What Can You Do About Wood Floors That Are Damaged By The Sun?

If you have noticed a change in the appearance or stability of your wood floors, they were likely damaged by the sun. UV rays can cause the pigments in wood to break down and fade, lose their sheen, become more brittle, or become more susceptible to moisture seeping in and scratches remaining. This means that any discoloration, dullness, warping, or shrinkage, especially in certain areas of your floor that are constantly exposed to the sun, calls for restoration.

Natural wood flooring creates a beautiful look in the home, but it is sensitive and runs the risk of changing from your desired color over time due to overexposure to the sun. If you didn't use the right finish or the right window treatments or if you let the sunlight in frequently, you'll need to take certain measures to restore your floors to their original state. The first step of this restoration process is to assess the extent of the damage and see if it is mainly superficial or more severe.

Restoring lightly sun-damaged wood floors

Light or superficial damage is when there is just discoloration and fading. The affected areas will need to be sanded down to remove the damaged top layer of wood and reveal the fresh layer underneath. Clear the room and clean the floors well, then sand the damaged spots and any other scratches while you're at it using a 120-grit sanding block. After sanding, clean up all the dust thoroughly and then stain the spots to restore the color. It can be hard to find a stain that closely matches the original color so you might need to try a few shades.

Finally, apply the appropriate finish and sealant after staining to enhance the appearance and provide protection against further sun damage. Note that finishes won't completely stop sun damage but only slow down the reaction. You can DIY this process if you are highly experienced, but you can also hire professionals to take care of it.

Restoring severely sun-damaged wood floors

On the other hand, your floors can become dried out due to intense sun exposure causing severe shrinking, cracking, warping, and other structural issues. In this case, your wood floors can't be salvaged and will need to be replaced to avoid safety problems. The good news is that you might only need to replace some of the individual planks if the damage is limited to certain areas. To DIY this project, mark out the boards you need to remove and cover all the surrounding boards with masking tape so you don't damage them in the process. Then, use a circular saw to cut the boards out, pull them out carefully, and you're ready to replace them with new boards.

To prevent the sun from damaging your new floors or planks, install blinds, curtains, or shades, use area rugs, and rearrange furniture to shield the wood floors from direct sunlight. It also helps to maintain a maintenance routine. Sweep or vacuum your wood floors regularly to prevent dirt and debris from scratching the surface, and use appropriate floor cleaners to keep the boards clean.