How to Restore Hardwood Flooring After Water Damage

December 14, 2021

Whether it’s severe weather or broken pipes, time is of the essence when water threatens property damage. By far and away, floors are the greatest risk for sustaining permanent impairment in addition to the risk of growing mold. Because of its permeability, hardwood flooring will most quickly absorb moisture.  

To properly repair major water damage to your hardwood floors, hiring disaster restoration professionals like Onsite Restoration is imperative. We’ve seen it all before, and we’ve restored it all before. Here’s what you need to know to fix your hardwood floors and prevent further damage.  

Act Fast With Flooding

If you’ve got a mechanical failure in the home, first make sure to stop the water source (it’s always a good idea to know where your water shut off valve is). Then ensure that you’ve turned off the power to any room affected by water. Next, you’ll want to inventory the damage and take photos of damaged items for insurance purposes.  

Move items like furniture and rugs to a dry area and open the windows to allow evaporation. And remove any standing water with a mop, old cloths, wet/dry vacuum, etc., to lessen any further damage before Onsite Restoration arrives.

Restoring Hardwood Flooring

Before repairing any hardwood floor water damage, you’ll need to determine what it’s made of and how it was installed. There are five hardwood floor species: oak, walnut, maple, cherry, and hickory. Each type has its unique challenges in the drying process due to varying porosity.  

Then some floors appear to be wood but instead have a laminate surface or a particle board substructure. When moisture gets under these types of floors, saving them is virtually impossible. Our experts can help you determine the type of flooring you have and how to properly restore it.  

We’ll also assess the original installation method of the flooring: nailed, glued, or floating method. When nailed floors have water damage, those nails can lift. If the floor has been glued to the substrate, the excess moisture can release the glue. And for floating floors, it may be a sign that it’s not genuine wood. The tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring may “cup” from absorbing moisture.  

While Drying Hardwood

After the floor type and installation method are determined, the drying process can start. Onsite Restoration can utilize surface and subsurface drying techniques in addition to dehumidification methods. But the drying time for hardwood floors can take up to 10 days. Stay patient while our pros are at work.  

Once the hardwood’s moisture levels reach four percent, nature will take over and be able to remove the remaining water. But this is even slower and can take anywhere from three to six months. It’s crucial to have experts handle the drying process for the best outcome.  

Restoring the Finish 

After the hardwood floor is finally dry, you may still find damage to the floor’s finish. Waxes and polyurethane can impede the evaporation of moisture.  

The floors, on occasion, will need to be removed to allow for more drying. And if the hardwood floor cups at all, its finish can crack. But once the floor is entirely dry, it can be refinished.

When Your Hardwoods are Damaged by Water

If your hardwood floors have been damaged by water, don’t go it alone. Drying and restoring hardwood floors is an art and a science.  

Onsite Restoration technicians have the expertise to assess any type of floor appropriately, and we have dedicated equipment to repair hardwood floor water damage. Plus, we make the process seamless by assisting you with insurance claims while bringing your property to an even better state than its pre-loss condition.  

Request a consultation today for your Tampa area home. We guarantee our work and our elite, certified staff will provide you with the personal attention rarely found in our industry today.

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