It is impossible to predict when you might experience water damage. In fact, water damage is one of the worst potential disasters that can impact your property. Water affects homes and businesses on many levels. In short, once water has entered your property, it doesn’t take long for significant damage to occur. You will notice immediate effects on your hardwood flooring. By and large, it doesn’t take a natural disaster for water damage to occur. In fact, burst pipes or leaking appliances will damage your flooring. Anywhere there is a water source, there is the potential for leakage, flooding, and damage. Even mother nature, through heavy rains, and in the rare cases of natural flooding, leads to significant water damage to floors. So, can water damaged wood floors be repaired? Read on to learn the factors that determine whether your floors can be repaired or need to be replaced.
Can Water Damaged Wood Floors Be Repaired?
There are many factors in determining whether your wood floors need to be repaired or replaced. By and large, water and wood simply do not mix well together. In fact, time is of the essence. Moreover, the sooner you can remove the water and moisture from your floors, the better. Actually, removing water quickly increases your chances of saving and repairing your floors. However, removing the water alone is not enough. You also need to remove the moisture. To be specific, hardwood floors typically have a moisture content of 6 to 10%. Flooded hardwood floors, on the other hand, have a moisture content of 30% to 40%. This increase in moisture is damaging. To sum up, the longer water is left, the more likely repair will not be an option. Additional factors include:
First, The Length of Time your Floor has been Exposed to Water
As previously mentioned, the amount of time your floors are exposed to water makes a large difference. In short, the longer water is on your hardwood flooring, the more damage occurs. For example, wood floors that have been exposed to water for more than 24 hours are more likely to need replacement than floors exposed to water for a few hours.
Second, Whether the Floor is Hardwood or Engineered Hardwood
In short, hardwood floors are easier to repair than engineered floors.
Third, The Extent of the Damage
Is your damage major or cosmetic? When visually inspecting your floors, pay attention to physical damage. This includes any signs of cupping, crowning, buckling, or staining. Additionally, keep in mind that water intrusions cause mold. In fact, mold will grow within 24 to 48 hours of a water intrusion. Mold growth will complicate repairs.
Fourth, Can Sections of the Floor be Replaced and Matched with the Finish of Undamaged Sections?
When water damages your hardwood floors, replacing the planks is often needed. In this case, the area can be repaired if the original wood is available. However, the new section may not look exactly like the rest of the floor. This can be remedied by sanding and refinishing the entire floor, not just the section.
Fifth, Has Water Penetrated the Subfloor and Caused Additional Damage?
Occasional small spills will not typically damage the subflooring. However, anything larger than a small spill can penetrate and damage subflooring. This is why it is important to address water damage issues as soon as possible. In fact, if left alone, the situation will get worse, and repair is not possible
What are the Signs that my Hardwood Flooring has Water Damage?
As previously mentioned, addressing water damage is critical. For that reason, it is important to keep an eye out for signs that your hardwood floors have water damage. By and large, common signs include:
- Staining or Discoloration
- Nails Lifting
- Floorboards Lifting
- Cupping, Buckling, or Crowning
- Mold Growth
- Warped Floorboards
- Odd Smells
- Plumbing Leaks
- And Many More
Can Water Damaged Wood Floors Be Repaired?
For More Information about Wood Floors and Water Damage, Contact Southwest Restoration
Southwest Restoration has provided water damage restoration and remodeling services in Southwest Florida since 1988. Since that time, we have repaired, restored, and remodeled thousands of water damaged homes and businesses. This includes hardwood flooring. As a fully licensed and insured restoration contractor, we have an IICRC certified team, and the experience to restore your property to its original state or better. With this in mind, contact us today.