How To Repair Damage From Steaming Wood Floors — Good Questions Apartment Therapy

How To Repair Damage From Steaming Wood Floors — Good Questions Apartment Therapy

How To Repair Damage From Steaming Wood Floors?

Q: I have a very «picky» landlord (who is a relative as well) and in the apartment I’m renting there are hardwood floors. He claims to know every spot of them and I recently (and stupidly) tried the Shark Steam Mop. Now, there are patches of stripped wood and I really need some suggestions because I don’t want to have a spoiled relationship due to floors.

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26 Comments

Is refinishing out of the question? I’d just own up to your mistake, and ask your landlord/relative how to make it right, making it absolutely clear that you have every intention of following through and making it right.

Completely agree with tirzhaz. It is ALWAYS best to just own up to mistakes like that, as long as you are willing to pay the price (of refinishing the floors in this case). Just make sure you let your landlord/relative pick the company you use, that way if it’s not perfect they can’t place all of the blame on you.

If the floors are just stained you could try to spot-fix it. But they’re coated with poly you’re probably SOL.

That said, depending on how bad the damage is you’re not necessary left with the bill of refinishing the whole thing. Depsite what they’d like you to believe, landlords cannot just tell you that you’re responsible for every little scratch, tear, scuff, etc you leave behind. It’s called NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR, and they’re not allowed to charge you for it. How to draw the line between NW&T and «damage» is tricky, but just know you don’t have to fall for his whole schtick.

@babyfishmouth, this is not a normal landlord/tenant relationship. While I agree that she shouldn’t necessarily be stuck with the entire bill of refinishing the whole floor, she is responsible for addressing the issue and making it right. It was her mistake that left part of the floor stripped, and it’s not always possible to only refinish one portion of the floor, but perhaps that should be looked into. I think what is important is that the family relationship be preserved, otherwise it could spill over into other familial relationships. and nobody likes when that happens. If it were a normal landlord/tenant relationship, I’d say just cut your losses with the security deposit. That’s what it’s there for anyway. But involving family in these kinds of disputes could (and will) get messy.

I agree with what’s been said — familial relationships are super-important, and letting relationships be frayed over a floor just isn’t worth it. Objects/posessions vs. family isn’t even a competition.

I agree wholeheartedly with preserving family relationship and going directly to the landlord/relative with the mistake. If you are reasonable and honest, there’s a better chance he will be too.

I blame the product on this one. You should never use steam or water on wood floors. But on the packaging and in commercials, they use it on wood and laminate floors. This product is only effective on tile, and usually it is overkill. You should send a complaint letter to the manufacturer. They probably won’t do anything but they deserve the complaint. If they do offer you anything then at least that’s something.

this is alarming, we’ve been steaming our wood floors for over a year with no incidence.

I’ve used the Shark on my wood floors since Christmas, with no adverse effects. It gets the floor clean without chemicals, which I love for my baby and dogs. I think your floor has to be sealed properly though.

Where I live it’s standard to refinish floors between tenants anyway. Could you and your relati-lord figure out a way to temporarily protect the damage until you move out?

Weird, I use this same steam mop on my laminate floors and have had no problems; in fact, it works great.

Laminate is a bit different..heck, you can use acetone on some laminate to remove spots. The house we live in now has wood floors, and we use the steamer on all the messy spots. Granted, we dont do the whole house weekly, but maybe every couple of month we’ll do it. Never noticed any damage at all.

Real wood floors are sanded, stained, and sealed. If the damaged floor is smooth, stain it to match, the poly seal the floor.

Poly comes in three types. High gloss, gloss, and flat. If your flooring is shiny, go with the gloss. If the floors look like you are walking on glass, then use high gloss. If you can’t see a finish, use flat.

We had new floors put in recently and every flooring person I spoke to said that steaming them is a big no-no. I was disappointed, but I decided to never steam my floors because of the potential for damage. From what I understand, if you ended up with no more than a few finish problems, you’re one of the lucky ones. Either Bona or well-diluted vinegar is the way to go, apparently.

