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How Do You Prevent Water Damage on Hardwood Floors?

If you have hardwood flooring in your home, sooner or later, 1 way or another, you’re likely to have them damaged as a result of water. Out of management humidity difficulties, drains, floods because of cracked pipes or appliances, tracked in snow, water, or ice, and even injuries by pets may be extremely damaging to hardwood floors. You can prevent a lot of these problems if you keep in mind some basic steps that you may take to limit hardwood floor damage. 

Step 1: Limiting Hardwood Floor Damage – Take Action Immediately

Water damage to hardwood floors is innovative. As wood floorboards absorb moisture, they enlarge, both vertically and horizontally. The vertical expansion is caused by water being consumed by the edges of each plank and creates cupping, the edges becoming thicker than the board’s center. The horizontal expansion causes the planks to “grow” in width. As each plank expands horizontally the gap on all sides of the area’s walls gets smaller and smaller. There’ll come a point where the floor’s side-by-side expansion fills the gap between the floor and the walls. The flooring will continue to expand but will have nowhere to expand to. With no more space, the boards will buckle, or move upwards, to release the pressure. The damage from buckling is durable and will necessitate costly board replacement. The whole floor will then demand sanding and refinishing.

Step 2: Preventing Hardwood Floor Damage – Immediate Cleaning

Small spills can be washed up using soft, absorbent towels since the water will have not penetrated beyond the top layer of the floor. After drying up just as much of the spill as you can, you should place a fan next to the affected area to help increase the speed of evaporation. In the event of a large spill or flooding, like the ones by a broken water line, a water heater, or a refrigerator ice-maker line, for example, you are going to require expert aid. The proper professional restorer will have the specialized equipment required to eliminate the extra water fast and to promote rapid drying. The more a hardwood floor stays wet, the greater the damage to it. A bigger water reduction will allow the water to penetrate under the ground and affect the sub-floor, which will make drying the ground next to impossible for a homeowner. If relied upon within the first 24-36 hours, then most hardwood flooring can be dried successfully with little if any additional repairs needed.

Step 3: Restoration – After Water Damage Occurs

If your hardwood floor is already showing signs of warping or cupping, call an expert restoration firm as soon as the damage is noticed. A hardwood flooring installer will not be able to help you at this point. The flooring has to be dried back into NWFA/NOFMA (National Wood Flooring Association / National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association) criteria. These criteria will be different based on the area of the country where you live. A qualified restoration professional will know this standard. If your flooring is sanded or re-finished before being brought back to the appropriate dryness standard, it may be damaged beyond repair.

Hardwood floor damage is something you can prepare for and limit, based on the cause of the harm. Small spills can be easily taken care of by homeowners, big spills and floods, or leaks over time will need expert assistance. The sooner the issue is addressed, the better your chances of saving your floor.

When dealing with flooded hardwood flooring, act fast to save your flooring from permanent damage and mold growth. Speak to a professional flood remediation company, such as PuroClean, that can quickly mitigate the harm and implement the best course of action. Also, learn how to avoid hardwood floors water damage later on.

Hardwood floor drying is a specialty. PuroClean restoration professionals know to correctly evaluate the many types of floors and have specialized equipment to repair hardwood flooring water damage. Visit puroclean.com to learn more about water damage restoration.

Brian Thomas

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