What You Need to Know about Water Damaged Hardwood Flooring
Repairing water damage to hardwood floors is a task that’s better prevented. But in case you weren’t able to protect your hardwood flooring from getting water damaged, you need to act fast if you want to salvage your beautiful floors.
Hardwood flooring is a common choice for home flooring due to its natural, homey look. Unfortunately, water poses a critical danger to hardwood floors. Even minor plumbing leaks or huge spills can, in fact, damage hardwood. Just imagine how much damage severe flooding can do.
To make sure you handle the challenge effectively and efficiently, check out some of these floor cleaning tips on how to properly repair water damaged floors.
Signs of Water Damage on Hardwood Floors
The first sign of water damaged flooring on hardwood is water stains. This sign isn’t a cause for concern, though. You can easily remove them with a thorough cleaning and restoration session.
The first thing to do, however, is to ensure that the wood dries completely. Once dry, you will need to sand down the stained areas. Effective removal of stains can be done with the help of a cleaning solution, such as a mixture of water and oxalic acid crystals. After the sstains are removed, use varnish to finish off the job.
The second sign of water damage in your flooring is warping of the wood. This can occur almost immediately after a severe or prolonged exposure to water.
The third sign of water damaged flooring is the separation of the wood planks. If the flooding is severe and the flooring is a bit old, the planks may even come loose altogether. If you encounter the second and third signs, you will need to replace the damaged wood planks completely. Removal of the wood planks can be a challenge, though.
Some hardwood flooring are glued, while some are nailed. The method of removing the affected parts of your floor will depend on how your flooring was installed.
Glued flooring is harder to remove because they are attached to the subfloor, so you may need to go as deep as the subfloors. Nailed flooring can be easily pried loose and cut where necessary. After replacement, you will need to re-stain the newly installed wood floors so they will look exactly like your old flooring.
Additional Challenges in Repairing Wood Floors
Water damaged hardwood floors pose other additional challenges aside from the obvious damage you see. Before you replace and refinish your hardwood floors, make sure to check for the possibility of leftover moisture. If you are unable to remove all the traces of moisture, this can lead to dry rot or the growth of mold and mildew.
Aside from that, before you put in new planks to replace damaged ones, make sure to check for some damage in the foundation under the planks. If there are cracks, then there is a greater chance of moisture seeping through.
If you see signs of damage in the foundation, you need to find the source of water seepage and do the necessary repairs. In this case, you will need to remove the planks even in some unaffected areas.
Cracks in the foundation and the thorough removal of water seepage are tasks best left done to professionals. Water damage specialists also have access to special equipment such as dehumidifiers to help get rid of water seepage completely.
Preventing Water Damage to Hardwood Flooring
Repairing water damage to hardwood floors can often be avoided, unless the water damage is caused by flooding due to natural causes. Other types of water damage to hardwood floors can be caused by improper maintenance, such as wet mopping the wood floors, or negligence, such as delayed cleanup of liquid spills.
Thus, all spills, broken pipes, leaking roofs, and other possible causes of water exposure should be taken care of before they affect the wood.
Hardwood floors look beautiful in a home, but if you choose hardwood flooring, make sure you know the responsibility that comes with it.