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Old 22.02.2015, 12:37
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Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

Hi all,

Our apartment building was completely renovated before we moved in: all new parquet floors, new kitchens, appliances, etc. We've lived here for about three and a half years.

However, even though we've used the landlord-recommended parquet floor care product when we mop the floors (which we do once a week), the wood that is exposed to the afternoon sun (we have large, south-facing windows) is distinctly faded. We have carpets that cover the floor in several areas and, when moved, the fading of the wood around the carpets is extremely noticeable.

What can we do to fix this? While I don't imagine there's some miracle product that will restore the faded wood to new condition, is there some recommended product that can better protect the un-faded wood?

While we don't plan on moving out for several years, I imagine the landlord expects the floors to be in new condition. What options are available in regards to repair when that time comes? Is this something that our insurance would cover, should we hire some private company to repair it, or just let it come out of the security deposit with the landlord?

Similarly, we have a nice, polished stainless-steel countertop in the kitchen. We're generally quite good about caring for it (we don't drag pots and pans across it, we put pots and plates on rubber mats, etc.) but even so it has some minor scratches and other ordinary wear-and-tear that comes from years of normal use.

Is this normal wear-and-tear acceptable when moving out, or should we have it professionally cleaned and polished when we eventually leave? Again, would this be something insurance would cover, something we should pay out of pocket, or something that should come out of the security deposit?

Thanks!
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Old 22.02.2015, 13:02
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

I would suggest joining the renters association https://www.mieterverband.ch
It isn't a large yearly subscription and they have experts who can help you with questions like this.
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Old 22.02.2015, 13:33
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

You lived here 3.5 years and plan to stay for several more.

Each part of a house has a life span, paint/wallpaper is 10 years, floors i think are 15 years, maybe more like 20 for parquet.

Meaning you would be responsibe for the damage/divided by lifespan multiplied by the numbere of years since LAST renovation. so this already limits your exposure, or rather that of your insurance company as it is damage to a third party, therefore covered under RC of your household policy.

This should be argued as fair wear and tear though i think, unless the windows come fully fitted with internal and external sun blinds and also you had a written advice from the landlord when you moved in.

The actual work to renovate will be to sand it down and re-varnish. Parquet, if it has real wood surface, you can normally sand and re-varnish 3 or 4 times before total repalcement.
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Old 22.02.2015, 14:12
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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This should be argued as fair wear and tear though i think, unless the windows come fully fitted with internal and external sun blinds and also you had a written advice from the landlord when you moved in.
And even if there are internal and external sun blinds: No one rents an apartment with "large south-facing windows" to spend their days in the Twilight zone.
I have lived in several flats with parquet floors and direct sunlight and none of these floors have faded within three years. I'd suspect poor sealing (or whatever the technical term is) of the parquet.
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Old 22.02.2015, 14:30
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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Hi all,

Our apartment building was completely renovated before we moved in: all new parquet floors, new kitchens, appliances, etc. We've lived here for about three and a half years.

However, even though we've used the landlord-recommended parquet floor care product when we mop the floors (which we do once a week), the wood that is exposed to the afternoon sun (we have large, south-facing windows) is distinctly faded. We have carpets that cover the floor in several areas and, when moved, the fading of the wood around the carpets is extremely noticeable.

What can we do to fix this? While I don't imagine there's some miracle product that will restore the faded wood to new condition, is there some recommended product that can better protect the un-faded wood?

While we don't plan on moving out for several years, I imagine the landlord expects the floors to be in new condition. What options are available in regards to repair when that time comes? Is this something that our insurance would cover, should we hire some private company to repair it, or just let it come out of the security deposit with the landlord?

Similarly, we have a nice, polished stainless-steel countertop in the kitchen. We're generally quite good about caring for it (we don't drag pots and pans across it, we put pots and plates on rubber mats, etc.) but even so it has some minor scratches and other ordinary wear-and-tear that comes from years of normal use.

Is this normal wear-and-tear acceptable when moving out, or should we have it professionally cleaned and polished when we eventually leave? Again, would this be something insurance would cover, something we should pay out of pocket, or something that should come out of the security deposit?

Thanks!
I don't think there is an argument for damage on this one. It's the sun. If he didn't want sun on his floors there shouldn't be a window built there. I really don't think there is an issue. Even if he wants to floors in the same condition, how can he argue you opened the windows too much? Plus you have too, otherwise there will be mold.
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Old 22.02.2015, 14:35
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

Even though you're not ready to move yet, here's a thread with some links that may be helpful:

Normal wear and tear in apartment

Anecdotally, someone in our building recently moved and we looked at the flat. There were very clear lines where rugs/furniture had protected the wood floors. I asked if the tenants were charged, and the Hauswart said she didn't think so, as the floors would not be redone for the next tenant.
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Old 22.02.2015, 14:49
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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And even if there are internal and external sun blinds: No one rents an apartment with "large south-facing windows" to spend their days in the Twilight zone.
I have lived in several flats with parquet floors and direct sunlight and none of these floors have faded within three years. I'd suspect poor sealing (or whatever the technical term is) of the parquet.
To be fair, I do rather like the shade (less glare on the computer monitor), but my wife loves the sun. That's probably why my computer room is on the north side of the building.

