How to Save Water-damaged Wood Floors: 5 Tips
Many people favour wood as a flooring material for its elegance and beauty despite its price tag.
Thus, if it suffers some damage due to water (flooding, plumbing issues, etc.), you’ve got to act fast to salvage it—the floor and the money you’ve invested to install it.
Here are a couple of tips to help you get started.
Determine where the water is coming from
If you didn’t experience flooding but still notice signs of wood floor damage (cupping, crowning, cracking, warping, etc.), this obviously means your floor is absorbing liquid.
Restoration Master Finder says to look at both external and internal sources. For instance, check your doors and window frames for stains, as this could be an indication of seeping water.
Internally, your wood floors may be absorbing water from leaks in your radiators, refrigerators, and dishwashers.
Dealing with the root cause first means the problem won’t repeat itself after you do something to remedy the water damage on your wood floors.
As much as possible, remove all the water there is
A quick and efficient way to remove water is by using a shop vacuum. Use its “wet mode” setting to take out as much of the water as you can.
To make the process easier, it’s recommended that you use a wide flooring attachment as well as a squeegee to gather the water first before you suck it with the vacuum.
If you’re using a vacuum or any other equipment that uses electricity, make sure no outlets are wet!
Clean the floor from dirt and mould
Most likely, the water that has damaged your floor is far from clean. And because of the presence of liquid and moisture, chances are there’s also mould.
Scrub your floor with a brush and a cleaning solution made up of water, disinfectant, and mild detergent. Brush your whole floor, including the stairs, baseboards, and such.
Next, eradicate any signs of mould. Use trisodium phosphate (TSP) or a TSP alternative mixed with water. You’ll need to scrub these mould-infested areas with your TSP and then rinse with water.
Of course, make sure you dry the water you used for rinsing.
Dry your floor
Mop your floor with a dry cloth or mop to absorb any excess water after cleaning.
Air dry your floor by using fans as well as opening your doors and windows. However, it’s better to just close them if the air outdoors is more humid than indoors.
Let your floors dry slowly. Do not try to hasten the process by applying heat to your floors; this can cause cupping and splitting, among others.
See if your floor needs to be replaced
If the damage is so extensive that your floor is beyond saving, you’ll have to accept replacing it. If you live in a flood-prone area, we suggest replacing your wood floors with a different material entirely.
Floor materials such as rubber, concrete, ceramic tiles, and vinyl are more resistant to water damage.
You can check out this list of flooring companies to help you find a new type of floor.
That’s a wrap for this article on water-damaged wood floors! If you’ve got any other house problems that need fixing, we’ve got the right people for you.
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