Wood Floor Repair After Being Flooded
The very first thing to do, is to dry out the floor surface and more importantly the sub floor, so that the boards don't continue to warp. It's very important to dry the floor quickly, not just to stop the warping, but also to stop the mold that my get a grip on the wood.
In all cases of water damage to floors, cleanup should always start with removing any standing water to prevent further damage. Next, discard any floor materials that cannot be salvaged such as carpet padding.It is very important to remove excess moisture from the floor and especially the subfloor of wooden floorings. This can be done by using dehumidifiers or fans and other drying devices that force dry air onto the area and help restore the correct level of humidity. Once the surface is thoroughly dry, it should be treated against mold growth.
When hardwood floors are subjected to factors that can cause possible water damage, immediately dry the floor out by mopping with a dry mop or using large fans. If at all possible, never clean your hardwood with water. There are vacuum cleaners that do a good job of suctioning off dirt and dust without scratching the floor and then uses a steam function to sanitize the floor. However, when the water has penetrated so deeply and there are already manifestations of permanent damage, you would have no choice left but to replace your hardwood floors.
After applying an anti-mold treatment, the floor should be ready for repair and restoration. The specific methods for restoring water-damaged floors will depend on the type of floors that were affected.
For water-damaged wooden floors, make sure you've removed all hardwood that was damaged. The subfloor must also be replaced if the water has weakened it. Apply a floor-leveling compound and then install new wood flooring, making sure it has the same color, thickness and texture as the existing floor. Re-sanding and refinishing the replacement wood pieces may also be necessary so they will blend with the rest of the floor.
If there was a flood in your area caused by a storm or river overspill, or the cause of water damage in your home is sewage backup, do not attempt to do the cleanup yourself. You will be putting yourself at great risk because you're dealing with highly-contaminated water. You should call a water damage restoration professional instead.
Also, if the water damage is extensive, affecting large areas, or more than one floor, then it is also best to call professional help because you may not be able to clean up everything quickly and time is of the essence in any water damage incident. Molds can grow on a surface that's been wet for just a day or two.
In addition, the wet floor and subfloor must be dried thoroughly and this is done properly with the use of specialized equipment. You may have to rent them so why not just hire a professional water damage crew who already has the needed equipment and training to do the job efficiently?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"