For reference, this is the extent of the fading:

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Old 22.02.2015, 14:59
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

It's totally normal for wooden floors to fade with the sun. There is nothing one can do to prevent it - other than completely cover, or completely expose 100% of the floor 100% of the time!
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:02
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

Looking at the fading, it my be that the exposed part of the wood is 'dry' and/or the clear coat on top may have worn out more.

Would you be willing to take a little bit of oil (like a drop of normal cooking oil), and apply it to a very small part of the dried out flooring and see if this restores the dried out section? If it does, then you may be able to get furniture oil from hardware store - e.g. linseed oil, to apply to the rest of the flooring and that may bring it back to life considerabley....

Just my thought, but it's all up to you .... (not taking any responsibility ...).

All the best ....
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:09
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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Looking at the fading, it my be that the exposed part of the wood is 'dry' and/or the clear coat on top may have worn out more.

Would you be willing to take a little bit of oil (like a drop of normal cooking oil), and apply it to a very small part of the dried out flooring and see if this restores the dried out section? If it does, then you may be able to get furniture oil from hardware store - e.g. linseed oil, to apply to the rest of the flooring and that may bring it back to life considerabley....

Just my thought, but it's all up to you .... (not taking any responsibility ...).

All the best ....
A drop of vegetable cooking oil seems to have made an improvement, but it's probably too early to tell if it's just a temporary effect. We shall see! Thanks!

The wood in the faded area does seem a bit dryer than the unfaded wood. This is strange, since the landlord-supplied wood care product contains jojoba oil. I'll look at the shops to see if there's anything that might be more effective at restoring the floor.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:27
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

Pleasure. Glad to have an exciting sunday....

That drop of oil will spread itself thin within the dried wood. You may have to apply multiple times. Give at least 24 hours between coats.

It may not match the rest of the flooring, but it should be close, assuming the wood was natural and did not have any coloring ...

There are different types of oil - some actually have 'chemicals' mixed with them, to discourage worms and other critters from growing into the wood. This is for wood that is exposed to the elements.

Your flooring is internal and has health implications. Linseed and jobajoba oil should be fine. I'd use a lighter oil (e.g. linseed) rather than a heavier oil (e.g. olive).

Hardware stores will sell oil, some with with pigmentation/coloring in them. A typical example is oil for garden/outdoor furniture. Be careful when choosing the product. One can tell by opening the can itself (sometimes the associates in the store may not have full knowledge of the product). I can only suggest something without any pigmentation/coloring ...

All the best ....
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:29
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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A drop of vegetable cooking oil seems to have made an improvement, but it's probably too early to tell if it's just a temporary effect. We shall see! Thanks!

The wood in the faded area does seem a bit dryer than the unfaded wood. This is strange, since the landlord-supplied wood care product contains jojoba oil. I'll look at the shops to see if there's anything that might be more effective at restoring the floor.
By fiddling around with veg oil or whatever can lead to far more problems and a direct responsibilty of yours for damage,

Sun is natural, therefore difficult to avoid, trying to hide with veg oil is deliberate and engages your responsibility for damage

I would leave it, advise the landlord/agency what has happened and wait and see what they say.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:48
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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By fiddling around with veg oil or whatever can lead to far more problems and a direct responsibilty of yours for damage,

Sun is natural, therefore difficult to avoid, trying to hide with veg oil is deliberate and engages your responsibility for damage

I would leave it, advise the landlord/agency what has happened and wait and see what they say.
Indeed. That's why I tested a tiny amount in a small, out-of-the-way corner.

Anyway, I'm not trying to hide any damage, I'm trying to see what would be a way to better care for (and hopefully restore, to some extent) the floors since the landlord-recommended stuff seems to be inadequate in the face of the sun.

Your suggestion to contact the landlord is a good one. I'll send them an email and see what they say.

Cheers!
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Old 22.02.2015, 17:22
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

Cooking oil.... Why did you not buy the proper treatment (not just the floor cleaner), which has the chemicals to protect the wood, without eventually turning black which may well happen with cooking oil?
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Old 22.02.2015, 18:26
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

The flooring looks like engineered solid wood flooring, rather than a cheaper laminate particle board. Typically, the finish on this kind of quality would be some kind of factory sprayed coating of which usually has a lacquer impregnated with UV inhibitors to prevent this kind of problem and also the ingraining of dirt, dust etc.

It is however, very easy to obtain the same flooring unfinished so that the client can finish it according to their own tastes, for example natural ageing, painting (weird, I accept if you're going to spend that much money on a wood look), oil, wax, stain, wax oil, varnish etc.

You might want to suggest that the landlord checks with the installers what finish (if any) was applied to the floor. For a high(ish) traffic area like a living room it should have been finished with something before being used, or made explicitly clear to you when you moved in.

If it's going to be pushed back on you to do something about it, then as others have suggested, try linseed oil or tung oil (if you can get it here). Before applying it, obtain some white spirit (again, you might struggle to get here in CH) or another preparatory "thinner" to water down the oil to maybe 50/50 mix. Find an obscure place and test a very small patch with the oil and see what happens to the wood. Remember though, any kind of oil or finish will alter the colour to some degree, even water. Full concentrate oils if applied directly to unfinished wood can leave a thick sticky finish.

