Standing water in your home can mean major problems for your floors, especially for hardwoods. When large amounts of water come into contact with your wood floors, it can cause some serious damage. However, there are some steps you can take to help salvage water damaged wood floors and increase the odds of saving them from having to be completely removed – and we are going to teach you how.
The sooner you can get rid of the water, the better off your floors will be. Depending on how much water is present, you may need to call in help from a water damage cleanup professional like Bostonian Cleaning in order to get all the water out in an acceptable amount of time. You can also use a shop vacuum on the wet setting to suck up as much water as possible from the surface of your wood floors. Wood is porous so even if it has a good finish on it, when water is on the surface it will eventually be absorbed into the planks. Water will also find its way between the seams and under the baseboards, which puts your subfloors at risk too. This is why it is so important to remove the water as quickly as possible.
Once the water has been removed, you need to clean the floors with a mild detergent and a disinfectant to remove any dirt, mud, silt, and organic material that can lead to and promote mold growth. Be sure to rinse the brush you are using frequently so you do not spread these contaminants around. If there are any areas that show signs of mold growth, call in professional help so that the problem does not spread.
Now thorough drying can begin, which is critical in preventing any further damage to your floors. Use fans to increase air flow, and be sure to use dehumidifiers too so excess moisture in the air can also be removed. Wood floors need to dry slow and steady, because if they release the moisture too fast the planks can crack, bend, and warp. It is very important to not use heat to dry hardwood floors because it can cause cupping to occur, where the sides of each plank pull up and away from the floor, which is irreversible and must be replaced.
Once the floors have been thoroughly dried, you may need to sand them down to take away some of the damage. You may even need to face-nail areas that have risen up from the subfloor. Once the surface of the floors have been sanded and prepped, you can refinish and seal them. This step is so important to help protect the wood from future water damage and will leave your floors looking their best.
If this all seems like too much, or it is too overwhelming, we can help. At Bostonian Cleaning we specialize in water damage cleanup from any and every surface in your home, including hardwood floors.