Beautiful hardwood flooring can provide a rustic flourish of beauty to any room. However, due to the porous quality of the wood, it is prone to water damage. Water can enter our homes through a leaking sink, a poorly sealed window, or an ill-fitting door frame. When too much moisture is absorbed into the wood, it can cause the flooring to buckle and cup.
Water Damaged Wood Floors: Signs and Symptoms
Mold begins to grow on damp wood. It often appears as a dark stain or blemish on the surface of the boards. Mold deteriorates the boards, resulting in a mushy, spongy texture. Because of the stress, the board will occasionally buckle and break into soft splinters.
If left untreated, this mold might cause the board to distort. Crowning (swelling) can occur in the center of the board or along the edges. This could result in flooring lifting or separation, resulting in unattractive gaps or tears.
Another sign is that the individual planks have begun to cup or crown, causing a bulge on the floor. When wood absorbs moisture, it expands, noticeable when planks begin to buckle or the board’s edges turn up. You can avail professional restoration services from companies like PuroClean of San Antonio Northwest if this occurs.
How to Handle a Water Damage Scenario
The steps that should be taken if your hardwood floor has been damaged by water are as follows.
Locate the source of water.
To begin, determining the source of the water is crucial. Immediately pausing or stopping the flow may mean the difference between a repair and a total replacement. If the floor is stained by blood, you may require the services of crime scene cleaners to properly restore your flooring.
Clear the affected area.
Removing any carpets, pet beds, or other items from the area will avoid further damage. Furniture adds undesired weight to damp wood, pushing moisture deeper into it. Rugs and carpets trap moisture, giving it more time to seep in.
Dry the area.
Remove as much surface water as possible using a mop and a towel. It will be impossible to extract a significant amount of water seeped between the floorboards. The goal is to limit additional seepage. Install dehumidifiers if possible to help remove excess moisture and prevent damage to other portions of the space.
Conduct a visual inspection for mold and warping.
If the damage occurred lately, this is unlikely to have occurred yet. Nothing should happen if you run a dehumidifier for a few days, but keep an eye out for signs of blackness in corners and joints. If any of this is identified, it is time to assess the extent of the damage.
Flooding, whether localized or extensive, can cause water damage. This is more likely to transpire due to a plumbing leak or appliance damage. Maintaining the right condition of all water sources will keep them from unleashing a catastrophic leak. Keeping all connections secure and pipes free of rust enhances their useful life and protects hardwood flooring. Water damage can occur in a variety of ways. What homeowners value the most is quickness. The sooner water damage is noticed, the more likely the floors will be saved. If warning signs appear, act quickly.