How to Save Your Hardwood Flooring After it has been Flooded

It’s no surprise that many property owners are terrified of water damage. Moisture can harm your subfloor and wood flooring, creating soft spots that potentially impair the building’s structure. Even minor water damage can create mold and mildew problems. If your hardwood floors have been involved in a leak or flood, you can take these steps to save them.

Move Quickly

There’s no point in fixing your floors if the moisture continues to mar them. Make sure that you identify and repair the source of moisture as you take steps to save your wood flooring.

The longer you wait to attend to your floors, the worse the damage will become. Wood floors are porous. As they absorb moisture, their fibers swell. This warps the wood and could cause permanent damage.

If you notice flooding or a puddle, dry out the floor as soon as possible. Use an absorbent cloth to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, use a vacuum that is designed to suck up water. Remove as much moisture as possible using the device.

Finally, scrub with a brush and disinfectant to remove dirt. Dirt can encourage mildew growth. Removing it can prevent mold from growing in the future. Finish up with a final vacuuming session.

Repair Options Depend On The Type Of Flooring

Various types of wood can handle different repair methods. Solid hardwood is the most resilient. It is thicker than engineered flooring and can be sanded down to remedy issues with unevenness. Replacing solid hardwood planks is usually easier than swapping out engineered wood slats.

Factory-finished flooring can also be harder to match if you don’t have extra boards lying around. Floors that were finished after laying them in the home may be easier to sand and re-finish for a uniform look.

Refinishing Or Replacing Wood Planks

Strips that have suffered from water damage may be curved. To fix this cupping, you can sand them down. Use a drum or orbital sander to get the boards as flat as possible. This Old House explains how to sand and refinish hardwood floors.

Solid hardwood can withstand losing about 1/4 inch of height. Planks with severe damage may not get completely flat.

Floorboards that have lifted might be able to be nailed down again. If not, you’ll have to replace them. Replacement pieces should match the original wood species. They also need to have a similar grain and texture to blend in well.

For the most seamless finish, consider sanding and refinishing your entire floor. It’s hard to refinish specific spots without obvious lap marks. Even if you’re using the same wood and finish, the old flooring has probably changed in color due to sun damage and regular wear and tear.

A professional restoration specialist can make your floors look like new after they have succumbed to water damage. At Paul Davis, water damage restoration is one of our core specialties. Contact us to find out how we can identify the degree of damage, repair the affected areas and ensure that your room is completely dry.