No one wants to discover water damage to their home, especially when it has damaged hardwood flooring. Hardwood floor is a sturdy and visually appealing addition to any home, but when water damage has affected it, your floor can become unsightly, discolored, and even dangerous. Though experiencing water damage is discouraging, know that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to replace your flooring.
Wall 2 Wall Construction and Restoration has serviced both minor and major water damage to hardwood floors. From years of experience, professionals have seen that there are a few things that, if done, can decrease the amount of damage and work to prevent new damage from occurring. And there are ways to repair your floor without having to rip it all up and start from scratch.
Keep an eye open for signs of water damage, such as warped floors, discoloration, or mold and bacteria growth. If you can quickly notice when there has been water damage to your floors, you’ll be in a good position to handle repairs. Here are a few tips for how you can navigate repairs after water damage to your hardwood floors.
Remove Water Quickly
When water has penetrated your hardwood floors, your time to clear it of moisture efficiently is very limited. Because hardwood is such a porous substance, water seeps into it easily. When attempting hardwood floor repair after water damage, the first thing you want to do is remove the water as quickly as possible.
As soon as you notice your floor has been damaged by water, you should start attempting to dry it. Begin by using items like towels to suck up as much of the surface moisture as you can. The moisture sitting on top of the wood is slowly seeping into the underlying layers, and getting the surface moisture dried up helps to prevent further damage from occurring.
In this case, the faster you work, the better. Still, there’s probably a lot of underlying water that you’re unable to access. Water damage is usually much deeper than just the surface, but there are ways to fight against deeper damage.
Run Drying Equipment
After you’ve soaked up what was on the surface, there’s still work to do in order to attain dry wood, but you may need some equipment to do it properly. You may have items like heaters or dehumidifiers laying around the house, and these are the perfect solution for the next step of the drying process.
ehumidifiers are one of the best ways to suck up the extra moisture in your hardwood flooring when there’s been damage. They can work to remove the moisture from the wood as well as water from the air, and when put on their highest setting, can produce great results.
Once that moisture is taken out of the deepest layers of the wood, setting up a fan or heater in the room that the water damaged wood is in can further help to ensure it dries completely. Keep these machines on for at least 24 hours after discovering water damage to hardwood flooring. Don’t leave the dehumidifier running for too long, however. Here’s why.
Clean the Wood Thoroughly
Once you’ve removed as much water as possible, you’ll want to clean your hardwood floors thoroughly. The porous nature of your wood floor makes it more susceptible to dirt and other organic material penetrating it while it’s wet. This has the possibility of leading to the growth of mold. That’s why it’s best to give it a good clean after you’ve eliminated all the excess water.
When cleaning your floor, you should use a sturdy brush and a bucket of water that’s been mixed with disinfectant. The bucket of water should only be used as a place for you to soap up and rinse out your brush. Refrain from dumping any of that water onto the actual floor, as it could seep back into the floor and recreate the problem you’re trying to fix.
Once the floors are properly cleaned, follow up with one of your previous floor drying tactics like a fan or heater. You don’t want to leave the floor to dry on its own and possibly take in any more bacteria.
Find the Source
When you’re attempting to repair water-damaged hardwood floors, don’t get overly excited when you’ve properly cleaned up the mess. Unless the reason for the wood being water damaged was caused by you or something you know about, the cause of the water damage is probably unknown. Knowing what caused the damage is just as important as cleaning it up because it helps you to prevent it from happening again.
The first step you can take in finding the source of the water damage is to see where around the area that has been damaged the water could have come from. Is the damage right by the refrigerator? Is it by a pipe or a sewer line? Pinpoint exactly why there’s water damage, and you may find that you have an even bigger problem on your hands.
Water damage is a signal to you that perhaps a pipe has burst, that the dishwasher or fridge is leaking, or that your home is experiencing flooding. Identifying the reason for the water damage also lets you know what kind of water is being released into your home. Dray or black water, for instance, can contain harmful bacteria.
Call a Professional
After noticing water damage, your first idea will probably be to address it on your own. Water damage can become costly, especially when it affects your hardwood flooring, but your hardwood floor is an investment that you should protect. Do what you can to help your situation, but when your floor doesn’t seem to be taking well to at-home quick fixes, it’s best to call a professional, like Wall 2 Wall.
Some issues, such as long-term water damage or flooding, require a professional to service your floors. And calling a professional as soon as you discover water damage on your hardwood floor can increase your chances of having it repaired and not having to completely redo a room.