I’d call flooring places or installers and ask for their input. Then you’d have a plan of action when you talk to your landlord/relative.

Rejuvenate Floor Restorer. You can buy a bottle at any Home Depot, Lowes or Menards. We have wood floors that look stripped every time that I clean them. Rejuvinate works wonders! Inexpensive and easy to apply. Leaves the floors looking like brand new.

You need to find out what finish is on the floors. If it’s poly, then probably the entire floor needs to be refinished.

But if it is shellac or varnish, with wax over top of that, you can refinish just the damaged parts of the floor. If the building is older, say pre-1950, there’s a chance you still have the original finish and it won’t be poly.

www.woodfloorsonline.com/products/finishes.html

Scroll down to find info on how to determine what finish is on your floor.

But, yeah, I agree with PPs that the best thing to do is own up to the mistake and ask how you can make it right. After all, this happened because you were trying to clean the floors, not out of carelessness or malice.

Ugh. The steam mop specifically says in the instructions and on the box not to use on wood floors. I’m a landlord and if one of my tenants did this, relative or not, I’d charge them for getting the floors refinished. It would cost more than the security deposit so I would sue them for the rest.

Wood is delicate. And you are responsible for damage.

Own up to it and make it right.

I use it on my old wood floors with no issues, but I also spray the floors with wood polish before I shark them. It leaves them shiny and pretty AND clean.

Thanks everyone! I actually like the «rug» comment — if it was only so easy. I’ve showed him a few spots in the past, and he’s having some problems with it already. I don’t plan on refinishing the entire floor — and the damage really isn’t «that bad» in my mind, but in his it is, so, SOL security deposit for me. I should’ve watched those steam mop infomercials more closely I suppose. Thanks for all the input and support!

Do you have a picture of the damage? In any case, I highly recommend Bona’s wood floor polish. Both myself and my neighbor have used the glossy kind to completely restore our nearly 100 year old, scratched and completely dull floors that weren’t refinished before we moved in. It brings the color back and makes them nice and shiny again, my landlord actually thought I had the wood floors professionally refinished when he came by one day. You just mop it on and let it dry. It can be re-done every 6 months or so to bring the shine back.

If your floors aren’t originally glossy it comes in a non-gloss version, but I’ve only used the glossy kind. Definitely test it in an inconspicuous area first, like the back of a closet, just in case! Oh and you can buy it at Lowes, Home Depot or Bed Bath & Beyond.

I rent an old home with old wood floors. I tried to get a little shine by using a cheap acrylic cleaner like mop n glo. a few weeks later I Sharp Steam Mopped and the acrylic came up in spots. The same would happen if the floors have been waxed consistently. I am sure something similar and inexpensive has happened in your case. I would just ask the landlord which maintenance product is his preference.

I had a similiar situation happed to me where I stripped my hardwood floors by using furniture polish vice hardwood floor polish (Orange glo). My floors looked horrible it was the entire kitchen plus hallway leading into kitchen are. After over a month of unsuccessfully trying different products people were telling me, I looked here (internet) and ran across this post. I immediately went to the store to search for REVIVE which someone mentioned above but, the store didn’t carry so, I purchased Holloway House Floor Shine which bthursby recommended on this post. WOW. my floors are much better than ever before, I am going back to purchase the Holloway House Floor cleaner now. This is the product I will use from this point on whenever I do anything to the floors. Not only did the hundreds of areas that appeared stripped disappear but, my floors are shinny and last longer in between cleanings. I used a clean damp mop and went over the floors with warm water, let dry completely then poured the Holloway house Floor shine and mopped as evening as I could with cloth/sponge push mop. I am so amazed because I had almost given up and was ready to call in the professionals and prepared to spend hundreds of dollars for repairs. Thanks for the post. By the way, the shark steam mark I had been using didn’t do the damage but, I will not use again because of some of the post I’ve read here and I don’t want to go throught this again.

