DIY Saturday #59 – Repairing Hardwood Flooring After a Flood
Guest Blog #123, Entry #589, July 16, 2011
Happy DIY Saturday! Have you experienced water or moisture damage to your hardwood flooring? Even if you haven’t yet, would you know how to repair your current floor if you did?
Today, our Guest Blogger gives tips for repairing yours and what products are good for the care and upkeep of your beautiful hardwood floors.
Guest Blog – Repairing Hardwood Flooring after a Flood
Water is the greatest nemesis of your beautiful hardwood floor. Even a minor spill could damage the surface of some of the most resilient hardwood floor products. Hence, you should always ensure that the surface of your hardwood floor is dry and free of moisture. Accidents are inevitable and whether you like it or not, they do occur. It is best to prepare yourself for a “rainy” day and keep the necessary equipment ready to deal with spillage.
While minor spills and accidents can be avoided, natural disasters are unforeseen and cannot be prevented, Hurricane Katrina being a sterling example of nature’s wrath. Many houses with hardwood floor products were destroyed and swept away during the incident. Imagine if your hardwood floor was submerged by a flood, what would you do? Here are some measures which you can take to salvage the hardwood floor products in your home after a massive flood:
- Remove excess moisture – After being completely submerged, your hardwood floor would have become soggy and ridden with moisture. Immediately begin wiping the surface with a thick absorbent cloth. Then using your hoover, vacuum dry the area thoroughly. There are special hoovers available in the market which is specifically meant for removing moisture from your hardwood floor.
- Cleansing – Once your hardwood floor is dry, you should cleanse it by removing all the mud and accumulated silt caused by the flood. Using a soft brush and non foaming detergent, gently scrub the floor. The detergent would effectively remove all the stubborn mud and silt and render your hardwood floor spic and span.
- Sanding – Quite often after drying your hardwood floor, the wood surface tends to either cave in or protrude upwards. This phenomenon is called “cupping” where the wood expands due to the moisture. In such a situation first you need to turn off the heating in your home and sand the surface of your hardwood floor products. This would smooth out its surface and level the bumps in the wood.
- Alkaline solution – Wood that has been exposed to excess moisture usually develops mold and mildew on its surface and interiors. This can severely damage your hardwood floor. If your hardwood floor products show signs of mold, then immediately wash the surface with an alkaline solution consisting of washing soda and water. This is an effective way to clean up and remove all the mold and fungi that might have formed on the surface of your hardwood floor.
How to deal with a “buckled” hardwood floor?
Buckling occurs when the top surface of your hardwood floor gets dislodged from its sub floor. Flooding can cause this to happen and destroy the foundations of your hardwood floor. Depending on the extent of damage, if it is a minor problem you can fix it by hammering a few nails which would put it back in place again. However, in the event of buckling, it is best to consult a professional.
Salvaging a hardwood floor is no easy task. It could take up to a month in renovations and repair to restore a hardwood floor back to its mint condition. The ultimate joy of redeeming your hardwood floors to its natural sheen however an incentive in itself for every homeowner is and would save you a great deal of money if you had to replace it with a new flooring installation.
Eric Hurst writes for National Hardwood Flooring, an online flooring retailer with years of experience in discount flooring and other floors that are weather resistant.
For more hardwood flooring ideas on Stagetecture, click here.