3 Helpful Tips: How to Deal with Water Damaged Wood Flooring

July 22, 2021

When dealing with water damaged wood flooring, it is common for homeowners to feel a level of despair at the thought of what the water damage is going to be and what it is going to cost. There are a number of damaging effects that water has on wood flooring, from buckling and warping the flooring to instigating the growth of mold within the wood that can become a nightmare and eventually a health problem for anyone in the household.

But while you are waiting for the professionals from Insight Restoration to arrive and assess the level of water damage and develop the best plan to move forward, there are some important steps that you can take as soon as possible to address the water damaged wood flooring and to reduce the amount of work that will need to be done. This is because the longer that large amounts of water are in contact with any type of wood, the more it will be absorbed by the timber leading to more damage that you can actually mitigate while waiting for the professionals.

The amount of damage caused to wooden flooring by water is dependent on the amount of water, what part of the floor its has reached such as the under-floor layers, and the specific type of wood and its finish. Dense woods won’t quickly absorb water, however if they are exposed to water for a long time, they will eventually absorb it and because of their density, they will take a long time to dry out which allows mold to grow.

Additionally, waterproof finishes may prevent moisture from being absorbed by floorboards, but if the water leak is large enough to form a puddle, then that water may seep in between the floorboards and down into the underfloor layer which will not be waterproof. This is why a speedy reaction can really help since you can remove water quickly to prevent it from soaking further into the wood flooring and below before the professionals arrive on site.

3 Tips On How to Deal with Water Damaged Wood Flooring

Locate the Water Source

The first step that is perhaps the most crucial when waiting for the professionals from Insight Restoration is to locate the source of the water leak, be it a leaking pipe or a damaged roof. Follow the trail of water and do your best to stop the leak, either by turning off the water to the pipe or putting down buckets under the leak to catch the water.

Remove Wet Objects and Excess Water

Once the leak has been addressed, take all of the wet objects that are on the floor such as rugs and put them out to dry. This will help to expose the wooden flooring and prevent it from soaking up additional water. Dry the floors as much as possible by removing excess water with a mop or towel.

Use Fans and Air conditioning to Start the Drying Process

If you don’t own your own fans, it is a good idea to rent some large industrial ones and aim them directly at the wet part of the water damaged wood flooring on a high setting. If you have air conditioning then you can turn this on as well and make sure that all windows around the affected area are open by at least 2 inches. 

If the water has soaked through the floorboards and is affecting the underfloor layer, then you will need to do your best to target this area as well. If you have a basement or a crawlspace under the floor, then make sure to remove excess water from these areas and place some fans directed at the water damaged wood flooring for better ventilation. If there is a finished ceiling on the level below the leak, you can even cut a square in the drywall of the ceiling so that the fans have a better chance at reaching the moisture. This hole can be easily repaired later.

Once you have all completed all of these steps, leave the fans on with the windows open until one of our Insight Restoration professionals arrives and can better assess the situation and work with your insurance company to develop a plan on how to restore your property back to its pre-damaged status.

Our professionals are available 24/7 throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and can work on any building type from residential to commercial, giving you the peace of mind that your water damaged wood flooring will be taken care of by experienced professionals.

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