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Water Damaged Wood Floor Repair
Hardwood flooring is prone to water damage and even something as simple as a spilt glass of water can damage the floor permanently. Not to mention something as serious and leakages or flooding that can seriously damage the floor even beyond repair. Therefore, it is important to prevent water damage or take care of it as soon as possible. Preventing water damage and treating it properly when it happens is essential when you want to be able to enjoy your floor beautiful and in perfect condition for many decades.
In this article, we will share with you more information about the prevention of water damage and what to do in case your favourite wooden floor gets damaged due to water leaks or flooding. In case that you don’t feel confident enough to deal with the issue or the problem is way too serious, always make sure to contact your local experienced and reliable wood floor repair service provider and ask for their recommendations or help.
How Water Is Removed From Wood Floors?
The sooner you can take care of the wet floor, the better. Therefore, as soon as you notice the issue, make sure to take immediate steps to dry out the floor. Keep in mind, this is usually not a simple task and could eventually take quite some time. If you don’t have the time to dry the floor out completely or you are not sure if you will be able to do it perfectly, always make sure to contact your local wood floor repair team and ask them for their help.
Hardwood flooring can easily hang on to mould spores, therefore, it should be dried properly and thoroughly so you prevent the forming of mould. Since wood is a naturally porous material, it soaks up water, however, it releases moisture slowly. However, if the wooden floorboards are not completely dry, they will start contracting and expanding which can lead to serious and major problems and even loose, broken and damaged floorboards that have to be replaced. Therefore, it is important that the moisture should be pulled off as soon as possible.
In order to achieve that, wood floor repair specialists usually use an industrial vacuum machine that is designed to extract water. Now, many homeowners may think that their floors are protected by a high-quality finish that will not allow water and moisture to penetrate through the finish and soak deeply into the wood’s structure. However, keep in mind that wood floors have many infiltration points besides the top layer of the floor, including between the seams, though some breaks in the coating of the finish such as fine scratches, etc., under the baseboards, through heating registers, and a bunch of other areas.
There is no secret to preventing mould and mildew growth, all that needs to be done is simply eliminating the dirt and excessive moisture. However, it is not just water that causes mould and mildew, it is usually the combination of water and dirt. Now, some people make the mistake to assume that just wiping off the excess water on the surface of the floor is just enough to eliminate all traces of water. Therefore, it is important to take proper care of the floor and dry it out completely, especially if water has penetrated down to the subfloor.
So here are some of the main steps a professional company will take in order to save your favourite and beautiful hardwood floor from water damage.
Remove Surface Water
First things first, the water on the surface should be removed. This is done by using a shop vacuum on “wet mode” with no bag that will collect as much water as possible from the surface. The water on the surface can also be collected with a dry mop and dry and clean towels. In case your home is airconditioned, make sure to turn the air conditioner on for additional ventilation. Keep the windows open as good ventilation will help and speed up the drying out process.
Scrub the Floor
Next, you can mix a mild detergent or a cleaning product designed for hardwood floors with a neutral pH and water in a bucket. Then scrub the entire floor with a stiff brush, rinsing the brush frequently in the bucket. It is important to remove all dirt build-up as it could possibly cause mould and mildew if left neglected and not cleaned. It is important to never pouring the bucket directly onto the floor as this will cause even more serious water damage to the floor. Just scrub thoroughly.
Treatment of Moldy Areas
All areas that show signs of mould should be treated on time and with specially designed products. Wood floor professionals can take care of such areas, using products such as TSP or TSP substitute mixed with water. All mouldy areas should be thoroughly scrubbed until all mould and mould discolouration are completely gone. Once this is done, the area should be then cleaned with just clear water and the treated surface of the floor should be dried off with an absorbent cloth and ensuring good ventilation.
Drying of the Floor
Once the floor is cleaned and mould and mildew are removed, it is time to allow the floor to dry naturally or with the help of big and powerful fans, your air conditioning system, and by allowing plenty of airflow through space. So open all windows and doors and turn on fans by directing the airflow to the affected area of the floor. Opening all windows and doors on the opposite side of the space will create cross-ventilation that will speed up the drying process. Keep in mind that the floor should be dried steadily but slowly. If the floor is dried too quickly, the floorboards could crack or large gaps may appear in between the floorboards.
After the floor is completely dried, you may notice some changes like cupping, ballooning, or warping of the floorboards. This is the time when you really need professional help from an experienced and reliable wood floor repair and renovation team. Wood floor sanding is not a process you want to take into your hands, especially if you don’t have any previous experience.
The reputable wood floor repair specialists will carefully sand the affected area, making sure the surface of the floor is absolutely even and uniform. If there are floorboards that are loose or unfixed and lifted due to the moisture problem, the wood floor repair professionals will fix them back down and this should be done before they carry on with the sanding process.
Next, the floor is refinished with a couple of layers of high-quality sealant that will protect the floor and prevent moisture from penetrating into the wood’s structure in future.