How to repair water damaged wood floors?

Your ultimate Step-by Step guide to water damaged floor repair.

No doubt, hardwood floor always looks stylish and expensive if used in the house. It also can last quite a long time, especially if the wood is properly taken care of. Additionally, wood floors are really low-maintenance, all you need to do with them is usually regular mop them with a special household liquids designed for woof floors. Wood floor is definitely a great investment in the house. Although it hardwood floor seems pretty appealing, they do have their own requirements for care and you will need to put in a little bit of effort to make sure they stay in good shape. The biggest fear of any wood floor is water damage. This article will help you to recognize signs of water damage and will teach you how to repair water damaged wood floors.

Although hard floors are extremely durable, at the same time they are very sensitive to water damage. In most cases, hardwood floor water damage occurs when there is a case of flood, meaning that the floor is in contact with water for quite a long time. However, sometimes all it takes to have water damaged wooden floor is imbalance in moisture in the air and moisture in the wood. That is why, it is extremely important to keep an eye and to know how to spot the signs of water damage, even if you think it is nothing to worry about. Never underestimate small signs, as it may lead to the greater problem in the long run.

 Signs of water damaged hardwood floor

hardwood floor water damage repair warping

One of the easiest to distinguish identifications of water damaged hardwood floor is- cupping. Moisture/humidity causes the wood to expand by pushing the boards together and deforming them in the center. This results in the edges of the board being higher than the center. This situation can easily occur when you have spills and is also likely to be from moisture imbalances in the wood.

Another indication of wood flooring water damage is called -crowning. Crowning is the opposite of the cupping. While cupping occurs when the edges of the boards are greater than the center, crowning occurs when the boards, being pushed together as an outcome of expansion, raise up in the center. Both crowning and cupping can lead to hardwood floor buckling water damage, which is when the boards really start to lift off of the subfloor, triggering a great deal of damage to your hardwood floor.

hardwood floor repair water damage

Other signs are: the flooring breaking, the boards separating, or the wood becoming weak and soft. If you noticed any of this indications, it means you have hardwood floor water damage and must take actions to avoid further damage and consider learning about water damaged floor repair.


Another indication that water has harmed your flooring is dark or black staining along the edges of a slab or wider spots across several slabs. This staining is frequently caused by a combination of mold growing, the tannins in the wood turning color as they react to prolonged contact with minerals in the water, and periodically rust appearing along the edges of the board where nails exist. In each of these instances, a constant source of water is needed to cause the damage.


signs of water damage

Preventing of water damage wood floor

Once you face the situation of hardwood floor damage, your first action will be preventing the damage from spreading. In order to do that, you need to find the source of the water leak or extra humidity or any other water source that is damaging your wooden floors. Possible option of the source can be: a leakage, a spill, a floor set up over a concrete piece that was not completely dried, or imbalance of humidity in the air and humidity level in the wood. If this is the case, detecting the issue will not be only about detecting the pipe that is dripping. You will also  need to obtain a moisture meter, which is a kind of gadget utilized to read the quantity of water in the wood. Once you have the moisture meter in your hands, you need to find out the relative humidity (RH) in the air and compare it to the relative humidity in the wood. If the humidity in the air is higher than the moisture on the floor, that additional moisture is causing the wood boards to warp and split. In such scenario, you will need to fix the humidity imbalance if this is the case. Start from examination of your HVAC system. Issues with your heating and cooling system can lead to problems with your wood floor. You may need to install a dehumidifier in your house in order to get the excess moisture out of the air. If the air is too dry, causing the wood to dry out and diminish, you can install a humidifier into your heating system. Routine inspection of the humidity level in your house (air) and flooring will help you to avoid such problems in the future.

Source of hardwood floor water damage

Prior to you attempt to fix the damage, the very first concern to ask is “where did the water originate from?” A periodic spill won’t cause mold to form or the tannins in the wood to turn color or perhaps produce a cupped look. Relentless wetness over time is required for these issues to manifest themselves.

External sources of water are typically the top place property owners should look for. If you’re observing staining by doors or windows, there it’s most likely that water is leaking beneath the door sill or down the framing on an improperly installed or older window. Typically, particularly around windows, you’ll notice indications of water on the drywall in the form of paint bubbling on the wall water damage.

More typically we’ll discover water damage wood flooring that was brought on by internal sources of water.

You ought to examine whether one of the connections to the radiator is dripping if you have actually got hot water heat in your home with radiators set up in each room. You’ll be able to do a visual inspection to determine leaks, due to the fact that the adapters and valves are above the floor.

It is much more harder to recognize internal sources of water that are hidden behind walls, cabinets or below devices.

Just recently, we’re seeing increasingly more water damage from fridges and dishwashing machines. A variety of fridges have water filters situated underneath or behind the fridge. Occasionally these filters will block, or the filter housings/lines split creating a little, consistent drip of water. These drips, gradually, work their way down between the boards and behind the device, damaging the floor and causing damaged planks in front of the device.

