Due to its absorbency, natural wood is susceptible to water damage. Although hardwood floors tend to have sealers and finishes that are intended to protect the wood from water damage, improper maintenance always leaves the floor vulnerable.
Signs of water damage
Suspect your hardwood floor is water damaged? Here are signs to watch out for:
Cupping– This occurs when there is a hole in the center of a board with the raised edges around it. This happens due to a moisture imbalance where the wood at the bottom of the board contains more moisture than the wood at the top. While the wood here will return to its normal position after a while, you will most likely need to sand it down and refinish it.
Mold and mildew– Are there dark or discolored spots on the surface of the wood? This is a sign of water damage. If the stains have not penetrated the surface of the wood, you should simply wipe them away. You must find all sources of mold and eliminate them. For example, if mold is due to the room’s susceptibility to moisture, you should consider using a moisture scavenger.
Crowning– This occurs when the center of the board bubbles above the edges. It is also due to moisture imbalance and often occurs when there are leaks in pipes or condensation from malfunctioning appliances. To get rid of this process, you just need to identify the source of the moisture.
Buckling– This is a rare occurrence and is characterized by hardwood planks peeling off the subfloor. The problem arises due to long-term flooding in the affected area. The solution to this problem is the complete replacement of the flooring in the affected areas.
Tips on how to repair a wood floor after water damage
You should dry the floor as quickly as possible. This requires you to keep the air conditioning on. If the air conditioner is not working fast enough, you should consider hiring large fans to help dry the floor.
It is recommended to remove two boards in the middle of the room to ventilate the floor. To ensure that the work is done professionally, it is advisable that you let a professional do the work for you.
Here’s what you need to know about water damage to hardwood floors. To avoid wasting your money on damages, it is advisable that you inform your insurance company about the situation you are in.