Water is the natural enemy of every hardwood flooring. You do everything you can to stay at the top of spills, but you can’t control everything, and now the worst has happened! Your once gleaming hardwood floor was ruined by water!
What Can Water Do to a Wooden Floor?
Wood is an organic material that can only withstand the consequences of water for a brief moment. That is why expediency is essential to preventing damage from occurring. By way of example, you’re off on vacation and while you’re lying on a beach soaking up the sun, a pipe breaks and flooding your kitchen that then stays that way for several days. Now what?
Signs of Water Damage to Wood Floors
Here are some signs of harm to look for:
1. Staining and/or discoloration
2. Cupping and buckling from consumed moisture
3. Popping nails
4. Lifting of floorboards (especially at the ends)
5. Mold expansion (can occur within 48 hours of flood )
Considering that the normal moisture content in a normal hardwood floor is somewhere between 6 and 12 per cent and a flooded hardwood floor may have a moisture content of up to 40%, damage can be severe. Much of it has to do with the total amount of time which the floor is subjected to this water. More moisture will be kept if the floor is made to dry by itself.
Selecting Factors for Repair or Replacement
Determining If a water-damaged hardwood flooring can be repaired or should be torn up and replaced will depend on a number of factors such as:
1. The length of time the floor was exposed to water
2. Whether your floor is solid hardwood or engineered hardwood
3. The severity of the damage (Has the water penetrated into to the subfloor?)
4. The floor’s end (It can be hard to match specific stain colors when substituting isolated floorboards, particularly if the stain has”mellowed” punctually )
If the damage is severe or extensive causing significant growth, the entire floor may need replacing — and occasionally even the subfloor is going to have to be substituted.