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Solutions 101: Hardwood floor water damage


No matter how careful and how hard you try to keep your hardwood floor clean and dry all the time, exposing it to water and moisture is just inevitable. High levels of moisture and water spills can cause significant damage to hardwood floor if not properly dealt with. Here are some ideas and tips on how you can restore and fix hardwood floor water damage.

When wood is exposed to heat, water and humidity, the wood expands due to the increase in its moisture content. The wood becomes wider which often results to cupping or buckling. But keep in mind, there is no problem that can’t be solved. A lot of various techniques can be applied to repair warm hardwood floor water damage. The most basic step is to effectively dry and restore the hardwood flooring. Immediate action is important so as to avoid prolonged exposure of the wood to moisture. Different drying methods can be done depending on the size of the wet and damaged area. Small water spills can be dried using soft towels. Air drying and using dehumidifier are solutions too. Increase air circulation by opening windows and doors or by using fans while a dehumidifier can be used to remove moisture from the air resulting to faster drying out. Never use heaters for drying the wet area for it may cause permanent damage on the wood.

Linoleum flooring

If the hardwood or linoluem floor has cupped already due to the moisture imbalance on the bottom side of the wood planks, the only way to bring it back to normal is to balance the humidity in the area. After the top and bottom side of the floor has stabilized, a professional can sand and flatten the hardwood floor to re-finish it. You can also do it on your own provided that you have the know-how. This goes the same for buckled hardwood floor where boards are already lifted up from the subfloor in which they are attached to. A hardwood floor installer can help you in reattaching the wood planks to the subfloor. Another hardwood floor water damage which is very common is the occurrence of mold and mildew stains. Badly infected floor boards have to be replaced already. If it can still be helped, scrub the floor using mild alkali like washing soda and mix four to six tablespoons of it with a gallon of water. After scrubbing, rinse it with clear water and let the floor dry thoroughly.

Now, if the mold has already grown under the paint of the hardwood floor, remove the finish and then scrub the wood using an abrasive cleaner. After that, use a solution of trisodium phosphate, a cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water. The wood needs to be sanded after all spots have been removed. Rinse it with clear water, allow it to dry and apply a wood preservative. Do all these before repainting the hardwood floor. For unpainted wood surfaces, warm soapy water can be used then dry it using an absorbent cloth afterwards. Once you have seen any minor problem on the floor, it is important that you find a way to fix it right away so it won’t lead to bigger hardwood floor water damage.

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I love writing about interior design. I am in love with achieving harmony at home to improve the well-being of my family. I usually write for the "Visitacasas" blog, both in Spanish and English, and personally answer the questions about home decoration of all our users.

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