The last thing you want to do is deal with hardwood floor water damage repair. But your home or office is in crises. Whether you own a Palo Alto business devastated by an unchecked leak, or you own a Bay Area condo that unfortunately got drenched during a recent storm, this blog post will summarize what you need to do to repair damaged wood floors.
Step #1: Dry the floor and keep it from getting wet again.
This is an obvious step, but many homeowners overlook it. You need to staunch the water damage before you can reverse it. When water saturates a wooden board, it can permanently alter the board’s shape. So use towels, dehumidifiers, or other “tricks” to get the boards as dry as possible. If the boards curl or cup, don’t necessarily freak out. When the boards dry, they may still revert to their original shape – or at least get close.
[Also read: Preventing Hardwood Floor Water Damage]
Cupping Vs. Buckling
Cupped floors can be sanded down and refinished.
However, some water saturated floors can go beyond cupping and actually buckle. Technically speaking, buckling occurs when the wood breaks away from the subfloor.
While you still may be able to save a buckled floor– or at least parts of the floor – you may need to have the floor ripped out and replaced entirely. Moreover, you may need to “dig deeper” to find/remove hidden sources of moisture or mold that can infect the subfloor and create rot and/or air quality problems down the line.
[Also read: How to Repair Cracks and Holes in Floors]
If your floor has been damaged, how do you know when to replace the floor… or try to save it?
Multiple factors need to be considered, including:
- The extent of cupping and/or buckling;
- The cost of hardwood floor refinishing versus the cost of replacing;
- Whether “doing nothing” would possibly lead to environmental hazards, such as the development of mold spores or the creation of an easy habitat for pests like termites;
- The nature of the space that you are trying to repair (e.g. is this your living room or an out of the way space down in the basement that no one ever really visits?)