Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hardwood Floor Finishes

Our contractor, The Floor Doctor, offers three varieties of Hardwood Finishes; water-based, oil-based, and Swedish.  We've chosen the Swedish finish.

Here's a website with a great explanation of the types of finishes.

Swedish Finish
Swedish finish was developed in the early 1950′s in Scandinavia and quickly gained popularity in Europe. It has been the industry standard here in the Northwest for about 20 years, probably because it is a truly ‘no wax’ finish. The only maintenance required is light damp mopping, as opposed to the semi-annual waxing and buffing associated with sealer/ wax and polyurethane finish systems. Swedish finish also has a reputation for durability unmatched by all but a few heavy-duty commercial grade finishes. Swedish finish is an alcohol-based acid-curing conversion varnish. It has been the industry standard for durability in the Northwest for many years, and we consistently achieve excellent results with Swedish finish. Because Swedish finish contains many solvents, it is highly volatile and toxic, and requires special precautions, including customers planning to be off the premises for at least a day or two after the final coat is applied, as well as removing pets and plants from the work area for the same duration. We may also ask that appliances with pilot lights be turned off or disconnected prior to the commencement of work. Please be prepared to re-light any pilot lights that we may have turned off. Light foot traffic may resume and furniture may be replaced after 24 to 48 hours, but the finish is not fully cured for up to 60 days, and therefore area rugs should not be put back on the floor for as long as is tolerable (if areas are covered before the end of this curing period, the covered areas will cure more slowly, and could result in more pronounced color differences between exposed and covered areas). Swedish finish is a two-coat procedure. The primary disadvantage of the Swedish finish is the powerful and unpleasant odor. We generally apply 2 coats of Swedish finish on successive days, and Seattle Floor Service always recommends vacating the premises while these coats of finish are being applied. Sensitivity to the solvents in the finish varies greatly from individual to individual, and some customers have reported a lingering odor for as long as a week after the final coat is applied. The majority of our customers who choose Swedish finish, however, find that if the house can be aired out soon after the final coat is dry, they are able to move back in the next day.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hardwood Refinishing Before Pictures

Dog Claw damage #1.  Upstairs hallway.  The stairs and upstairs hall were refinished with water-based varnish about 14 years ago.
Dog Claw damage #2.  Upstairs hallway, outside of bedroom where he's getting up to speed to go chase a noise.
Dog Claw damage #3.  Outside upstairs bedroom where he must turn to go down the hall.  At this point he's keeled over to 45 degrees and all four feet are flying in a blur looking for traction.
Dog Claw damage down the stairs.
stairs, middle.
Stairs, bottom and one of the dog's places to lie and watch out the windows and front door.
Part dirt, part damage.
Downstairs.  Previous owners had wall-to-wall carpeting.  We removed the carpeting but didn't refinish for 15 years.  Most of the floor has little to no finish (bare wood) that's gotten dirtier and dirtier.
Furnace cold-air return near front door.
Front door area.
Another cold-air return in entry.
Black stains... ink? or potted plants?
Dining room looking into living room.  I refinished the edge prior to having the living room carpet installed about 5 years ago.
Dining room looking into back hallway.  I redid the back hallway just for fun about 3 years ago.  I'm not a professional so it's a bad job, but it at least sealed the bare wood and prevented further damage.  Unfortunately I didn't do the rest of the areas.
Same area. 

In retrospect, the moment we pulled up the carpeting we should have slapped down a coat of varnish to prevent further damage until we could afford to have them refinished.
The Dining room.  The largest area.
Dining room water spots.
Dining room.  Potted plant?
Cold-air furnace return in Dining room.
Back hallway looking into kitchen.
Back hallway.  Old heating duct that now doesn't connect to anything.
Getting the french doors out of the way.
Putting the dining room furniture into the living room.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

CWD 1/19, Hearing Strange Birds

It was a gorgeous day, but I still have yet to organize a backpack so it's off to the dog park again.  We did do our best to do two hours, but it's hard.  It takes at least a couple of turns around the park to do that.  But we need our training before hitting the trails again... hopefully in March.

We were walking along when I heard a bird call I hadn't heard before.  It had a strange tone and tune.  Heard it again, but now a different tune.  It was getting louder, so maybe we'd spot it ahead on the trail...
The bird call/song had an eerie sound to it.  Like, well I don't know...  We came around the corner and there it was!
A Great Dane with a Squeaky-Toy......

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sunday CWD, Mud Puddles

Almost didn't go this week.  Just feeling tired I guess.  Same ol' park again.  Walked some different paths.  Had completed a circle and checked the clock and had only been going an hour, so we turned around and circled back.  An hour and 45 minutes, so about 4 or 4.5 miles I guess.
It sprinkled on us a little bit and Toby was enjoying splashing his toes in the mud puddles.  I was looking the other way when I heard a "KA-SPlooosh!".  He had walked into a fairly small mud puddle only to suddenly find himself chest deep in water.  He bounced out of it in a couple of jumps, boy was he surprised!

'I did so meant to do that!'

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First CWD 2014

 Sandy Delta Park (dog park).  We'll probably be doing a lot of the dog park during the winter, but at least we get out of the house and off-leash, which we can't do in the local neighborhoods and city parks.

That shadow on the horizon is Mt Hood.
 Besides we still have some backpack organizing to do before hitting the trails again.  Picked up a couple of things at Christmas, but still a small list of things to acquire.

Toby had great fun off-leash as usual.  Meeting all the other dogs and running after every interesting scent.  Only had to growl at one bitch who was being too rambunctious.  (We like our women slow.  Easy... but slow).

 Christmas gave me a good rain jacket, some hiking socks, a down vest, and a new swiss army knife.
 It was cold (29° F) and the wind was up today.  15-20 mph when we started at 9:45am and freshened to 30 mph or so by the time we left.  We started all bundled up with wool gloves and wool hat down over the ears, double socks and flannel lined jeans.  By 10:30 we had the hat and gloves off and the coat unzipped.  Toby wore both his thunder-coat and his rain coat for extra warmth.
But the sky was clear and the sunshine bright.  We've had a very dry winter so far.  It makes for good walking, but we could probably use a snow pack for water next summer.