Isn’t water a tragedy to hardwood flooring? As a result of the porous nature of wood, moisture gets easily into the material. This can cause your flooring to start showing signs of stains from little spills here and there…
You would also notice the floor starts to bend and curve only when the large amounts of water get soaked in, as the planks bloat.
You may be thinking, “But the wood is sealed and waxed, so it’s water-proof.” You should know that while waxes and sealers are designed to supplement more water-resistant benefits towards the wood flooring, they still won’t prevent moisture from soaking into the wood flooring. The benefit to using these products is the ample time they give you to clean up the water from the floor, and also stiffen the flooring so it becomes hard to damage.
Another tip that comes handy is drying your floors quickly, to reduce the amount of colossal damage.
Now we are getting to the meat of the matter, so what are the measures to take to minimize water damages after a major flooding or plumbing accident? Which can be in any home or public building.
I suggest you follow the steps below promptly if your wood floor is starting to look dull due to water absorption.
Displace Objects Soaked with Water from the Floor
This part is important because furniture and rugs that get soaked in water will continue to shrug off the moisture into the wood. Not only that, having wet furniture in your home can cause mildew and mold growth, which eventually gets into the seams and pores of your flooring.
So you would have to take out every wet item from your room and place them in an area where they would dry without further damage to the floor
Absorb as much of the Water Soaked in the Floor
To absorb the water soaked in your wood floor, there are certain tools you can use to soak up the water as much as possible, these include; mops, towels, wet vacuums and clean cloth. You can use a wet vacuum to suck up large bouts of water from the flooring.
I recommend you continue using the wet vacuum, even if the water on the floor drys, water would still be lurking in the plank seams and wood pores. Try to keep the wet vacuum running over the floor until you see no water in the vacuum canister.
Clean the Whole Wood Surface
Okay now you’ve dried the whole surface of the wood floor but you still haven’t cleaned it yet, so how do you clean it knowing the debris and dirt particle will still be hiding somewhere in the pores of the floor, knowing these particles can store bacteria as well as water which further compounds the problem.
Well you would have to use a liquid disinfectant cleaner, yes it may sound counter-intuitive to use a liquid (disinfectant cleaner) to solve the same problem another liquid (water) caused, but you will be using ones that won’t produce froths and a brush that won’t leave scratch marks on the surface of the floor.
After removing the dirt and debris from the plank pores of the wood floor, you can dry the floor with a wet vacuum. Once it dries you can also apply a wood floor cleaner to take out the remaining disinfectant. Then rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.
Dry the Wood Thoroughly
If you look closely, water could have probably penetrated throughout the wood via the tiny pores and you can’t use a wet vacuum when the water has soaked deep in the wood floor.
The tool to use at this level is a dehumidifier set to the highest setting. The way you would use this tool is to place it in the center of the room and let it sit there for 24 hours, then after the wait, place fans around the room so the entire flor surface receives freshly blown air. Like the setup with the humidifier, you would want to place the fan at the highest setting possible. If your flooring has a lower level, then you can place the fans on the lower level and place the fan blades toward the ceiling to dry the subfloor and flooring from underneath.
Another suggestion is opening the windows to bring in more air.
N.B: Don’t use your window as another source of moving air if it’s raining outside. You wouldn’t want extra humidity entering again.
Check for any Signs of Mold
Mold is a type of fungus that comprises of small organisms found almost everywhere in homes and public buildings. These funguses are usually open to us daily. In tiny amounts, mold spores are not harmful, but if found in damp areas in your home, then they can start to grow. When they grow on a wet surface, they get released into the air where they get easily inhaled. These can be dangerous to those sensitive to mold, causing health problems.
So you must check your flooring for mold and mildew, especially when it looks dry. In your search, if you find signs of mold in the pores of the wood, then you would have to use a brush and scrub the particular spot with a mixed solution of baking soda and water. Then once you're done scrubbing, use a wet vacuum to absorb the moisture and let it dry.
Carry Out a Moisture Test
You can also use equipment that was specifically built for testing your wood to check if any moisture remains in the wood. But when taking this test you have to be patient because you may run the test and notice the meter showing signs of moisture in the floor even after a day or two of drying your wood floor. This is because it usually takes up to several weeks for wood flooring to completely dry.
Another factor that can delay the drying process is the amount of water that was the wood floor soaked in and the current humidity in the room. So my advice to you would be to leave the dehumidifier and fans operating until the moisture meter shows no sign of water on the wood floor.
Did you enjoy reading this guide? Was it helpful to you?
One vital factor to consider is that you don’t wait for the floor to dry naturally but take the detailed steps above promptly. If you allow the water to sit, it will lead to a short existence of the wood as it will slowly get weak and eventually get damaged. This would mean you changing the water-damaged section or the entire floor in your room.
One last tip would be for you to continue with the scheduled cleaning and the preventive measures so it can last for a long time
Do you have any questions on preventing water from damaging your wood floor? Please let us know in the comments! If you enjoyed this post please share gracefully!!! ~Remember sharing is caring! ~