How To Repair Damage From Steaming Wood Floors?

Q: I have a very «picky» landlord (who is a relative as well) and in the apartment I’m renting there are hardwood floors. He claims to know every spot of them and I recently (and stupidly) tried the Shark Steam Mop. Now, there are patches of stripped wood and I really need some suggestions because I don’t want to have a spoiled relationship due to floors.

Categories

26 Comments

Is refinishing out of the question? I’d just own up to your mistake, and ask your landlord/relative how to make it right, making it absolutely clear that you have every intention of following through and making it right.

Completely agree with tirzhaz. It is ALWAYS best to just own up to mistakes like that, as long as you are willing to pay the price (of refinishing the floors in this case). Just make sure you let your landlord/relative pick the company you use, that way if it’s not perfect they can’t place all of the blame on you.

If the floors are just stained you could try to spot-fix it. But they’re coated with poly you’re probably SOL.

That said, depending on how bad the damage is you’re not necessary left with the bill of refinishing the whole thing. Depsite what they’d like you to believe, landlords cannot just tell you that you’re responsible for every little scratch, tear, scuff, etc you leave behind. It’s called NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR, and they’re not allowed to charge you for it. How to draw the line between NW&T and «damage» is tricky, but just know you don’t have to fall for his whole schtick.

@babyfishmouth, this is not a normal landlord/tenant relationship. While I agree that she shouldn’t necessarily be stuck with the entire bill of refinishing the whole floor, she is responsible for addressing the issue and making it right. It was her mistake that left part of the floor stripped, and it’s not always possible to only refinish one portion of the floor, but perhaps that should be looked into. I think what is important is that the family relationship be preserved, otherwise it could spill over into other familial relationships. and nobody likes when that happens. If it were a normal landlord/tenant relationship, I’d say just cut your losses with the security deposit. That’s what it’s there for anyway. But involving family in these kinds of disputes could (and will) get messy.

I agree with what’s been said — familial relationships are super-important, and letting relationships be frayed over a floor just isn’t worth it. Objects/posessions vs. family isn’t even a competition.

I agree wholeheartedly with preserving family relationship and going directly to the landlord/relative with the mistake. If you are reasonable and honest, there’s a better chance he will be too.

I blame the product on this one. You should never use steam or water on wood floors. But on the packaging and in commercials, they use it on wood and laminate floors. This product is only effective on tile, and usually it is overkill. You should send a complaint letter to the manufacturer. They probably won’t do anything but they deserve the complaint. If they do offer you anything then at least that’s something.

How To Repair Damage From Steaming Wood Floors — Good Questions Apartment Therapy

this is alarming, we’ve been steaming our wood floors for over a year with no incidence.

I’ve used the Shark on my wood floors since Christmas, with no adverse effects. It gets the floor clean without chemicals, which I love for my baby and dogs. I think your floor has to be sealed properly though.

Where I live it’s standard to refinish floors between tenants anyway. Could you and your relati-lord figure out a way to temporarily protect the damage until you move out?

Weird, I use this same steam mop on my laminate floors and have had no problems; in fact, it works great.

Laminate is a bit different..heck, you can use acetone on some laminate to remove spots. The house we live in now has wood floors, and we use the steamer on all the messy spots. Granted, we dont do the whole house weekly, but maybe every couple of month we’ll do it. Never noticed any damage at all.

Real wood floors are sanded, stained, and sealed. If the damaged floor is smooth, stain it to match, the poly seal the floor.

Poly comes in three types. High gloss, gloss, and flat. If your flooring is shiny, go with the gloss. If the floors look like you are walking on glass, then use high gloss. If you can’t see a finish, use flat.

We had new floors put in recently and every flooring person I spoke to said that steaming them is a big no-no. I was disappointed, but I decided to never steam my floors because of the potential for damage. From what I understand, if you ended up with no more than a few finish problems, you’re one of the lucky ones. Either Bona or well-diluted vinegar is the way to go, apparently.

