How to Fix Water-Damaged Wood Floor: A Homeowner’s Guide

Were you recently affected by a flood? Did it damage your wood floor? A wood floor is easily damaged when it gets wet. It can cause a variety of health issues and even lead to the death of your floor!

But how to fix water-damaged wood floors? How do you determine the best approach to take when it comes to fixing water-damaged wood floors?

Here’s what you need to know.

Identify the Source and Stop the Water

If it is from a plumbing issue, such as a broken pipe, that should be stopped and corrected immediately. If the source is coming from an area outside the home that can’t be controlled, such as a flooded basement, the water should be blocked from entering the home. This could include the installation of a sump pump to move water away from the area.

Waterproofing materials may also be used around the perimeter of the house to reduce the amount of water coming in. If the floor is coming into direct contact with water, that water should be mopped up quickly. A dehumidifier should also be used to reduce the amount of water in the air, as this will help the floor dry out more quickly. 

Dry the Affected Area

Vacuum up any excess standing water that may be on the floor and around the edges of the area. Then, use a soft dry cloth to absorb any remaining moisture and debris. If the area is visibly warped, curl up a corner of the affected flooring that can be easily replaced.

Use fans and any type of dehumidifier to help speed up the drying process. Care should be taken to keep any heat sources away from the wooden flooring so as to not cause further damage. Allowing the area to dry for several days should help with any water damage. 

Sanding and Refinishing

This process requires special tools and techniques that most homeowners do not have. To begin, use a heavy-duty belt sander to remove the existing finish. Be sure to wear a dust mask when sanding and keep the windows open to keep the dust from circulating.

Be careful while sanding not to sand too deeply. Once the floor has been sanded, it is time to use a water-based primer for a thorough clean-up and to seal the wood. Once the primer has dried, it is time to start applying varnish or polyurethane to protect the wood’s surface.

Spot Repairs and Replacement

When dealing with spot repairs, the homeowner must first make sure to identify any and all areas affected by the water damage. They should then remove the affected areas by using a saw. If structural damage has occurred, the homeowner may need to use filler to help create a level surface.

After the affected area is properly sanded and filled, the homeowner can then apply a clear stain or sealant to the area. Replacement may be necessary if the water damage is extensive. Take the time to stay proactive about common causes of water damage quickly to protect your investment.

The Bottom Line: How to Fix Water-Damaged Wood Floor

Water-damaged wood floors can be tricky to fix, but it is certainly not impossible! By thoroughly drying and cleaning your floors, treating and refinishing them as needed, and using other options such as waterproofing and replacing, you can help salvage your flooring. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced professional on how to fix water-damaged wood floor.

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