Widespread issues that may happen with ageing picket flooring

Fast and uncomplicated cleaning, effective allergen reduction and adaptation of the home decor are just a few of the many reasons why laying hardwood floors is an excellent idea. The appeal of a hardwood floor is not maintenance-free, however, because despite all the advantages it can bring to homeowners, it can be subject to wear. The age of a hardwood floor can lead to unsightly conditions, especially if the wood tends to swell when the humidity changes. Add some installation errors and problems can occur sooner than later.

Here is a detailed overview of common problems that can occur with aging wooden floors:

Formation of polyurethane droplets

You may notice polyurethane droplets on the edges of your planks if you finish the floors in your house during a season change. This is because uncured polyurethane seeps between the cracks as the panels expand. The expansion of the planks pushes the polyurethane back onto the surface and forms the poly drops.

You can easily remove polyurethane drops if you catch them in time. Otherwise, you need to remove the poly from the wooden floors altogether. You can use a cleaning solution, rag, and razor blade to remove the drops. It is also easy to find step-by-step instructions on how to remove polyurethane from wooden floors so that it is not a problem at all if needed.

Large and irregular gaps

The gaps in your floor should ideally be evenly distributed over the entire surface. Irregulars can affect the overall appearance of the floor. Planks can move in humid and drier times by either holding them in place and moving closer together or uncovering gaps. As you may notice, some gaps are standard, while others become abnormal either due to over-wet flooring or when the area where you installed it is excessively dry at certain times of the year. A dry indoor climate results from heating ducts, direct sunlight or the presence of wood stoves in a house.

The main reason why gaps should be closed immediately is that it is an aesthetic problem. It is best to fix them when they are smallest in the wettest time of the year. It is essential to ensure that there is sufficient clearance between the boards during repairs so that you can prevent them from kinking when they are expanded.

Color fade

Sun exposure can affect the color of the wood, mainly because some types of wood are more sensitive to light than others. The color fades and changes due to light sensitivity. What you can do to limit sun exposure is to install blinds to delay the fade out process.

Kink when planks expand

As mentioned above, planks expand under certain conditions, which is why it is essential to keep a distance between them. If they cannot expand successfully, they buckle. The buckling is the result of squeezing the planks and lifting the sub-floor. This is usually due to too much moisture caused, among other things, by flooding and a damp basement. The condition can also worsen due to improper attachment due to the use of incorrectly sized nails or a trowel when glued. Both errors lead to a weak connection between the substrate and the floorboards.

Some buckled floors can be reattached while others need to be removed. Depending on the condition of the planks, some need to be replaced, while others are still sufficient for reuse. However, be aware that before attempting to repair the kinked floors in your home, the moisture issues must be resolved first, otherwise the same problem will recur.

Common problems that can occur with aging wooden floors - wooden floor

shell boards

Cupping happens when the edges of your boards are raised higher than the middle. Water is the main culprit for cupped boards. Cupping is either caused by a high relative humidity or a damp surface. Shell boards must be sanded. If you're lucky, they will sometimes flatten when the excess moisture has already evaporated and repairs may not be necessary.


Crowning is what happens when the center of your plank rises higher than the edges, which is the complete reversal of cupping. If there is water on the planks and you leave it there for a long time, this leads to a crowning touch. If you sand on bowl-shaped floors before you fix the moisture problem, the center of your boards will also be raised higher than the edges.

Unsightly cracks from the nails

Factory-made floors tend to have unsightly cracks caused by a nailer. While cracks can be caused by quick drying boards, the concentrated power of the nails is the most common culprit. However, there is no need to worry as a wooden spatula can quickly repair cracks.

Final thoughts

In most cases, proper installation and finishing is enough to avoid most floor problems. Adding an excellent maintenance job will delay the aging process of your planks. However, aging wooden floors are inevitable, and when they do occur you have no choice but to fix them. Fortunately for homeowners, the issues mentioned and discussed in this post can be resolved.

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