Wooden floors are beautiful to look at and they make any living room look much larger. Relatively easy to clean and polish, hardwood floors are always a welcome addition to any home. However you must take care that the wooden floors aren’t damaged by water, which is why you need to be on the lookout for signs such as discoloration, warping or even separation between boards, which can indicate water damage.
To prevent water damage to wood in the first place
Of course it is much easier to make sure that your wooden floors are protected from water in the first place, so that you won’t have to go through the steps to repair the minor (or major) damage. When you see water pooling on your floor, for example, from spills or leaks, you should take immediate steps to dry the spot with a clean, dry floor cloth. By the way, when you do dry up the water, or clean the floors, make sure to use any cleaning solution sparingly, as too much cleaning solution may damage the wood permanently. If you see mold on your floor, then it’s probably not the first time that water has spilled in that particular place, and you need to make sure to get rid of all the mold, dry out the area, and check it for rot.
Once you clean the water from your floor, try to identify the leak. At times it will be easy (a spilled glass of water), but other times this might be the first indication that you have that there’s a more serious leak somewhere in your water pipes that has to be dealt with promptly.
How to repair water damage to wood
Start off by drying the floor with a soft towel. Remove any loose or rotting bits of floor, and make sure the damaged area is thoroughly clean and dry. Next, the size and texture of the stain can give you some clues as to where the damage originated, how much cleaning solution to use, and how long ago the damage occurred. Older water damage stains, for instance, tend to have either black or white cloudy marks around the stain.
Now, follow these steps:
- Dampen a soft cloth in warm water, and clean around the damaged area. Use a mild cleaning solution such as toothpaste, and rub the area until the stain marks are cleaned away.
- If there are cracks, or small pieces of the hardwood floor missing, apply an epoxy resin-based product to the floor area. Use a dull or putty knife to smooth out the surface, then leave the section to dry and harden for a couple of hours.
- Sand the wooden surface with fine-grit sandpaper. then apply a coat of oil-based wood primer.
- Once the coat is dry, then paint the floor section with wood paint or finish. Try to choose the right coloring, so the repaired section blends into the rest of the floor.
Don’t forget, that if you find yourself constantly drying your floors and removing water, it’s a sure sign that your problem needs to be addressed by an expert in water damage. You may have a serious water leak under your floors, or the rot is too far set in to be repaired by household means. In that case, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll come right over and see what the problem is!