Here are the top 10 signs that your hardwood floors need to be refinished:
- Dull appearance. Over time, hardwood floors lose their shine and gloss as the finish wears down from foot traffic and other factors. If your floors have lost their luster and now look dull and tired, it’s a clear sign the finish is worn out and needs to be refinished to restore the shine and beauty.
- Visible scratches and scuffs. Heavy use over the years will inevitably lead to scratches, scuffs, and dents appearing on the floor’s surface. While minor scratches can sometimes be repaired, if the scratches and damage are numerous and wide-spread, it’s best to refinish the entire floor to remove scratches and restore a unified appearance.
- Dings and dents. In addition to scratches, hardwood floors can develop deeper dings and indentations from furniture legs, dropped objects, pet claws, and more. Refinishing is often needed to fully remove dings and fill in any low spots in the wood.
- Stains and discoloration. Spills, moisture, and other sources can cause localized stains and discolored spots that won’t come clean. Refinishing is required to completely remove ingrained stains by stripping off the damaged finish.
- Floor doesn’t “feel” smooth. Over time, foot traffic can cause the hardwood finish to develop a roughened, sandpapery feel that detracts from the smoothness. Refinishing restores a smooth satin or glossy feel underfoot.
- Edges and corners look worn. High-traffic areas like edges and corners tend to show wear first as the finish breaks down from shoes scuffing against the floor. Refinishing restores integrity to worn edges and corners.
- Finish is peeling or flaking. Exposure to excess moisture or other factors can degrade the finish to the point it begins peeling up or flaking off in places. Refinishing is required to replace the compromised finish.
- Visible wear rings. Furniture patterns like table or chair “wear rings” become visible as the finish breaks down in heavily used spaces. These ring marks necessitate refinishing the entire floor.
- Floor feels uneven. Over many years, heavy traffic patterns may cause the flooring to cup, crown, or develop dips and hollows from compacting. Refinishing can substantially level out uneven wear.
- Floor just looks “old” and tired. Even if no other noticeable signs of wear are evident, if a hardwood floor simply has an overall dull, aged look after 10-20 years, refinishing will dramatically renew and revive its appearance.
If your hardwood floors show several of these common signs of finish degradation and wear, it’s highly recommended to have them professionally refinished. Refinishing restores floors to “like-new” condition and can add 10-20 more years of beauty and lifespan to your investment in hardwood.
- Fever – A fever is one of the most common signs that something isn’t right with your body. A fever is defined as a body temperature that is higher than normal. For adults, a fever is usually considered 100.4°F (38°C) or above. Fevers occur when the body’s temperature regulating system is working hard to fight an infection or illness caused by bacteria or viruses. Fevers help the immune system work better by speeding up chemical reactions in white blood cells that fight infection and illness. Fevers can also cause unpleasant symptoms like shivering, chills, body aches, weakness, and fatigue. Seek medical advice if fevers are very high above 102°F (39°C) or last longer than 3 days.
- Fatigue – Feeling excessively tired and lacking energy is something we all experience from time to time. Ongoing, extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest could signal an underlying medical condition. Fatigue can be a symptom of a wide variety of illnesses from infections to cancer, anemia, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and more. It’s important to see your doctor to determine the cause if fatigue suddenly comes on or disrupts your daily activities and sleep does not help improve fatigue over several weeks. Treats may include medications, lifestyle changes, addressing stress or sleep issues, or treating the underlying cause.
- Shortness of breath – Being short of breath or feeling like you cannot get enough air is never normal. Shortness of breath, also called dyspnea, may indicate problems with the lungs, heart, or other medical conditions. It can be a chronic or acute symptom depending on the cause. Acute shortness of breath that comes on suddenly may signal a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, asthma attack, or anaphylaxis. Chronic shortness of breath is more gradual and may arise from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, obesity, lung tumors or fibrosis. Seeking prompt medical care is important since the causes can range in severity from minor issues to life-threatening emergencies.
- Headache – Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints. Most headaches are benign and related to tension, stress, or sinuses. New onset headaches or changes in usual headache patterns should not be ignored. Headaches could potentially signal underlying issues like tumors, bleeding in the brain, strokes, aneurysms, meningitis or encephalitis. Pay attention to location, quality, severity, triggers and other symptoms like visual changes, nausea, dizziness. Seek urgent care if headaches are the worst ever or accompanied by fever, neck stiffness, confusion, weakness or seizures. Recurring headaches or ones not relieved with over-the-counter medications also warrant an evaluation by a doctor.
