Can Your Water Damaged Wood Floors Be Saved?

Floods and leaks in the home are no laughing matter when it comes to your hardwood flooring. That’s because water can be relentless and unforgiving if given enough time to sit undisturbed on wood floors. Repairing the damage can be a greater challenge the longer the water is allowed to remain in contact with the floorboards.

Not only are you risking significant damage to the flooring you may also have mold contamination to deal with as well. Neither of these things are easy to control or eradicate and accomplishing the task of repairing water damage centereville is best done on a preventive level, meaning you should probably avoid having massive amounts of water spilling over inside your home.

But for those instances where you just have no choice and that burst pipe doesn’t care what gets flooded and damaged, your hardwood flooring is in jeopardy from the beginning. Is it possible then to reverse the effects of the incident and hire a good water damage repair specialist to save the day? Possibly.

Act Fast


Floods in the home cause the most damage when the water is permitted to sit in the same place for an extended period of time. The longer the water is allowed to remain in contact with the wood, the more significant the damage can get. So you need to act fast, get that water out as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately this can be easier said than done in some situations but the key to saving your hardwood flooring from water damage is to dry it quickly. When you get all the water removed and go about properly drying the wood completely and thoroughly, you can very likely save more of your flooring material.

Once the floors are dried you will likely need to do some sanding and refinishing of the surface to remove any visible evidence that the room was flooded and the wood immersed in water. Repairing your floor is always preferable to replacing it, which won’t just cost you a pretty penny but will also require tearing up the floor and causing you and your family a great inconvenience.

Effects of Water


There are many ways for your home to get flooded. Burst pipes are among the most common followed by flooding from heavy rains, a roof that leaks under the same conditions, an overflowing toilet, ice build-up, a clogged air conditioner drain, or a fire is put out by the fire department. But no matter what lead to that water flooding the home, it’s important to remember what kind of effects it can have on hardwood flooring in particular.

Wood naturally absorbs water so when it gets wet it almost immediately begins to soak up that moisture and starts to expand. As this occurs the wood will warp or bow as the edges of your floorboards become swollen and distended, leaving the surface uneven.

Water spreads in all directions very quickly so while you may wiped up the excess moisture that was standing on the surface of the floor, you could very well have other issues underneath as the water possibly permeated through the cracks or seams between the boards.

Consider also the moisture content of your hardwood flooring in everyday dry surroundings. That content ranges from between 5% to 11% under normal circumstances, however, a flooding event of any kind can bring your floor’s moisture content to as high as 35-40% and when that occurs, so does major damage.

Taking Action

When a hardwood floor gets flooded you’re already facing an uphill battle in trying to rescue it. Most homeowners will attempt to remove all of the water and then point two or three fans at the affected areas in order to dry it all.

This often fails more than it works and depending on how long the water has been standing in one place, you may need to replace the floor entirely. But all is not lost yet, there are some steps you can take to try to save your flooring after a room has been flooded.

For starters, remove everything from the room including carpeting, furniture, appliances, anything that can get in the way of trying to remove the water and dry the floor.

You can then employ an industrial-sized extractor which is designed to remove standing water from the surface of the floor as well as eliminate any other moisture that has penetrated the porous surface in your wood floor planks.

Remember, you also want to prevent mold from developing so scrub the floor with a strong disinfectant to clean the surface of any residue, then try the extractor again to lift up any more moisture that might have been missed.