Tuesday, March 25, 2014


 As I had mentioned previously, when I was still single, I had taken up the carpet in the one bedroom on the main floor, the dining and the living room.  We have a marvelous floor refinisher in town.  I think they have been in service at least 60 years. 

In those days, circa 1939, these wood floors were 1 3/4 inch oak, something unheard of these days.  When the sanders had completed the re-sanding and refinishing job back in 1989, the floors were perfect.  Up until 2000, I know the floors were in pristine shape, because I had lived there.  Once we moved and had renters in the house, I always had a lot of angst about them caring for the floors.  Thirteen years later, there was damage, some worse than others.

Once the renters were out, a dear friend obtained the keys from the property manager and he went in to see first hand what shape the house was in.  These are some of the pictures of the wood floors.

This spot was from the dog urine.  Sad, sad is all I can say.

The dining room area where the table was sitting had scratches due to furniture with no felt pads on the feet of the table and chairs..

The most shocking floor was the back bedroom.  Five years ago, before the house was rented to a new tenant, the property manager mentioned that without allowing pets cut down on the number of people able to rent.  He encouraged me to change the lease and allow pets, however, at the time I remember telling him that smaller pets would be allowed.
Well, come to find out, the last tenant had a 'Marmaduke' type dog.  When the last year's inspection report came to me in the mail, there was a note stating, 'big dog', could not enter the room.  I questioned it, but should have pushed it further with the property manager. 
So when I received this picture via email, I was totally distressed.

Besides leaving the dog in this room all day while they were away, one wall of the baseboards were urine filled.  When Mr. Thrifty first saw the picture, he told me that that wasn't a dog, but a bear that had done this damage.  Mind you, at this point we did not know what type of dog the tenant had.
The following picture is a close up of the doorway in the room.  This 1 3/4 inch oak had been scratched down one inch in some places.

And a picture of the back of the door.  All I could do with the door was lightly sand, stain and seal it.

When I first arrived on site, I immediately called the same sanders to come evaluate the problem and see what could be done.  Luckily, they buy older homes' oak flooring pieces just for instances like this.
The entire floor area under the  door was pulled out and newer 'older' oak was replaced.  Nothing could be done about the door because it was made of Douglas Fir.  This type of wood door isn't even made anymore.  Once the newer wood was replaced, an overall sanding staining and Polyurethane was applied to finish the room.

As I said before, this company of floor sanders are miracle workers.  Luckily, we pressed the property manager into making the past tenant pay for this damage.  The door could not be saved.

The after picture is amazing!

The girls and I cleaned the baseboard with a solvent that pulled out the dog urine, sanded and refinished it ourselves.
I am so happy that the floors came back to life. 

One other item that wasn't cleaned since 2000 were the floor returns.  I know this because like my Grandmother, I would clean them and place newspapers in them for lining.  The paper I pulled out while cleaning, sure enough was from the year 2000.

 I'm sure Grandma would have rolled over in her grave had she seen this.
A close up...

And after cleaning......(with newer newspaper)

Finished with the metal cover.

After getting on my hands and knees with Murphy's Oil soap and washing the polyurethane floors, they looked like this for the realtor's pictures.  Quite an improvement.  Of course, all the walls in the house except for the kitchen were repainted during these same three weeks.


Notice the built in cupboard.  This cabinet was pretty much untouched from the renters.

And the dog room, as we now call it.

Minimal damage was done to the upstairs bedroom.  This room had wider pine planks.  I had refinished this floor after I had moved in.

 So now you have seen the work done to clean up and refinish the floors.  Stay tuned to the next segment posting on the kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. Wood floors are really tough to clean. Not only will you have to deal with the marks of age, you have to contend with the stains too, which tend to leave a mark on wood material, since it's not quite the smooth and easy surface as marble. This is why a lot of folks resort to carpets. Either way, if those get stained, there's more than enough solutions to tidy them up.

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