How to Fix Water Damaged Hardwood Floors

  • Michael Grant
  • March 8, 2020

Hardwood floors are extremely durable, so they require minimal maintenance over long periods of time. However, hardwood floors need to be protected from water damage. Water can cause a great deal of damage to hardwood floors. Water damaged hardwood floors may cause you to refinish or even replace them if the damage is extensive and left untreated.

To prevent this, here are five ways on how to fix water damaged hardwood floors..

1. Identifying water damage to hardwood floors

If you notice water damaged hardwood floors, it is already too late. The damage is far worse than you can see with the naked eye. One of the first signs of water damage is if any of the wood becomes even slightly discoloured in a patch or if the boards become uneven.

Staining to the hardwood floors from water damage is not just moisture but most likely it is mould growing on the wood. You will also notice that any metal that is in the hardwood begins to rust. This is when you will probably need a hardwood flooring expert to assess the damage and provide you with some options for repair and replacement.

2. Preventing water damaged hardwood floors

The coating on your hardwood floor is designed to not only look great but to protect the wood from any moisture coming into contact with the wood. Making sure that the protective layer is in good condition is vital to protecting your hardwood floor from moisture damage.

One of the best ways to keep the hardwood floor finish intact is to avoid any scratches from the furniture is to use a microfibre mop when cleaning. This will not scratch the hardwood and leave the finish in great condition after each clean. You should also be mindful of the furniture that you place on top of your hardwood floor. Every chair and table leg should have a protective pad on the base of it to prevent damage.

Even with the best finish on a hardwood floor, if it is constantly exposed to water, then it will find its way into the wood.

3. Understand where the water damage is coming from

Before you begin the process of fixing water damaged hardwood floors, you need to find out where the water is coming from. If you don’t find this out before the new floor is installed then all of that time and energy will be wasted. The new floor will become damaged by the same source of water unless it is found and stopped.

Water can damage your hardwood floors from a number of sources. The most common way that water is coming into contact with hardwood floors is through leaks in the plumbing of the home. This should be addressed right away as any sources of moisture in the walls or floor could be doing a great deal of damage to the other areas of your home.

Another potential source of water damage is from outside your home. This can be just as bad for your home as it means that the foundation of the home could be damaged. If you have checked both the plumbing and outdoor elements as sources of water damage and you still haven’t found anything then you should look to your appliances. Dishwashers and refrigerators are often the culprit of hardwood floor water damage.

4. Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors

If the water damage has only caused a small amount of damage to your hardwood floors, then you may be able to have a professional come into your home and sand off the affected areas, levelling the boards and then apply a fresh coat of the finishing.

This sounds great in theory on how to fix water damaged hardwood floors. But in practice, there are a few things that you need to know. Once the hardwood is sanded down, you will be stripping the finish and the staining from the wood. This will reveal the woods true colour and when you stain it again, it might not match perfectly with the other boards.

For this reason, you will need to sand down the entire room so that when the stain is applied, it is uniform and all of the boards are the same colour.

5. Replacing the entire hardwood floor

Sometimes the hardwood floor is so damaged by water that a full replacement is the only option available. This might seem like a drastic option but in reality it can be a great option to add some real value to your home.

You can even have some real fun and change up the look of a room with a completely different colour of hardwood. You should also look into if your home insurance will cover any of the damage if it was caused by a flood. This is something that many homeowners overlook, it isn’t always covered, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

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Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a cancer survivor. I'm also a home entrepreneur and stay-at-home grandfather. In the past thirty years, I've dabbled in the the financial sector, the technology industry, as well as a little business consulting. I guess you can call me a jack of all trades!


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