Study these tips to protect your wooden floors from water damage.
Moisture is the worst enemy of hardwood floors. The porous nature of wood makes it highly vulnerable to moisture damage as water penetrates deep into the material. By removing the water quickly enough, you might be able to salvage your wooden floors and prevent permanent water damage.
Here are some steps to dry wooden flooring after indoor flooding:
Get Rid of Surface Water
Start off by removing standing water from the wooden surface using a shop vacuum. A wide flooring attachment on the vacuum hose should make this incredibly easier. As you suck up the water, a squeegee can come in handy to collect the water.
Wipe the Floor
Take clean water in a bucket and mix an appropriate disinfectant with a mild detergent in it. Use a stiff brush. Rinse a stiff brush in the mixture and thoroughly wipe the entire floor to remove all mud, dirt, silt, or organic material that can lead to mold growth. Avoid pouring any water on the floor for cleaning. Remember, that’s exactly what you’re trying to remove from the wooden flooring.
If you see signs of mold such as discoloration on the wooden floor, clean the affected surfaces with a mixture of trisodium phosphate and water. Keep scrubbing the surfaces until they look clean. Then, use a clean, damp cloth to rinse the surface and wipe it with a dry cloth.
Dry the Wooden Floors
Use fans and open the windows and doors to provide plenty of ventilation. When you do this, keep the fan in a large door or window opening and open the doors or windows at the other end of the space. This way, existing air would be blown out by the fan and fresh air will enter from the other end, ensuring perfect airflow. A high-quality dehumidifier should also help control the humidity levels in your home.
Sand the Damaged Flooring
Once you’ve dried the wooden floor, you might see some convex or concave floorboards. Through heavy sanding level some minor high areas. In some cases, however, sanding won’t be enough to flatten the surface. Inevitably, some floorboards will lift completely at the ends. You’ll need to face-nail the floorboards in this case.
Test for Moisture
Finally, use a moisture testing meter to inspect the wooden surface for moisture. Don’t expect the meter to show zero signs of moisture after a couple of days. Depending on the scope of flooding and the level of humidity in your home, wooden floors can take several weeks to dry completely. Keep the dehumidifier and fan running until the moisture test shows no signs of moisture presence.
And that is it! The above-mentioned tips can help you protect your wooden floors. However, in case of serious indoor flooding, you’ll need to seek professional help. An experienced water damage restoration company should help you salvage other items at your home too.