Water Damage Restoration
It’s obvious that, longer a hardwood floor stays wet, the less chance it has at being saved, and higher chance that the floorboards will cup or warp even after proper drying.
Some of the most common problems with hardwood floor water damage are:
Cupping occurs when the sides of the flooring are higher than the center of the boards. This usually produces a concave shape. Both solid and engineered (made up of different woods) can cup when affected by water damage. Hardwood floor cupping is usually a result of a change in the moisture content levels of the wood flooring. ADL Floors can help you reverse hardwood floor water damage.
Warping is much more severe then cupping. This involves popping off the sub floor. This needs to be taken out to prevent further damage. Warping is mainly a result of fluctuation in humidity level, and can affect all types of wood. Water vapors being present in the area surrounding the hardwood can warp your hardwood floors. Warping is most noticeable in the summer, where hardwood floors can expand with the humidity and sometimes buckle up. Fortunately ADL Floors professional hardwood floor drying equipment can prevent warping, If reported on time.
If hardwood floor water damage is not taken care on time, mold growth will take place. Mold increases on wood floors when it has moisture and warmth. It can not only stain wood floors, but also move below the surface to discolor, rot, or warp the wood. To keep the mold from spreading, first cease the source of the moisture. Most surface mold can be eliminated with a rag and chemical spray. Hardwood floor water damage can produce mold spores on furniture, clothing, and other areas in the house if not taken care of on priority. If your floor has been wet for an extended amount of time without care, there is a chance that your floor will get permanently damaged.
At ADL Floors, we deal with a lot of customers who have wet hardwood floor cupping, warping, and molding problems after water damage. Using our Injectidry system, we strive to dry hardwood floors quickly and efficiently. We also dry hardwood floors without removing them. If you have a wet hardwood floor, call us now at 425-369-9017.
Below mentioned are the steps involved in repairing Water Damage to a Hardwood Floor
Step 1: Identify and resolve the source of the water
As previously suggested, we don’t begin repairs to any floor without first positively identifying and resolving the source of the water that’s impacting the wood floor. Failure to do this will result in a repeat of the problems weeks or months down the road.
Step 2: Select the planks to be replaced
Of course you’ll always replace the planks that show the visual effect of the water damage, but it’s important to take additional planks surrounding the visually affected area to create a buffer that insures hidden damage won’t rise to the surface in the future. For example, while there might not be visible mold or mildew on a plank next to the affected area, future water spills may reactivate the mold growing on the bottom of the plank or hidden by the sub floor.
Just as important, because new wood will be weaved or laced into the existing flooring, rather than simply cutting in a rectangular patch from the affected area, the flooring contractor must remove planks selectively in a natural looking pattern to provide the most seamless repair possible.
Step 3: Remove the water-damaged sub floor and insure the concrete floor, if one exists, is dry
Removing the affected hardwood planks is just the first step in mapping out the flooring to be repaired. As the top layer of wood is removed, the plywood sub floor must also be inspected to insure its integrity. If the sub floor is moldy or substantially weakened by the water, then the hardwood top layer must be pulled off, even if it appears unaffected by the water.
If there is concrete underneath the plywood sub floor, the concrete must be allowed to expel any moisture that may have been trapped by the subfloor. If new plywood is patched into the existing sub floor before the concrete is dry, that moisture will travel up through the sub floor to the hardwood planks, potentially causing problems.
Knowing how to properly use a Moisture Meter and a Thermo-hygrometer is key to successfully identifying a dry substrate.
Step 4: Replace the sub floor and lace in new hardwood planks
Once the foundation upon which the sub floor will be installed is determined to be dry, the plywood sub floor previously removed can be replaced. It’s important that during this step the flooring expert installs a moisture barrier, if required, and the appropriate sound absorbing material, such as cork, if you live in high-rise building. Leaving this step out can open the door to future problems or result in a floor that doesn’t look or feel the way the original floor does.
When the plywood sub floor repair is complete, the wood flooring craftsman can go about the process of selecting, sizing, cutting and installing new wood planks to replace the ones that were removed. It’s at this stage where the experience and talent of the flooring company reveals itself. Weaving new planks into an existing floor is an exacting task that requires patience and the highest attention to detail. If care is not taken, gaps between the new and old wood will seem like canyons creating an outline of the repair that’s unsightly not to mention the potential for major structural problems if the new planks are not stitched in correctly.
Step 5: Sanding and Refinishing the entire floor
Once the physical repair is made to the floor, the most uniform results are obtained by sanding and refinishing the entire room where the water damage occurred. As previously suggested, the natural color of wood changes with age, sunlight and sourcing. Sanding staining and refinishing the entire floor minimizes these variables.
If cost limits your ability to refinish the entire floor of a room, then a “spot” refinish is possible but it will come with compromises. First, it will be more difficult to match or hide differences in color because you will need to match the impact of the sun and age with the replacement planks. Tweaking the color of the stain used on the wood can help, but it’s a challenge. Second, you may see lap lines which are the “brush strokes” that occur when polyurethane is applied to a floor. Because each coat of polyurethane is relatively thick, matching the levels of the repair and existing floors is a challenge. Third, without the ability to machine the new and existing planks together the new planks will sit at a slightly higher level than the existing floors and be very noticeable when you run your hand across the surface.