Water and wood in home settings, are not a good mix. As such, one of the most annoying things is water damaged wood. From the irritating patch of discoloration which destroys the uniform look, to the foul musty smell that makes it’s home in the floors, it is indeed an annoyance.
Unfortunately for those in flood-prone areas, this is a normal occurrence. However, your wooden floors don’t have to stay maimed and get sent to the junkyard. You can fix it, or you could call in a Water Damage Restoration company, these professionals have the tools and the expertise to fix your floor easily and quickly.
The process of restoring damaged wood floors is a long and particular one involving several different steps we will discuss.
Quick Action And Removal of Surface Water
In a case of water getting on your precious hardwood floors, get the water off as quickly as possible. You might think this is not necessary as your finishing is perfect, but there are so many ways water could still get to the wood, like between the seams or under the baseboards. Wood is very quick to absorb water, but reluctant to release it. This causes rot, and worse, mold. So it is wise not to let water sit on your wooden floors a second longer than you can help it.
After removing the water on the surface, there will be a lot of dirt left behind, not to mention germs and toxins. It is super important to get scrubbing as soon as you can. Mold isn’t just caused by water, it’s water and dirt aka. organic material. Use a mixture of disinfectant and mild detergent in water and scrub the whole floor, and every other woodwork affected including shelf bases and stairs etc. Use a hard brush, rinsing it in the water and scrubbing. Make sure not to work by pouring the water on the ground. Adding more water to the problem won’t be helpful.
Clearing The Discoloration
The cloudy discoloration caused by the water damage can be removed by a mix of oxalic acid crystals and hot water. Use this solution on the stained area and brush off the crystals when it has dried. The process might need to be repeated a few times to get the desired effect, so do it again and again, until all the stain is gone.
Removal Of Mold
Nobody wants mold in their home, and mold loves wet wood. Find the mold and carefully clean the affected areas with a trisodium phosphate solution by scrubbing until both the mold and the discoloration caused by it have been removed. Once the area is mold free, rinse off with clean water and dry with an absorbent rag to get all the moisture off. Make sure you test a non-visible area to ensure discoloration will not occur.
Surface water has been removed, so now all that’s left is the water that’s made it’s way into the wood and is refusing to come out. Open your windows and let as much sunlight as possible in. Sunlight will dry the wood out naturally. However of the air outside is humid, it is better to use heavy duty fans. The drying process should be slow and thorough as rushing the process could cause the wood to crack.
Dealing With The Cupping
When wood floors get wet, they could get out of shape either by raising, or dipping. This is called cupping. It is a very obvious flaw as when the wood dips or raises it is no longer flat. This problem can be solved by a process called ‘sanding’. This will level your floor again. However, if the cupping is too severe, you will have to nail them down flat.
Replacement Of Laminate
Laminate is different from hardwood even though it looks similar. It is not the same material. Laminate is made from wood pulp and not actual wood. This makes it the worst when in contact with water. It is very easily damaged, and it swells when soaked. Laminate can’t be restored, it would have to be replaced.
With these steps, wooden floors can be restored. To do these, it would be necessary to have the heavy machinery and chemical solutions for it. Luckily, you don’t have to go through the stress of getting machines, figuring out how to use them, or figuring out how to properly mix the chemicals needed for certain things. It is much easier to hire a Water Damage Restoration company to do the work as they know what needs to be done and how to do it. You would be able to kick back and relax, not getting your hands dirty or breaking your back, and be totally sure that your floors would be good as new when the job is done. Especially if it is a large loss, we don’t recommend handling this yourself. Let the professionals address it with necessary equipment.