If you've got hardwood floors, chances are they are going to experience some kind of water damage eventually. Hardwood floor damage can be caused by common spills, moisture in the air, or any type of flooding. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when you are dealing with hardwood floors that have been damaged by water.
Determining Damaged Areas
If you didn't experience a flood, but your floors were exposed to large amounts of moisture, you should look out for warping and expanding planks. Even if there is no standing water, the water could have been absorbed by the wood, where it will cause the wood to warp.
If you have expanded or warped planks, remove the planks near the warped areas in order to ensure they do no cause a ripple effect of damage. When hardwood gets wet, the expansion and warping can cause the other boards near the damaged areas to be pushed out of place.
You can then start to dry out the floors. Resist the urge to start to sand down and refinish the damaged wood before it is completely dry, as the wood is more vulnerable when wet.
Drying Out Wooden Floors
When drying out your floor, time is a very important factor. It is important to dry your floor out as quickly as possible in order to stop not only warping, but any mold that may take hold. These mold spores can remain even after the floor is dry, which can cause serious health problems in some individuals.
The most straightforward way to dry out your floor is to simply buy or rent large fans and point them at the floor. If you have air conditioning, keep it running and open any windows in the water damaged room. Excess moisture in the floor needs a place to go, and you cannot rely on air conditioning alone.
If you have a basement, you must also point similar fans up at your hardwood floor from there. If you've got a finished ceiling in the basement with drywall, try cutting a small area out so the air can get through to the wood floor.
Dealing with Warped Floors
If your hardwood floor is warping, there are a number of methods to try before replacement. You may need an aggressive sanding technique to properly straighten boards that are curled at the middle or along the edges. Often, refinishers use a drum sander and work diagonally across the floor, then parallel to the grain, to remove scratches.
Be careful, as this procedure can remove a large amount of your hardwood floor's surface. If you have to do this more than once, it can really add up, eventually weakening your floor. Most methods of dealing with warped floors involve removing some of the wood's surface.
Mold Damage To Wooden Floors
To heal wooden floors damaged by mold underneath, you will most likely need to get in and use strong chemicals on the mold directly. For these kinds of procedures, it is important to remove all furniture on the floor, seal off the area, and remove the baseboards or trim. Then you'll need to get to work with a borax solution or similar type of product. Remember not to track any of the mold anywhere else in your home.
Hardwood floor water damage can usually be prepared for as long as you are aware of the level of moisture, humidity and water spills on your floor. Remember, if the damage is severe enough, contact a professional restorer, like Central Flood Management Inc, to bring in contracted work.