How To Dry Out Water Damaged Floors? Complete Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
14 min read

Flooring made of hardwood is a victim of water. Moisture is easily absorbed into wood because of its porous structure. As a result, your floor may exhibit traces of little stains. When the boards swell and absorb a lot of water, the wet floor can buckle and cup.

“Well, the wood has been sealed and waxed,” you could think. Consequently, no water can be absorbed into it. Even though sealers and waxes are meant to increase the water-resistant properties of wood floors, they cannot totally prevent moisture from being absorbed. Aside from making it easier to remove the water or spill, these solutions are also designed to make the floor more resistant to damage.

To minimize long-term damage, you must promptly dry your floors. If you have damp wood flooring after a big plumbing mishap or flooding has taken place in your house or business, here are some things you can do.

What happens when your hardwood absorbs water?

Many things can cause wood to become damp or wet, including flooding from rain, burst or broken appliances, ice dams, leaking pipes or pipes that have thawed and thawed and burst, frozen pipes, a leaking roof, a hurricane or storm, a pet accident, or a high groundwater table that forces water into your subfloor.

Prevent Water Damaged Hardwood Floors in Frederick MD | Dry House Restoration

When wood is wet, it absorbs the water and expands, eventually forming a cupped shape (or warp). Sides of wood flooring expand, resulting in an uneven surface, and this is known as “swelling.” To be safe, it’s important to remember that even if the water is only on top of the wood finish, it can seep in through the plank gaps and soak up moisture from the plywood sub-floor beneath it. Even if you have engineered hardwood, the water can seep through its boards and loosen its glue beneath, causing the floor to rise up with the expansion.

The faster water is removed and the floors are dried, the more likely the hardwood flooring (and sub-floor) will be saved and less likely mold will emerge (which can of course be a bigger problem and more expensive to resolve). Mold development can begin within 48-72 hours, according to the EPA, if your flooring (or walls) become wet.

How to Know if There is Water Damage

If you have a wooden floor, you need to know that it is susceptible to water damage, and that water can even seep into the subfloor. It’s easy to see whether your floor has been damaged by water because the indications are so obvious. Warping, buckling, and discolouration are all examples of these symptoms. Water damage can manifest itself in a variety of ways, depending on the sort of flooring you have.

● On Hardwood:

  • Dark Spots: While this could simply be a characteristic of the wood’s grain, it could also indicate the presence of mold or mildew.
  • Flooring with dips and elevated edges is damaged, as is flooring with cupping.
  • An area of flooring that has buckled or been entirely ripped away from the subfloor is called a buckling floor.
  • A “crown” is formed when the floor planks bulge upward.

● On Laminate:

  • Swelling of the plank edges: a general swelling.
  • Plans that have been warped or cupped are no longer flat.
  • Mold or mildew-induced discoloration.

How To Dry Out Water Damaged Floors

Remove Water-Soaked Objects from the Floor

The wood of drenched rugs and furniture will continue to absorb moisture. Mold and mildew can grow on wet furniture, penetrating the pores and seams of your flooring. Get rid of everything that’s wet and put it somewhere where it won’t damage the floor.

Soak Up as Much of the Water as Possible

Soak up tiny spills and puddles with clean cloths and towels. Larger water sources under the flooring can be removed with a wet vacuum. Even if you can no longer see water on the surface of the wood, don’t stop using the wet vacuum. In the wood pores and plank joints, there will still be water. When the canister is dry, the wet vacuum can be used.

Clean the Entire Wood Surface

After removing the water, it may seem odd to add a liquid on the floor. There will still be trash and filth in the floor pores, which can hold water and germs that can further degrade the wood materials.. You should use a disinfecting cleanser and a scrub brush that won’t scrape the floor when you clean it. You can use a wet vacuum to remove any remaining water, and then use a wood floor cleaner to remove any remaining disinfectant. After that, re-rinse and re-dry the wood.

Completely Dry the Wood

Because you can’t remove the wet vacuum’s water from the wood floor, water may have infiltrated the planks. Use a dehumidifier at its highest setting to dry the floors. Leave it on for at least 24 hours in the middle of the room.

Place fans all over the room to ensure that the room is well-ventilated. Fan speeds should be set as high as possible. Make use of any level below the floor that can be accessed to put a fan on the lower level and direct the air upwards to dry up subfloor and flooring. If it’s pouring outside, don’t open the windows to let in extra humidity; instead, use fans to circulate the air.

How to Repair Hardwood Floor Water Damage Step by Step

Inspect for Mold

Mold is a health hazard in both residential and commercial structures. Those who are exposed to or inhale mold spores may suffer from allergic reactions and lung issues. When the flooring appears to be dry, it’s time to check for mold and mildew. If you notice mold growing in the wood’s pores, you’ll need to use a baking soda and water solution to clean the floor. Next, use a vacuum to remove the excess moisture, and then continue drying.

Dry the floors

As a wet vacuum can’t remove water from the wood floor, it’s possible that water has seeped through the board. A dehumidifier set to its highest setting will do wonders for drying wet floors. Keep it on for at least 24 hours in the middle of the room.

