To the real estate editor:
I recently read a question in your column about refinishing hardwood floors and filling in the cracks.
The same problem arose in my house. Upon removal of the carpet I found a beautiful yellow-pine floor. The boards had separated somewhat because of a flood caused by a hurricane in 1972.
I sanded the floors with a borrowed sander as you suggested. Then I put two coats of finish on the floors (Zip-Guard polyurethane), doing nothing at all with the cracks.
After this I used a clear caulk (Red Devil Lifetime) and caulked all of the cracks. It is a little messy and time-consuming, but well worth it in the end. I then finished off the floor with two more coats of finish, with a light hand sanding (220 paper) between the third and fourth coats.
The cracks ranged from hairline to one-quarter-inch or so, but the floor came out looking very nice and was well worth the extra effort.
Thank you for your column. I have found it helpful in more than one instance. Jack C. Snader Bird-in-Hand, Pa.