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Water Damage To Hardwood Floors

In many modern homes, carpeting has given way to hardwood flooring, which can bring about a completely different set of problems when it comes to dealing with water damage.  These floors are treated depending on a number of factors such as response time, the type of flooring involved, replacement value, type of wood used, the type of finish applied, how it was installed, and the amount of water and moisture that come into play. Clearly, this is a scenario where no two jobs are exactly alike.

As with any case of water damage, timing is everything, since flooring is at risk of permanent water damage if the water and moisture are not removed promptly and everything thoroughly dried out. Hardwood flooring can absorb moisture which may result in warping or cracking of the material over time. Restoration specialists are prepared to deal with this sort of problem.

Hardwood floors must be properly evaluated before drying, determining the species of the wood, as well as any laminate which may have been applied. Each material and combination poses its own unique challenges for proper repair and restoration. Moisture may become trapped beneath the laminate, acting as a vapor barrier. Remember that any moisture not properly treated can be enough to cause mold growth.

Installation procedures may also be affected, with water causing nails to lift up and adhesives to become loose. Floating floors may not be real wood, but rather a fully laminated product.

Effective drying of hardwood takes time, as much as 7 – 10 days. This allows the floor to release enough water to halt the forced drying process and allow air circulation to take care of the rest.  Moisture content should be reduced to within 4% of the floor’s dry standard.  After that, nature can remove the remaining water over the coming weeks or months.

Even after drying, the floor’s finish may have been affected, and will in many cases have to be removed to allow all of the moisture to be treated.  Warping and cracking may also occur, requiring specialized treatment if the floor is to be salvaged. After complete drying, the floor may be refinished.

Obviously, the repair and restoration of hardwood floors is a complex job, and not one that should be undertaken by the average homeowner. A water restoration professional has the training, experience, procedures and tools to handle even the largest cases of hardwood floor water damage.  Don’t entrust your home to anyone but the most qualified restoration experts.

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