To begin, place fans all over the room so that the room’s entire surface is warmed by the air currents. Make sure the fans are set to the highest level feasible. The subfloor and flooring can be dried from below by using fans on the lower level and directing the air upwards toward the ceiling. When it’s raining outside, it’s best not to open the windows since you don’t want any extra wet to reach your home.

Sand the water damaged timber flooring

Cupping” refers to the appearance of some of the dried wood flooring having a concave or convex shape. It is possible that some minor elevated regions can be “taken down” by using an orbital sander or drum sander to apply intense pressure. Smooth, heavily cupped wood, on the other hand, cannot be sanded down. Some of the floors at the ends will inevitably raise up to their full height. Using face-nails, nail the flooring back down.

Replace the laminate

Solid hardwood or engineered hardwood may seem like laminate, but they are not the same product. A laminate flooring plank, similar to particleboard or medium-density fiberboard, is used to make most of the wood pulp. This substance is particularly vulnerable to water damage and expands when it is wet, destroying the integrity of the material. Water-damaged laminate flooring should be repaired as soon as possible.

Perform a moisture test

You can tell if the wood has any leftover moisture by using a moisture checking meter. Don’t be surprised if the meter continues to indicate evidence of floor wetness after a few days. It may take many weeks for wood floors to completely dry. The procedure can also be slowed down by the environment’s humidity and the amount of water on the floor. Keep the dehumidifier and fans running as long as the moisture test shows that there is no water in the wood.

Does insurance cover water damaged flooring?

In a nutshell, it all depends! Depending on your insurance plan and the cause of the damage, you may or may not be covered for the damage. Flood insurance isn’t required by law for most homeowners, but it is recommended (less than 20 percent). As a result, if your home was flooded by water that came from beyond your property, you may not be protected.

In contrast, if the water damage was caused by a malfunctioning sump pump, frozen pipes, a burst water heater, a broken toilet, a damaged appliance, or a structural issue with the property such as a leaky roof or ice damming, you have a good case for filing an insurance claim.

Damage to your house may be covered by your insurance policy, which will pay for everything from water mitigation and removal to damaged furniture replacement and the cost of refinishing your flooring and repainting your walls. Your insurance company should be contacted and your policy thoroughly reviewed.

Keeping in mind that you can never wait for the floor to dry naturally is crucial. The better your flooring will seem, the faster you should go through the aforementioned processes. Leaving water on the floor will impair the life of the wood and necessitate a full floor repair, which is expensive and time-consuming. To ensure that your wood flooring lasts for many years, all you need to do is do the necessary cleaning and preventative maintenance.

Can You Save Water Damaged Laminate Flooring?

There are three factors to consider when determining if water damaged laminate flooring can be salvaged:

  • The more water you have, the less likely it is that your flooring will be salvageable.
  • The longer laminate floors stay wet, the less likely it is that they can be salvaged from the water.
  • Clean water from a burst pipe or a water tank flood will usually save laminate that has been damaged. Mold and germs from sewage backups and groundwater floods, on the other hand, provide additional dangers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wet Laminate Flooring

How to fix water damaged laminate flooring is a frequently asked subject. In the event that you have any additional concerns or require assistance with the clean-up, please do not hesitate to contact us.

How Long Does It Take to Dry Laminate Flooring?

Dehumidifying high-volume blowers and dehumidifiers can dry laminate flooring in as little as 12 to 36 hours. A lot depends on how many floorboards you utilize and what tools you use.

Using conventional house fans to dry laminate floors can take several days to a week. In addition, never lay damp laminate flooring because the drying time could be weeks.

When Should Laminate Flooring Be Replaced After Water Damage?

The risk of mildew and germs is too great to risk leaving wet laminate flooring in place after a sewage backup. If you are unable to begin cleaning up immediately after a flood, the same is true. You may also need to repair some boards that have swelled or distorted.

Will Wet Laminate Dry Out on Its Own?

Despite the fact that wet laminate flooring eventually dries out, it can take weeks to do so. In addition to increasing the risk of mold, it’s also possible that the floor will begin to disintegrate.

How Long Does It Take for Mold to Grow Under Wet Laminate?

Mold can quickly form under wet laminate flooring in as little as 24 to 48 hours. However, a sewage backup or groundwater inundation could only take 12 to 24 hours. Additionally, the longer you wait to begin cleaning, the more likely it is that you will have mold in your house.

How to Deal With Water Damage to Your Wood Floors | Orange Blog

How Do You Get Moisture out of Laminate Flooring?

Taking the boards out of laminate flooring and laying them flat to dry is the most effective technique to remove dampness. The quickest drying time can be achieved by using high-volume fans and dehumidifiers. Heat can shrink or deform the boards, so stay away from it.

Expert Water Damage Restoration Services Are Available Now.

The task of repairing a laminate floor that has been damaged by water is daunting. You can count on our restoration specialists to get the job done quickly even if you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself. To get a free quote for water damage cleaning and repair, call 1-855-493-7263.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.