Water and hardwood flooring are not a good match. Mopping up water quickly usually helps but sometimes there are plumbing emergencies that must be dealt with. Hardwood flooring can be repaired when damaged by water but sometimes the damaged flooring will need to be replaced. Severe water damage can rarely be salvaged without expert help.
Wood is an organic material and can only resist water for a small period of time. Removing the source of water quickly is important to prevent damage. If a pipe breaks or leaks your floor may be adversely affected and damaged.
- Signs your floor is water damaged-
- Staining or discoloring
- Cupping and buckling
- Floorboards are lifting especially at the ends
- Popping nails
Hardwood flooring typically has a moisture level of between 6 and 12 percent but when it is damaged it can raise to as high as 40 percent. The amount of time water is on the floor will affect how much is is damaged. The floor can then be dried to help reduce the moisture. A hardwood flooring installer should be consulted about this.
Determining if you need to replace or repair the floor depends on a few factors. The amount of time the floor was exposed to water is one of the big factors. Also the type of flooring is a factor, engineered and solid hardwood can withstand a different level of moisture. The severity of the water damage is a big factor, if the subfloor has been penetrated you will likely need to replace the floor.
Minor damage can often be repaired and a few boards replaced but in severe cases the whole floor will need to be replaced. Call a hardwood flooring expert in your area if you have any questions. They’ll be happy to help you repair or replace the affected areas.