Most people who have wood floors in their home know that water and wood are mortal enemies. Water, liquids, and moisture in general, can damage the wood floors at varying degrees, usually depending on exposure and quantity. This is why it is vital that any spills immediately get wiped clean before the moisture festers or seeps in between the cracks where it can do more harm. Prevention is the best solution to avoid costly repairs and serious issues. Today, we at Sequoia Flooring would like to elaborate on water damage on wood floors.
How to Prevent Water Damage on Hardwood Floors
To protect the wood floors from all types of damage, such as water and dirt, the finish on your wood floor is necessary. Though the most durable wood floors are ideal, they are not waterproof. Keeping moisture from contacting the wood floor is the ultimate goal. In high traffic areas, be sure to utilize area rugs with a rubber backing. When cleaning the wood floor beyond dust mopping/sweeping/vacuuming, use an appropriate wood floor cleaning product with a microfiber mop. As mentioned, immediately wipe up accidental spills.
Signs of Water Damage on Hardwood Flooring
Water damage is something that manifests over time on hardwood floors. The longer moisture sits, the more damage that occurs. Early signs of water damage include crowning and cupping of the planks. Where water is absorbed into the wood, a small hump may also form. Usually only occurring when there is a consistent source of water, another sign of water damage includes dark staining around the edges of the planks. Though not always visible, the growth of mold and mildew also signifies water damage, and likely a constant exposure to moisture.
Flooded Hardwood Floor Repair
Should misfortune strike, such as an appliance flooding, pipes bursting, a window left open during a rainstorm, or any other circumstances that results in moisture making contact with the wood floors, a fast response is essential to save the wood floor from damage. Immediately eliminate the water source, weather you need to close windows or shut off the main water valve. Get to work as fast as possible extracting the water. A wet/dry vacuum works effectively. Be sure to remove everything on the surface of the affected areas, including furniture. Once the standing water is completely removed, start drying. Utilize ceiling fans, portable floor fans, and consider renting a dehumidifier. It can take several days for the wood floor and the subfloor to completely dry. Be sure the accelerating aids are operating 24/7 until the floor is fully dry. Once dry, assess the damage. If the wood floor looks compromised in any way, call for a professional and discuss the options. In many situations, the wood floor will likely need to be sanded and refinished, moderate cases may call for a few of the planks to be replaced, and severe cases will result in a whole-floor replacement.