hardwood floor water damage

How to Restore Hardwood Flooring After Water Damage

Mold Restoration

Florida Flooding and Wood Floors

Florida faces the largest coastal flooding threat in the country. About 3.5 million people are at risk of coastal flooding across Florida’s 638 square mile coast and 1.5 million people are at risk of inland flooding. Since the year 2000, Florida has had five federally declared disasters due to flooding and scores of hurricanes bringing flash-floods, torrential rain-pour, and serious property damage. In fact, Florida has recorded 117 direct hits by hurricanes, significantly more than any other state. In 2016, Hurricane Michael sent severe floods and storm-surges into North Florida’s Saint Augustine, causing home and property damage, closed roads and bridges, and costly losses. To be prepared, check out another one of our articles, How Do I Protect My Home from Flooding?

As in all water-related property damage, time is crucial. Floors are at a greater risk for permanent water damage and mold growth if you don’t take care of moisture immediately. Hardwood flooring will absorb moisture more quickly due to its porosity. Besides response time, successful hardwood floor water damage repair depends on the type of flooring, wood, and finish, method of installation, amount of moisture, and replacement value.

For hardwood floor water damage restoration, consider hiring a professional disaster restoration company. They have the necessary knowledge and expertise and use specialized equipment for efficient drying. However, if you want to repair hardwood floor water damage yourself, check out the tips below.

How to repair hardwood floor water damage

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

How professionals restore hardwood floor water damage

professionals hardwood floor water damage restoration

Determining the type of flooring and installation

Inspection is always crucial when starting to repair hardwood floor water damage. Hardwood flooring comes in a variety of species, such as oak, pine, maple, and cherry. More and more exotic species are being used in flooring. Every type poses different challenges in the drying process because of the varying levels of moisture absorption.

There are also varieties of flooring that look like wood but are not. These floors will sometimes have a laminate on the surface and a particle board substructure. When moisture seeps beneath these floors, drying is nearly impossible. The inability to dry these surfaces is due to moisture being trapped under the laminate, which acts as a vapor barrier. For more help, call a PuroClean water damage restoration professional to help you evaluate your flooring’s type and condition.

Professionals will also assess the initial installation method of the hardwood flooring. Original installation may be nailed, glued or installed in a floating method.

Drying the hardwood floor (patience is key) 

Once the technicians determine the wood floor type and installation method, drying can begin. Using surface and/or subsurface drying methods and proper dehumidification, technicians can force airflow beneath the surface of the floor (in a positive or negative manner) to remove this moisture. It may also be necessary to access the floor from below for faster drying.

Effective drying of a hardwood floor is a slow process. It will sometimes take seven to 10 days for the floor to release enough water to halt the forced drying process. Removing all the absorbed water from the floor is expensive and nature must be allowed to assist in the process.

The hardwood drying continues until the wood’s moisture levels reach four percent of the floor’s dry standard. At this point, nature will remove the remaining water, although slowly — anywhere from three to six months. Education in this process is crucial for a successful job. Let the restorations professionals of PuroClean help you dry your hardwood flooring properly.

Repairing the finish 

Once the hardwood floor is dry, there may still be damage to the floor finish. Finishes, such as waxes and polyurethane, may inhibit the evaporation of the absorbed moisture. They will sometimes have to be removed in the drying process to allow for moisture removal.

If the hardwood floor cups slightly, the finish may check and crack due to the movement of the wood product. This is a normal part of the drying process. Once the floor is completely dry, the floor can be refinished.

Hardwood floor drying is a specialty. PuroClean restoration professionals have the knowledge to properly evaluate the many types of floors and have specialized equipment to repair hardwood floor water damage.

To summarize, here’s how to repair hardwood floor water damage: 


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Last edited on 11th of July 2019

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