I’d call flooring places or installers and ask for their input. Then you’d have a plan of action when you talk to your landlord/relative.

Rejuvenate Floor Restorer. You can buy a bottle at any Home Depot, Lowes or Menards. We have wood floors that look stripped every time that I clean them. Rejuvinate works wonders! Inexpensive and easy to apply. Leaves the floors looking like brand new.

You need to find out what finish is on the floors. If it’s poly, then probably the entire floor needs to be refinished.

But if it is shellac or varnish, with wax over top of that, you can refinish just the damaged parts of the floor. If the building is older, say pre-1950, there’s a chance you still have the original finish and it won’t be poly.

www.woodfloorsonline.com/products/finishes.html

Scroll down to find info on how to determine what finish is on your floor.

But, yeah, I agree with PPs that the best thing to do is own up to the mistake and ask how you can make it right. After all, this happened because you were trying to clean the floors, not out of carelessness or malice.

Ugh. The steam mop specifically says in the instructions and on the box not to use on wood floors. I’m a landlord and if one of my tenants did this, relative or not, I’d charge them for getting the floors refinished. It would cost more than the security deposit so I would sue them for the rest.

Wood is delicate. And you are responsible for damage.

Own up to it and make it right.

I use it on my old wood floors with no issues, but I also spray the floors with wood polish before I shark them. It leaves them shiny and pretty AND clean.

Thanks everyone! I actually like the «rug» comment — if it was only so easy. I’ve showed him a few spots in the past, and he’s having some problems with it already. I don’t plan on refinishing the entire floor — and the damage really isn’t «that bad» in my mind, but in his it is, so, SOL security deposit for me. I should’ve watched those steam mop infomercials more closely I suppose. Thanks for all the input and support!

Do you have a picture of the damage? In any case, I highly recommend Bona’s wood floor polish. Both myself and my neighbor have used the glossy kind to completely restore our nearly 100 year old, scratched and completely dull floors that weren’t refinished before we moved in. It brings the color back and makes them nice and shiny again, my landlord actually thought I had the wood floors professionally refinished when he came by one day. You just mop it on and let it dry. It can be re-done every 6 months or so to bring the shine back.

If your floors aren’t originally glossy it comes in a non-gloss version, but I’ve only used the glossy kind. Definitely test it in an inconspicuous area first, like the back of a closet, just in case! Oh and you can buy it at Lowes, Home Depot or Bed Bath & Beyond.

I rent an old home with old wood floors. I tried to get a little shine by using a cheap acrylic cleaner like mop n glo. a few weeks later I Sharp Steam Mopped and the acrylic came up in spots. The same would happen if the floors have been waxed consistently. I am sure something similar and inexpensive has happened in your case. I would just ask the landlord which maintenance product is his preference.

I had a similiar situation happed to me where I stripped my hardwood floors by using furniture polish vice hardwood floor polish (Orange glo). My floors looked horrible it was the entire kitchen plus hallway leading into kitchen are. After over a month of unsuccessfully trying different products people were telling me, I looked here (internet) and ran across this post. I immediately went to the store to search for REVIVE which someone mentioned above but, the store didn’t carry so, I purchased Holloway House Floor Shine which bthursby recommended on this post. WOW. my floors are much better than ever before, I am going back to purchase the Holloway House Floor cleaner now. This is the product I will use from this point on whenever I do anything to the floors. Not only did the hundreds of areas that appeared stripped disappear but, my floors are shinny and last longer in between cleanings. I used a clean damp mop and went over the floors with warm water, let dry completely then poured the Holloway house Floor shine and mopped as evening as I could with cloth/sponge push mop. I am so amazed because I had almost given up and was ready to call in the professionals and prepared to spend hundreds of dollars for repairs. Thanks for the post. By the way, the shark steam mark I had been using didn’t do the damage but, I will not use again because of some of the post I’ve read here and I don’t want to go throught this again.


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