Water Damaged Hardwood Flooring

Many homeowners now put hardwood flooring in their homes.  It has become extremely popular and so people commonly ask if they are able to dry and save their hardwood if they have had flooding.  Hardwood can be very expensive so it would be a major blow to have to completely replace it.  Hardwood flooring may be able to be salvaged but like many items after a flood it depends on a number of factors.

When it comes to saving just about anything from water, one of the most important things to consider is the length of time the item has been wet.  The same goes for hardwood.  Wood absorbs water quickly and dries out much more slowly.  Wood is also very prone to mold growth.  The clean up process must begin as quickly as possible.  If your hardwood flooring has been wet for more than 48 hours, there is a significantly diminished chance of being able to salvage it.  Mold can begin to grow from anywhere between 48 – 72 hours. 

The severity of the water damage will certainly determine if anything can be done to prevent having to completely replace the flooring.  If the hardwood is badly warped it will have to be replaced.  There is also the possibility that the subflooring has been damaged and will need replacement.  If the water damage is not too severe, such as minor cupping, it can be okay to keep it as long as it is properly dried out.  The wood can be refinished after the drying process is complete and the moisture levels are considered normal.

The level of moisture that the wood has absorbed will be another determining factor.  Normally the hardwood can be salvaged as long as the moisture level has not gone beyond 12%.  Anything over that and there is not much that can be done.  The risk of mold growth will be too high and therefore the flooring will need to be replaced.

Also the type of wood will make a difference.  There are 3 types of hardwood flooring; strip wood, plank wood and engineered wood.  Depending on the factors discussed above, these types of wood flooring potentially can be saved.  Many people also have laminate in their homes but this flooring should not be confused with hardwood.  It consists of a few different layers including high or medium density fiberboard.  Laminate is very poor in tolerating moisture.  It will easily show signs of water damage and in most cases will need replacement.

Hiring a professional water restoration company will give you the best chance of saving your hardwood flooring.  A qualified company will have the knowledge to advise if restoring your  flooring is possible.  If so, they have the top quality professional equipment to get the job done effectively and efficiently.  Industrial fans, blowers and dehumidifiers will be used to help remove the moisture.  Depending on the situation it can take 7 to 10 days to dry.  It is also worth getting in a professional because they will monitor the moisture levels to ensure that mold growth does not become an issue.  This can end up saving you a good chunk of money.

Restoration Mate can assist you with this process as well as mitigating other damages from flooding.  Remember that especially with water damage the faster the response time, the better.  You can rely on Restoration Mate anytime. We are open 24/7!

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