If the wood hasn't been finished with any professional coating by the manufacturer or the fitter, then whatever you put on will soak up very quickly and noticeable, hence the reason I suggest trying a VERY small area. If there is some finish/coating done properly, you shouldn't see much uptake of your application. The pro finish is designed to prevent exactly that happening.

If you're not confident about what you're doing, don't do anything to it. Sure as the sun rises in the morning and sets at night, you'll make a real mess of it and make it worse.
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Old 22.02.2015, 18:37
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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The flooring looks like engineered solid wood flooring, rather than a cheaper laminate particle board. Typically, the finish on this kind of quality would be some kind of factory sprayed coating of which usually has a lacquer impregnated with UV inhibitors to prevent this kind of problem and also the ingraining of dirt, dust etc.

It is however, very easy to obtain the same flooring unfinished so that the client can finish it according to their own tastes, for example natural ageing, painting (weird, I accept if you're going to spend that much money on a wood look), oil, wax, stain, wax oil, varnish etc.

You might want to suggest that the landlord checks with the installers what finish (if any) was applied to the floor. For a high(ish) traffic area like a living room it should have been finished with something before being used, or made explicitly clear to you when you moved in.

If it's going to be pushed back on you to do something about it, then as others have suggested, try linseed oil or tung oil (if you can get it here). Before applying it, obtain some white spirit (again, you might struggle to get here in CH) or another preparatory "thinner" to water down the oil to maybe 50/50 mix. Find an obscure place and test a very small patch with the oil and see what happens to the wood. Remember though, any kind of oil or finish will alter the colour to some degree, even water. Full concentrate oils if applied directly to unfinished wood can leave a thick sticky finish.

If the wood hasn't been finished with any professional coating by the manufacturer or the fitter, then whatever you put on will soak up very quickly and noticeable, hence the reason I suggest trying a VERY small area. If there is some finish/coating done properly, you shouldn't see much uptake of your application. The pro finish is designed to prevent exactly that happening.

If you're not confident about what you're doing, don't do anything to it. Sure as the sun rises in the morning and sets at night, you'll make a real mess of it and make it worse.

Because this is being done in a flat when a move out occurs, how do you find an "obscur place" in an empty room ?

The last paragraph is sterling advice
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Old 22.02.2015, 18:45
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

I showed that photo to my husband (who`s a Swiss Master Schreiner) and he says " Do nothing to the floor - except maybe try to move your carpets aroound so as not to have a distinctive fade patch line".


The only treatment, is when you move out, for the owners to have the wood sanded and re-waxed (with special stuff for natural wood that a Schreiner will have - he who does the floor sanding).




Much along the lines of that guy who was being blamed for the urine spots on the expensive stone bathroom floor - the owner was blamed for installing floors unsuitable for the use thereof.
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Old 22.02.2015, 19:02
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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Cooking oil.... Why did you not buy the proper treatment (not just the floor cleaner), which has the chemicals to protect the wood, without eventually turning black which may well happen with cooking oil?
Cheap fix...
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Old 23.02.2015, 08:33
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

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I showed that photo to my husband (who`s a Swiss Master Schreiner) and he says " Do nothing to the floor - except maybe try to move your carpets aroound so as not to have a distinctive fade patch line".


The only treatment, is when you move out, for the owners to have the wood sanded and re-waxed (with special stuff for natural wood that a Schreiner will have - he who does the floor sanding).




Much along the lines of that guy who was being blamed for the urine spots on the expensive stone bathroom floor - the owner was blamed for installing floors unsuitable for the use thereof.
I work with a lot with reclaimed wood and as stated above moving matts around is a good idea. Do not mix oils on a wooden floor, you are creating/asking for trouble. Simply remove the matt and let the sun do it's work and over a month or two the light patch will colour the same as the rest of the sun darkened floor. We had a few boards replaced on our wooden parquet floor after the floor being down for a few years (we had spare boards from the same job lot) it was unbelivable how much they stood out but 3 months later you could not tell. The best description is you went to the beach and got a suntan but forgot about the bandaid on your butt, leaving a white spot, the same has happened to your floor, just take the matt away and it will blend in over time.
For the stainless bench top, scratches are normal you can minimise or hide them a bit using a scotchbrite pad (like a green kitchen plastic scourer), better to get a 3M brand one from a paint shop in a courser grade, work in long lines parallel to the original polishing patern, even if the textured finish is a bit different as long as it looks even it will be an improvement. Commercial grade stainless steel after cleaning treatment "oil" is also good to cover these minor imperfections, we bought some great stuff in Austria, I don't remember the name but it stopped all the finger prints and calc marks from water for a couple of weeks even with cleaning between.
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Old 23.02.2015, 14:27
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Re: Sun damaged parquet floor, scratched stainless steel countertops

We had the same issue with our real wood parquet floors. The previous owners had a rug on the floor and the wood around was faded. We left the floor exposed and 2 years later the fading had all gone.
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