If your hardwood floor has been damaged in a flood, it's going to need to be refinished. Unfortunately, that means you'll need to start with some sanding. Sanding small pieces of wood usually isn't too much work. However, when you're tackling a big job, like a hardwood floor, you'll have your work cut out for you. Don't panic, though. With some careful planning, and the right tools, you'll have the job done in no time at all. Here are some steps you'll need to take to take some of the work out of sanding your wood floor.
Take Some Precautions
One of the things you need to know is that sanding a wood floor is a messy job. You're going to have a dusty residue over just about everything in the area. The first thing you'll need to do is protect your eyes, nose and lungs. While you're sanding your wood floor, you'll need to wear protective goggles, and a breathing apparatus. This will keep dust out of your eyes, nose, and lungs. You should also open up some windows to get some good ventilation in the room.
Identify the Grit You'll Need
When it comes to sanding a wood floor, grit is everything. Too coarse a grit, and you'll ruin your floor. Not coarse enough, and you won't do a thing to remove the finish, or the damage. The best way to choose the right grit is to practice with a few. Choose a mid-range grit and sand a small area in the corner of the room. If it doesn't take enough of the finish off, move up to a coarser grit. If it takes off too much of the finish, move down to a finer grit. That will be the starting point for your sandpaper.
Get Down and Dirty
Once you've chosen the right sandpaper grit to start with, you'll need to begin the process of removing the finish by going over the entire floor with your sander. You'll need to replace the sandpaper several times throughout the process. As soon as you've removed the finish, and any damage that was present, you'll switch to a finer, finishing grit. The finishing grit sandpaper will take the wood down to a smooth finish so that you'll be able to stain and seal the wood. One important thing to remember is that there may be times when you need to sand against the grain. A basic rule of thumb is that you never sand against the grain of the wood. However, if you have deep stains or watermarks in your wood, you'll need to go against the grain to get down below the damage. Once the marks are gone, go back to sanding with the grain to restore the smooth finish.
If your wood floor has been damaged, don't rip it out and start over. Use the tips provided here to sand down below the damage so you can restore your wood floor to its original beauty. If the job seems to be too big for you, or you need some professional guidance, be sure to contact a repair and restoration team near you. Visit a site like aerospacefacilitiesgroup.com for more help.