How to Save Water Damaged Hardwood Floors
If your hardwood is warping or swelling, then there’s a high chance that it and the nearby area is affected with water damage. You have two options – contact a certified water damage restoration and get the area above and underneath inspected or do it yourself. Generally, the first option is safe and worthy.
Hardwood floors’ biggest enemy is standing water. The two don’t gel well. If you live in a hurricane-prone area and have been hit by floods more than once, you may know all about it. Hardwood can quickly succumb to water damage. Therefore, you must be very careful in taking care of it and using preventive measures to save it from water damage.
Here are a few tips that will help you dry the hardwood floor after a flood or water spill.
Quick and Very Quick
You have to be super-fast in drying out your wet hardwood floor. Hardwood fibers are celluloid in nature and therefore are rapid in water absorption and slow in releasing. You can save your floor and refinish it if you act fast, as in within 24 hours of water contact.
The alternative is hauling and installation of hardwood, which is a very tedious and costly affair. Afterward, you will have to sand the wood and refinish it to get it back to its original form.
Avoid Water Seeping By Keeping the Floor Dry and Clean Always
Even if you coat your wood with the best varnish, water can still seep in some way or the other. Examples include breaks in paint coating, between seams, heating points and so on.
You have to also take care of mold and mildew growth, which is a major issue with hardwood floors, as it is for carpets. The best way to prevent them is by keeping your floor free from dirt, moisture, and dampness.
Vacuuming your home twice a week, wiping dirt, spills, and grease immediately, and mopping the floor dry with disinfectants and mild detergents using absorbent cloths are few things you can do to prevent water damage on hardwood flooring.
Complete Your Drying Process through Sand Water
Water damage can cause the floorboards to concave and convex. With the sanding technique (orbital sander), you can actually improve the surface of minor defects. However, if your floorboard is severely cupped, wood sanding will not prove efficient.
And eventually, cupped boards will lift the ends of the floorboards completely causing perilous surface. You can prevent this from happening by nailing down the floorboards back to their original position. Remember that nailing is the last option. Try sanding first.
Inspect for Wood Molds
Wood molds are invisible at the surface and grow under painted floorboards. Identifying and removing them could be a tricky affair. So, if your hardwood has withstood water for over 24 hours and you are not certain whether mold has started growing underneath, you can remove the top finish that purposefully traps water.
After removing the paint, scrap the wood with a steel brush or abrasive material and apply a mold removal solution. Let it dry as instructed. Refinish the paint once you are sure there’s no mold attack.
What about Laminate Floors?
Laminated wood floors are different from hardwood floors or engineered floors, although they give out a similar appearance. Laminated wood floors are essentially made out of wood pulp or fibreboard and are highly susceptible to water damage, unlike hardwood floors. They swell and rot very fast, especially during the winter season or in high humidity.
Saving a laminated floor is quite a challenge, as it can quickly ruin its texture and surface. The best option is to replace the water-damaged parts.
Hope the information helps you fix your hardwood floor from water damage. And if you still aren’t sure about it, call your nearest certified water damage restoration company for a quick inspection.