Hardwood Floor Water Damage: Causes and Repair
Hardwood floors are a popular choice in homes across the country. They bring a classic look that is elegant and brings an ambiance of warmth. They are durable and easy to clean and maintain. However, the vulnerability of hardwood floors to moisture and humidity is a problem homeowners dread.
Hardwood floor water damage affects the look of the home, can be expensive to correct, and have adverse effects on health if not remediated quickly. Water damage can cause the hardwood floors to become uneven. If water damage repair is delayed there can be mold growth that is dangerous to health. Proven Restoration LLC explains the causes of hardwood floor water damage and how it can be repaired.
Causes of Hardwood Water Damage
Excess absorption of moisture causes hardwood floor water damage. This is more likely to happen over some time when there is a delay in addressing problems. When hardwood floors remain wet for long periods and don’t get dry as quickly as possible, permanent water damage happens. Causes of hardwood water damage include the following:
- Plumbing Leaks – leaks can occur from any damaged household pipe or faulty appliance. There can be leaking from the HVAC system like from an air conditioning unit.
- Foundation and Structural Leaks – can cause a lot of damage in a short period. This is likely after flooding, heavy rainfall, blizzards and snowmelt, storm surges, and hurricanes. The damage is more extensive if water is not removed and dried immediately.
- Any spills that are not cleaned immediately.
- Tracking swimming pool water into the home.
- High humidity within the house.
Signs Of Hardwood Water Damage
- Cupping – when moisture from the air soaks into the floor over a long time it causes the edges of boards to rise higher than the center.
- Crowning – when wood retains moisture and expands slowly it can cause the center of boards to rise higher than the edges.
- Buckling – happens when cupping and crowning are neglected for a long time. The floorboards can pop out and may trip people walking on the surface.
- Cracking and warping – floorboards split and bend so that the floor is no longer flat.
- Smell, stains, and discoloration- a musty smell or dark patches on the hardwood can be a sign of water damage.
Preventing Water Damage to Hardwood Floors
- Pay close attention to possible leaks in plumbing, appliances, or the structure. Any source of water leaking or pooling on the floor must be rectified as soon as possible.
- The sealant or wax on hardwood floors temporarily protects them from spills. Refinishing or reapplying sealant on the floor periodically is helpful.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Handle and place wet objects with care.
- Mats and rugs can reduce the risk of water damage to the floor.
Dealing with Hardwood Floor Water Damage
Whether the water-damaged hardwood floor needs to be repaired or replaced will depend on the extent of the damage. This will be determined by how much time the floor was exposed to water, whether there is seepage into the subflooring, the finish of the floor and if it can be replaced in parts with the same finish, and whether the hardwood is solid or engineered. An expert water damage restoration company can be approached for inspection, recommendations, and repair. Water damage repair experts are best equipped to handle the water damage and restore, repair, or replace the hardwood floor so that there are no further problems.
If the water damage is minimal, homeowners may choose DIY water damage repair of the hardwood floor, although it is not recommended. This involves the following steps.
- Cutting off the water source and having it fixed (like a leaking pipe) to stop further water damage.
- Removal of all wet items and drying of the floors. All wet things must be removed to dry. As much as possible the standing after can be removed. A mop or water vacuum can be used to remove water. (If the water is Category 3 or “black water”, call a professional to remove it, as contaminated water can cause health issues if not handled properly).
- Cleaning the floor with a wood-safe disinfectant can help to remove contaminants and to prevent mold.
- The floor should be dried and if in a dry environment the windows can be kept open. A dehumidifier helps with moisture removal.
Water-damaged hardwood floors are best handled by a professional property damage restoration company, especially if there is extensive damage. They have the expertise to identify hidden water, get rid of mold, and work to clean toxic contaminants. Water damage restoration experts have industrial dehumidifiers to remove moisture and help prevent any further damage. They may also repair damage and sand and refinish the floor professionally.
A professional water damage restoration company like Proven Restoration LLC is a cost-effective choice as their services provide reliable results. The faster the damage is properly repaired, the less damage is done and less would be spent on future problems caused by repair that is not thorough. Proven Restoration LLC can be contacted at [[INVALID_TOKEN]] for water damage restoration services in the Houston metropolitan area, Texas.