You’ve cleaned up the paintable surfaces of your home and have removed any trace of pet damage. It’s now time to work on repairs to your wood flooring.
Ugly gashes and scratches in your wood flooring can be a real eyesore during your open house. If you have solid wood flooring thoroughly your home that is unlikely to be ripped out by your buyer take the time to touch it up to add value to your home before the sale.
First, examine your floors and determine the damage. If you only have a few small and medium-sized scratches, some simple DIY solutions might work well for you and save on the time and monetary investment needed. Clean the surface around each mark carefully making sure the entire area is entirely dirt and debris free. If you have a wax coat on your floor make sure to remove the coating layer with a wax remover solution.
Minor Scuffs and Scratches — For small scratches try an at-home mixture of equal parts olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Using a sponge or cloth, dab the solution into the scratch. Allow the mixture to dry for the rest of the day, then rub it out of the scratch. This trick often works for minor nicks and scratches. For scuffs in your flooring try using a finish restorer. These restorer products treat light scuffs and scratches over large areas and fix finish that has faded. Blending pencils can also be handy for small surface areas. If the scratch appears as a lighter mark on your flooring select a pencil that is darker than the scratch and of the same tone and coloring as the rest of your flooring. Using the pencil fill in the scratch and lightly blend the coloring into the surrounding area.
Medium scratches — If your medium scratches only show light damage you can probably remove or significantly reduce their visibility by merely applying a new coat of finish over the affected area(s). Clean the areas thoroughly and do your best to match the new finish to the original finish on the rest of your floor. If your flooring has no finish, you may be able to fix the area by lightly sanding the scratch and reapplying the original stain to blend the scratch into the rest of the flooring.
Major scratches — Flooring with many scrapes and gashes or large scratches you'll have to refinish the entire floor for best results. To do this first clean your floors, then sand down the whole floor. After sanding clean again then evenly apply a new finish coat. If you have the extra time and capital and think the wood needs it, you can also apply a fresh coat of stain before the finish coat to significantly boost the added value to your home. NOTE — complete refinishing only works with real wood flooring. This process will not work for bamboo flooring and is more difficult for engineered wood. If you consider trying this technique on an engineered floor that has a real wood surface check the thickness of the wood surface. Sanding takes about 1mm off the top of the wood, so the surface will need to be thicker in order to handle the sanding and refinishing.
Your last step in home preparation is to take care of that carpet. Read on in part three of this series to ensure pristine carpeting for your open house.
Before you start any major repair projects like complete refinishing work with your real estate professional to determine the best investment for the resale value that works with your budget.