Hard wood floors are a beautiful addition to any part of a home. They add to the value, but they can be a handful to care for. Accidents dealing with water can be especially hard on your wood flooring.
High levels of moisture in the air, accidental spills, and flooding can all damage your wood floors. The cause does not make that much of a difference in the outcome. Water damage can cause warping, and can trigger mold or mildew growth which can really ruin wood floors if not handled properly and in a timely manner.
Minor Water Damage
Even just a minor exposure to water can be damaging to your wood floors, making it important to address the problem as soon as possible. Minor damage can be fairly easy to deal with. Usually the best course of action is to get the area dry right away.
The first trick to help with water damage is to open the windows and doors. Or you can use fans to draw moist air from the area. Turning on the A/C can also help by removing moisture in the air.
A dehumidifier can help you by removing a lot of the moisture from the air, and making sure the area is well ventilated can help to balance the humidity. Avoid using the heater to dry out the area as this can damage the wood floors more.
You also will need to address the sub-flooring. If the water damage is in a place where you can easily access the underside, such as a second floor or above a basement you should dry that side as well. Ventilate or use fans in these rooms as well.
Cutting a hole in the drywall that can be repaired easily will help ventilate the area. Drilling holes in some areas if necessary is also a way to help the sub-floor dry out.
Severe Flood Damage
In cases when there has been a major flooding your wood floors may need more attention. You should start my removing any debris, then mop the floor dry. Use a 10 percent solution of bleach and a damp mop to stop mildew from forming.
Another tip is to remove the baseboards from around the wood floors. Let them dry flat somewhere while allowing the floors ventilation. You may want to remove a few of the boards if they have been exposed to prolonged flooding.
Once the floors have dried you may need to do some sanding and refinishing.
In some cases it may be serious enough where you should contact a water damage restoration contractor. Hiring a professional to restore your wood floors may be the best course of action. If you are not sure what to do, need help, or the damage is extreme, contact a professional.