Hardwood Floors and Pets

Hardwood floors are very attractive, but floods can completely destroy your investment. Fortunately, floods are not a very common occurrence. If you have pets, on the other hand, you will need to be on the constant lookout for damage from urine and scratches.

If you spot a puddle and wipe it immediately while it’s still fresh, any damage to your timber floor is minimal since most polyurethanes are made to resist such accidents. But allowing the urine to sit and decompose on the spot will cause it to become increasingly alkaline and corrosive, to the extent that it burns through the finish and into the wood. This is a common occurrence in homes with rugs or carpets placed over wood floors as the liquid stays in contact with the floor for a long time without drying.

The situation may become worse if you don’t housetrain your pet, since they tend to use a specific spot repeatedly after marking it.

How to Deal with Pet Stains on Your Hardwood Floor

If you discover a fresh pet stain that has not been sitting for more than 4 hours, quickly douse the spot with vinegar or another mild acid to neutralize the corrosive action. Then let the spot dry completely – for 1 to 2 weeks – before attempting to fix the damage.

If the pet urine has penetrated deep into the wood floor, then the only fix is the complete removal of the damaged wood and replacing it with new wood.

If the stain is not that extensive, you can try sanding the damage out using an aggressive sander that is over 36 grit. This will lighten the stain enough to make it virtually unnoticeable.

How to Deal with Pet Scratches on Hardwood Floors

Fortunately, any damage caused by toenail scratches is mild and can be easily be sanded out. But if you have to do it often, you will soon lose the enjoyment of your wooden floor. To reduce the need for maintenance, consider adding more protective coating to minimize the appearance of scratches. Use a tougher finish and apply more coats than usual. In addition, keep your pet’s toenails clipped to avoid any damage in the first place.