Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home. They always add a sense of style that carpet cannot touch. They also bring with them a layer of responsibility and attention to maintenance. Though hardwood floors are durable, with many lasting well over 100 years, their chief nemesis seems to be water – after fire, of course. If you have hardwood floors, keep reading to pick up 5 tips to remediate hardwood floor water damage.
1. Act fast. As soon as you have a water event on your hardwood floors, quickly work to sop up the major water damage. Mops and rags will help, but also use a wet/dry vacuum that can suck up the finer layer of water left over after you mop.
2. Air everything out.A large fan can help dry out the area. If the room is closed off, you can also run a dehumidifier to help take moisture out of the air. Airborne moisture can linger and may help foster mold and rot.
3. Prevent mold by working to first dry everything off, then keep your fans and dehumidifiers working while also running a HEPA air filter. An air filter can take mold spores out of the air and prevent them from finding a place to settle down to form an ugly outbreak.
4. Sand the floor. This is one that you’ll have to wait on, however. Since moisture may have seeped deep into the wood, you will want to keep your fans and dehumidifiers running for up to 6 months before you sand or plane the wood. If the floor is over a basement, you can help dry it from beneath. This is particularly helpful if the basement has exposed beams and not a finished ceiling.
5. Remove Water Stains. Water damage frequently shows up on a hardwood floor as a hazy white stain. To remove this, all you need is a cotton cloth and a mild abrasive such as white toothpaste or car polish. A deeper stain will show up as pure white or black. This indicates a mold issue. To get rid of these deeper stains, isolate the area, remove the floor wax or other finish and apply oxalic acid, which will remove the stain and restore the floor to its original color. From that point, all you need to do is refinish that portion of the floor to match the rest.
When your beloved hardwood floors become water damaged from a flood, a spill, or after a fire, the faster you act to save them, the better chance you will have of staving off serious damage. Make sure you sop up excess water, air everything out, and filter any mold spores from the air. With luck, you will not have to replace the floors and can easily remove any lingering stains. If the damage is extensive or overwhelming, be sure to call water damage experts who can immediately get to work and who can avoid any long-term problems.
Do you need help saving your hardwood floors from water damage? Give us a call at 585-663-0510