY articles on how to get those carpets clean.




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