The enemy of hardwood floors is water. Wood is porous, making it easy for moisture to be absorbed into the substance. Hence, tiny spills may leave stains on your flooring. When much water is absorbed and the planks swell, the wet floor may start to cup and buckle. You could tell yourself, “The wood is waxed and sealed. Hence, it cannot absorb any water.” While sealers and waxes are made to give wood flooring additional water-resistant advantages, they can’t stop moisture from being absorbed. These items are made to toughen the flooring so that it won’t be as readily damaged and to allow you more time to mop up the water or spill from the floor.
It is crucial to dry your floors as soon as possible to minimize the amount of irreparable damage. Here are some actions you can take if your home or business has had significant flooding or a plumbing accident that resulted in wet wood floors.
How to draw moisture out of wood floors?
Removing water-socked objects
Water-soaked rugs and furniture will continue to absorb moisture into the timber over time. Furthermore, mold and mildew can grow on wet furniture, penetrating the pores and cracks of your flooring. All wet items should be removed from the room and put somewhere to dry quickly without damaging the flooring.
Soaking all the water (or at least as much as possible)
Little puddles and spills can be quickly cleaned using towels, mops, and rags. To remove larger water puddles from the flooring, use a wet vacuum. Keep using the wet vacuum even if you can no longer see water on the wood’s surface. Water will still be present in the pores and seams of the wood. Until no water is visible in the vacuum canister, keep sweeping the wet vacuum over the floor.
Cleaning the whole wooden surface
Adding a liquid to the floor after siphoning the water could seem weird. Despite this, the floor will still have debris and filth in its pores, which can hold water and bacteria that can further damage the wood. Employ a scrub brush that won’t damage the floor’s surface, along with a non-sudsing disinfectant cleaner.
Once the filth and debris have been removed, use the wet vacuum to remove any remaining water, and then use a wood floor cleaner to remove any remaining disinfectant. The wood surface should then be rinsed and dried again.
Drying the wood completely
Even though the wood flooring seems dry, water may have seeped into every board since the wet vacuum cannot remove it. Use a dehumidifier set to its highest possible level to dry the floors. Set it up in the middle of the space and leave it on for at least a day.
Place fans strategically so air is blown over the entire space next. Set the fans at their highest speed. Place fans on the lower level and direct the air towards the ceiling if a level below the flooring can be accessible to dry the subfloor and flooring from below. Moreover, you can open the windows to let in more fresh air, but you shouldn’t do this if it is pouring outside because the extra humidity will go inside.
Checking for mold
Mold poses a severe health risk within residential and commercial structures. When exposed to mold or breathing in the spores, residents, staff, and clients may develop allergic reactions and breathing issues. When the flooring appears to be dry, check it for mold and mildew. You must scrub the floor with baking soda and water solution if you notice mold growth in the wood’s pores. After that, vacuum the moisture up and keep drying.
Performing a moisture test
A moisture testing meter can determine whether the wood still contains any moisture. Don’t be alarmed if the meter still indicates dampness in the floor after a day or two. Wood flooring can take many weeks to dry entirely. Also, the water on the floor and the relative humidity in the space can make the procedure take longer. Thus, keep the fans and dehumidifier going till the moisture test reveals that the wood is dry.
If this seems too many words or complicated, you should consider contacting a water damage expert. There are many reasons why work done by professionals is better than first-timers, which are as follows:
Almost always, prevention is less expensive than treatment. Experts performing immediate water repair prevent further degradation. It is frequently possible to avoid replacing damp hardwood floors or carpets. Yet, disregard can result in severe structural harm. If recovery costs are not covered by insurance, they could be ruinous.
There is no space for blunders or delays; even deep-down surplus moisture must be removed quickly. For carpet, wood flooring, and mold development, as little as 24 hours can make a difference; for drywall and textiles, 48 hours can.
Rapid drying down to the structure’s core is essential for water damage rehabilitation. And for that, you need large pumps, water extraction vacuums that are far more potent than shop vacs or carpet cleaners, high-performance dehumidifiers, large blowers, HEPA vacuums, and specialized deodorizing equipment. Instruments for pinpointing leaks and sensitive meters that can detect moisture far beyond observable surfaces are required for inspections.
Water damage specialists can also save more of the building’s contents and reduce structural damage. Their knowledge and specialized tools can save irreplaceable objects like family heirlooms, treasured possessions, lost business data, and valuable items like furniture, appliances, and gadgets.
The most crucial thing to remember is to never wait for the flooring to dry naturally. Your flooring will benefit more from taking the following actions as soon as possible. If you just let the water sit, the wood’s lifespan will be shortened, and you’ll either need to replace the entire room’s flooring or a piece of it due to water damage. So that your wood flooring lasts many years, maintain its beauty by doing the necessary annual cleaning and preventative maintenance tasks. You should also assess the damage and decide whether to undertake the task yourself or call a professional.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I make wet wood floors dry faster?
To make a wet wood floor dry faster, Remove any standing water with a mop, towel, or damp/dry vacuum, Open windows and doors to increase ventilation and airflow, Use fans to circulate air and speed up the drying process, and dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels in the room.
What happens if the wood is wet for too long?
If wood is exposed to moisture for extended periods, it can lead to rotting and decay, weakening the wood and making it structurally unsound. Wet wood attracts insects and pests and promotes mold and fungi growth, which can have adverse health effects.
How long does it take for water to damage wood floors?”
Typically, it takes up to 10 days for the wood to rot due to water exposure. However, the time it takes for water to damage wood floors can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of wood, the amount of water, and how quickly the water is removed.