Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to Prevent Floors from Squeaking - Silent Floor Solutions {guest post}

Today I welcome a guest post from our friends at Silent Floor Solutions. They have some important tips to offer on how we can all properly care for our wood floors, and hopefully avoid the problem of squeaks in future. Meanwhile, if you are living in the GTA and already have squeaky floors you'd like to repair, I recommend you contact these guys. They have solutions for a variety of floors, and can work on small or large areas with very limited upheaval to your home and life.

Read on!


Our method of silencing squeaky floors was described on this blog last fall. While this non-intrusive, clean and hassle-free method effectively solves the problem of squeaky floors, we should keep in mind that this problem could be prevented or its effects minimized.

Let’s start by examining a few causes of squeaky floors. One of the main causes happens to be seasonal environmental changes. Frequent changes in temperature and humidity are characteristic to the Canadian climate, and they take their toll on wooden floors. Floor boards start to shrink and loosen, creating hollow spaces that allow for movement of floor layers, which in turn leads to squeaks. Therefore, it is important to keep temperature and humidity levels in the house constant and under control. We recommend not allowing the temperature to drop or rise by more than 5 degrees Celsius and humidity to be kept in the vicinity of 35%-40%.

In addition to your home’s air quality, wooden floors don’t enjoy direct exposure to sunlight, as this can cause discoloration. We recommend using blinds or heavy drapes to cover your windows. This will protect the finish of your floor as well as help protect it from drying out further. This is especially important when leaving your home for long periods of time.

One of the greatest enemies of wooden floors is water. Water doesn’t only ruin the finish of hardwood floors, it can also penetrate into the wood, triggering distortion and rotting. This is commonly referred to as “Water Damage.” When washing your floor or in case of a spill, it is extremely important to wipe off any excess water immediately.

A natural question may arise: “If water is so bad for my floors, then how should I clean them?” This is a very important question, since a correct cleaning procedure is the key to healthy floors. Instead of sweeping, we suggest vacuuming the floors, allowing the dust to be pulled from between the hardwood boards. Use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment, not a carpet beater bar, as that can damage the finish. It is also advised to vacuum the floors every week, as the fine grit will slowly wear through the floor’s finish if it is not taken care of in time. For washing your floors use products similar to a Swiffer along with a specially formulated hardwood cleaning solution rather than water.

Not everything can be under our strict control. Just like many other things, a floor can be damaged by normal wear, with time. While it is not in our hands to stop time, we can control the way we use and “abuse” our floors. Since levitation is not an option yet, we suggest refraining from walking in high heels and stilettos or outdoor shoes around the house. You can also protect high-traffic areas with rugs. Walking across the same area several times a day wears the floor down, so it’s no surprise that squeaks are usually found in those particular areas. Nice-looking throw rugs are the easiest way to protect those areas, but it is also important to make sure those rugs do not have a backing. Vinyl or rubber backing traps humidity, which damages the floor.

Our suggestions are not hard to follow, and while on their own they cannot eliminate squeaks, following them will help keep your floors in their best shape. Keep in mind that while the above suggestions are general to all wooden floors, more can be said about each particular case, depending on your floor’s material, as well as the internal structure of your floor. That, we must admit, would require our expert’s advice.

Silent Floor Solutions is a GTA-based business, in operation since 2009. The business was born out of personal experience of squeaky flooring, when a determined Mechanical Engineer became frustrated by a patch of annoying parquet floor that kept waking up his wife. His ingenuity led to the development of a proprietary process to silence squeaky floors, and that process has grown into this successful business.

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