- Cough – An occasional cough is normal and helps clear the lungs/airways. But persistent coughs deserve medical attention to check for potential causes including conditions affecting the lungs, airways and heart. Coughs are categorized as either acute (lasting less than 3 weeks) or chronic (lasting more than 8 weeks). Common causes of acute coughs include colds and seasonal respiratory infections. Chronic coughs may signal underlying lung diseases like bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, lung cancer or heart failure. Heavy coughing that produces colored mucus or sputum could indicate pneumonia. Persistent nighttime coughs may be a sign of GERD. When coughing is accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath or coughing up blood, emergency evaluation is necessary as it could point to a pulmonary embolism or other serious condition.
- Changes in bowel habits – Most people develop a regular pattern of bowel movements depending on diet and lifestyle. Significant changes from your normal routine like diarrhea or constipation persisting longer than a few days could be a red flag necessitating medical evaluation. Diarrhea is typically harmless if caused by viruses or a change in diet/medication. But it could potentially indicate infectious diseases like C. difficile, E.coli and parasites. Persistent diarrhea accompanied by fever or bloody stools demands immediate medical assessment as this could signify inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal infection or cancer. Constipation, on the other hand, can be attributed to low-fiber diet, inadequate hydration or medications. Severe constipation unresponsive to lifestyle measures may indicate underlying issues like thyroid disorders, neurological conditions and intestinal blockages that require medical treatment. Therefore pay attention when regularity is disturbed for more than 2 weeks.
- Skin rashes or changes – Skin is the largest organ of the body and functions as a barrier against infection and environmental damage. Breaks in the skinbarrier or changes in skin appearance can signal underlying conditions. New or changing moles or lesions could indicate skin cancers and should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Rashes with specific characteristics may signify medical issues like measles (red raised bumps and spots), chickenpox (blisters), drug reactions, autoimmune disorders, infections etc. Rashes accompanied by fever, joint pain or swelling could point to illnesses like Lyme disease and need prompt treatment. Other skin changes indicating medical attention include ulcers that do not heal, swelling, jaundice, pallor, bruising easily or reddish skin lesions. Prompt evaluation by a doctor is prudent for identifying treatable conditions causing skin symptoms to prevent progression or complications.
- Pain – Pain is a protective mechanism that alerts us to potential injury or damage. But persistent or unexplained pain also deserves timely evaluation by a healthcare practitioner. Sudden severe pain may indicate serious medical emergencies like heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, appendicitis and pancreatitis. Evaluating any new areas of pain is prudent to determine serious causes like fractures, hernias, muscle tears, nerve impingement and vascular issues. Chronic pain lasting more than 3 months also needs assessment to rule out etiologies like arthritis, tumors, autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders. Determine if pain is localized (to one area) or diffuse, made worse by movement/position change or unrelated to physical activity. Note factors relieving/aggravating pain. This history gives clues to the cause when describing to your doctor. Promptly seek care as appropriate to prevent avoidable complications or damage.
- Unexplained weight changes – Losing or gaining significant weight without trying requires investigation. Sudden weight loss could signify medical issues affecting appetite and absorption like cancers, ulcers, thyroid abnormalities and infections. On the other hand, sudden weight gain could be related to overeating due to emotional reasons or could point to medical causes like Cushing’s syndrome, medications or underlying illnesses affecting hormones. Even a 5-10% change in body weight over a period of 6 months in either direction should prompt evaluation. Monitor changes in weight, appetite and your intake over a 1-2 week period. Share your observations with your doctor to identify root causes requiring treatment. Appropriate assessment leads to timely intervention for potentially serious conditions before significant harm is caused.
- Bleeding or bruising easily – Blood acts as a transport system within our bodies, circulating nutrients, oxygen, wastes and defenses. So observing unexplained bleeding or bruising demands consideration. Some causes for this can be minor like medication side effects or vitamin deficiencies. But it may also represent serious underlying medical issues such as blood clotting disorders, bleeding disorders, liver or kidney disease or cancer. Look out for excessive bleeding from minor cuts, heavy menstrual periods, bloody or black stools, blood in urine, nosebleeds, tooth extractions or injuries that bleed profusely or do not stop. Appearance of unexpected bruises or collections of blood under skin also need checking. Evaluation by a doctor via basic blood tests helps identify correct causes and provide proper treatment or management as needed before worsening occurs. Neglecting bleeding problems can lead to serious health consequences over time.
Being attuned to your body’s signs and symptoms helps recognize when something is amiss, catching diseases early. But try not to worry unnecessarily as many symptoms have harmless explanations too. When in doubt about any new or persistent symptom/s, consult a healthcare provider promptly to determine causes and receive appropriate management. Also mention any related symptoms, personal or family medical history which can assist in arriving at accurate diagnoses. Catching conditions early offers the best chances of receiving effective treatment, avoiding complications and maintaining well-being.