Another progressively common source of leaks in the cooking area are from the drain pipes of dishwashing machines. For some reason, the plastic, flexible drain hose pipes are so inexpensively made that within a few years, fractures can form that drip thin down to the floor. Islands, where the subfloor is typically exposed to offer gain access for plumbing and electrical power, are particularly vulnerable to this problem. Water that leaks from the dishwashing machine strikes the subfloor and can take a trip for several feet. If there’s enough water, it can be soaked up by the wood floor covering above, triggering staining, cupping, or crowning.

Another common issue with dishwashing machine drain pipes is that they are not supported properly. Because the plastic hoses should make a bend or 2, and are often longer than required, tight bends will crack gradually, producing a concealed leakage that can destroy your wood flooring.

No matter what the source of the water, you will need to find the leakage and fix water damage before wood floor water damage repair can be considered.

Replace hardwood floor or repair?

In the occasion of water damaged hardwood floors, you will need to decide whether to fix or to replace. The finest suggestions we can provide is: if it looks like your wooden flooring is damaged past the point of return, then it would actually save you time and cash if you simply do whole floor replace. You can easily do replacing hardwood floor board and try to change them with a stain that matches. Below we will give a guide on how to replace hardwood floor.

Don’t get overwhelmed when you have water damage due to the fact that either way you’ll be able to repair your flooring until it looks brand brand-new.

Replacing wood floors

how to fix laminate floor water damage

The kind of wood flooring you have, impacts the repair work options available for you.

Each type of wood flooring  limits the variety of possible hardwood floor repair work for your wood flooring. Strong, hardwood flooring provides the broadest variety of alternatives as you can sand and scrape away as much as 1/4 of an inch of the wood to remove cupping or surface mold and staining once the planks are dry. Strong floor covering can likewise be replaced and brand-new slabs more quickly retrofitted into the existing flooring. Engineered hardwood floor repair is harder, as it has less products available for repair.

Steps to repair water damaged wood floors

Step 1- Identify the source of water damage

 As previously suggested, we don’t start repairs to any floor without identifying and solving the source of the water that’s impacting the wood flooring. Failure to do this will lead to a repeat of the issues weeks or months down the roadway.

 Step 2: Select the planks that need to be replaced

 Naturally you’ll always replace the planks that reveal the visual effect of the water damage, however it’s important to take extra planks surrounding the impacted location to produce a buffer that guarantees concealed damage won’t rise to the surface area in the future. For example, while there might not be visible mold or mildew on a plank next to the impacted area, future water spills might reactivate the mold growing on the bottom of the plank or concealed by the subfloor.

 Since brand-new wood will be weaved or laced into the existing flooring, instead of simply cutting in a rectangular spot from the affected location, you need to remove planks selectively in a natural looking pattern to provide the most smooth repair possible.

Step 3: Eliminate the water-damaged subfloor and insure the concrete floor, if one exists, is dry.

Removing the affected hardwood planks is simply the primary step in mapping out the floor covering to be repaired. As the top layer of wood is eliminated, the plywood subfloor need to likewise be checked to insure its stability. If the subfloor is moldy or considerably damaged by the water, then the hardwood leading layer need to be managed, even if it appears untouched by the water.

If there is concrete underneath the plywood subfloor, the concrete must be allowed to expel any wetness that might have been caught by the subfloor. If new plywood is covered into the existing subfloor prior to the concrete is dry, that moisture will take a trip up through the subfloor to the hardwood slabs, possibly causing issues.

Knowing how to appropriately utilize a Moisture Meter and a Thermo-hygrometer is essential to successfully recognizing a dry substrate.

Step 4: Replacing wooden floor (planks)

As soon as the foundation upon which the subfloor will be installed is identified to be dry, the plywood subfloor previously eliminated can be replaced. It is very important that throughout this action- you set up a moisture barrier, if needed, and the appropriate sound taking in product, such as cork, if you reside in high-rise building. Leaving this step out can unlock to future problems or lead to a floor that does not look or feel the method the initial flooring does.

When the plywood subfloor repair is total, you can go about the procedure of picking, sizing, cutting and installing new wood slabs to change the ones that were gotten rid of. Weaving brand-new slabs into an existing floor is an exacting job that requires persistence and the greatest attention to detail. If care is not taken, spaces in between the brand-new and old wood will look like canyons creating an overview of the repair that’s unpleasant not to mention the potential for major structural issues if the new planks are not stitched in correctly.

 Step 5: Sanding and Refinishing the whole floor

replacing wood floors

When the physical repair is made to the flooring, the most consistent results are gotten by sanding and refinishing the entire room where the water damage happened. As formerly recommended, the natural color of wood changes with age, sunlight and sourcing. Sanding staining and refinishing the whole flooring lessens these variables.

How to repair laminate flooring water damage?

 Laminate flooring can have a comparable appearance to strong hardwood or crafted hardwood, however it is not the same material. The majority of a laminate floor covering slab is made with wood pulp, much like particleboard or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). How to fix laminate floor water damage? Well, if most of the surface was damaged, you can’t really fix it, you need to replace it, because laminate is extremely vulnerable to water damage.


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