Dents and Scratches
Denting and scratching damage on flooring is common and avoidable. Common damage includes: scratching and denting during appliance or furniture installation, pulling these out to access cords, or hookups and water leaks. It's relatively easy to avoid all of these problems. When the appliances or furniture are delivered, try and be there and supervise. I've had installers flat out tell me they were going to slide a fridge into place and likely damage a wood floor and there was nothing I could do about it. The key is to make sure that the weight on the contact surface does not crush the flooring. Denting is common on vinyl and wood floors especially now hat refrigerators have gotten larger. To get the appliance into place, roll it on a sheet or strips of thin plywood or plastic so the weight is spread over a larger area. Cardboard does not work since it is simply thick paper and it does nothing to decrease the pressure. A soft blanket under the plywood helps avoid surface scratching just incase the plywood slides. High heels are another common denting cause. A 125lbs woman will have 20 times more pressure and denting force then an elephant. This is caused by all the weight being concentrated on such as small area. Once the flooring is damaged, then there aren't many options besides replacing the damaged area. The exception is hardwood flooring. If the scratches are only in the finish and not into the wood, and fresh coat of finish will adhere to the older finish, then flooring can be buffed and recoated. If the scratches are through the finish and into the wood or if the flooring is dented, then the flooring must be sanded down to bare wood and refinished. You can tell how deep the scratch is by using a damp rag to moisten the area. This mimics the look of the floor after recoating. So if the scratch disappears, then recoating will fix the problem, and if not, then you must sand and refinish the floor.Water damage is also common with new and existing appliances. Refrigerator connectors are typically a compression type fitting and they will usually leak it loosened and retightened. Dishwashers love to leak at the door seal and at the hose connections on the bottom of the machine. These leaks often require replacing the floor in the entire kitchen. A door seal leak is usually apparent and it can often be caught quickly. Leaking hoses typically leak under the cabinets for some time before any surface floor damage is visible. This is costly and time-consuming to fix so avoiding the problem is important. Often times the factory clamps are weak spring clamps that don't provide a long-term positive seal. Sometimes the clamps aren't even installed correctly and the unit leaks as soon as it's hooked up. Use caution not to avoid warranties, but the surest fix is to remove the factory clamps on the hoses and use permatex sealant on the exterior of the pipe before slipping on the hose and properly tightening the clamp. Do this before initial installation and you or your plumber should be able to catch most problems before they arise.