Wood floors are expensive, so you must do everything possible to preserve your floor. One of the bad things that can happen is a water leak. Try to avoid it, but you must act quickly if a water leak occurs. Everyone with these amazing floor designs should know how to dry wood floors after water leaks.
It is essential to dry wood floors after a spill because the water compromises many parts of the wood floor structure. For example, the wood laminate used for your floors can lose its function after getting wet. Also, water ruins the wood surface, causing it to have a faded, unpleasant look. Thankfully, we have written this article to help you avoid all that and protect your investment in wood floors.
Hardwood floors make an excellent decor in homes. However, maintaining a wood floor can be challenging because you always need to ensure water never touches the wood surface.
A little bit of water is enough to cause damage to a section of your wood floor. Consequently, you could pay a lot of money to fix the damage done.
What Happens When Water Spills on Your Wood Floor?
After a spill, water seeps into the floor’s pores most times. Unfortunately, the wood retains moisture, which encourages mold growth. Also, when wood absorbs moisture, it tends to expand. Consequently, that part of the hardwood floor swells and looks protruding.
Furthermore, the water will not spare your wood floorboards. If you don’t take corrective measures after a major plumbing accident, the quality of your floorboards will eventually be degraded.
The heat can dry your wood floors during summer, but it will take time. It’s worse during the rainy season or winter. Wood can retain moisture for so long, causing progressive damages.
How Long Does It Take Hardwood Floors to Dry?
Cleaning water when it spills over the wood floor quickens the drying process. Therefore, if you have a water leak, first fix the leak, then clean up the water quickly.
Your goal is to clean the water before it seeps into the wood’s pores. If that happens, you will need to do additional work to dry the wood. On average, it can take a couple of days or weeks for wood floors to dry after water leaks. The drying rate depends on the quantity of water spilled over the wood floor. Also, your wood floor will not dry very quickly if the room is humid. You will need to deploy more strategies to eliminate moisture in such a situation.
In addition, the type of wood can influence the drying time after a spill. Some woods absorb water faster than others.
How Do You Dry a Hardwood Floor after Water Leakage?
As mentioned above, the first thing you must do is stop the leakage. Then you can focus on drying the wood floor. Next, place 3 or 4 pieces of cleaning cloth on the water to soak it up. You can also use a dry mop to remove traces of water. Don’t forget that water can flow underneath furniture and other objects on the wood floor. Therefore, don’t just clean the area around the furniture. Instead, lift the furniture before drying the water under it.
Furthermore, you can use a moisture meter to check for traces of moisture underneath the hardwood. This is the best way to prevent mold growth beneath the floorboards. The moisture meter will notify you of the current level of moisture in your room. You can use this tool to know when your room is finally dry.
Use dehumidifiers if you can. Dehumidifiers eliminate all traces of moisture in a room. There are different capacities, so ensure the unit you use is adequate for the space you want to dry.
Moreover, you should consider opening the windows. Natural breeze can quicken the drying process. It also helps to eliminate the odor of damp wood.
Can Wood Floors Damage by Water Get Fixed?
Yes, it is possible to fix the damaged parts of your wood floors. Fixing the damage is quite a complex task. However, alternative methods do not require removing the entire wood floor.
First, check the damaged wood floor to identify repair options. You can sand and refinish the hardwood floors, and it will be good as new. Please note that you may need to hire experts for sanding and refinishing wood floors.
Also, if there are dark water stains on the wood floor, you can bleach the affected area. Use a dark stain mixture that matches the hardwood color to get the best results.
However, if the experts’ assessment indicates the floor is beyond repair, please consider replacing it with an identical wood floor.
Tips for Removing Water and Drying Your Hardwood Flooring after a Flood
Flood, burst pipes, and water leaks are culprits that ruin wood floors. However, you can protect your hardwood flooring by following these tips:
- Clear the Area: Remove all the furniture or objects from that area. At this time, you need to enhance air circulation to quicken drying.
- Scrub the Surface: After spillage, scrubbing the wood floor surface with a scrub brush will prevent mold and mildew growth. To remove mud and silt trapped in corners, use a disinfectant cleaner that doesn’t produce suds and a scrub brush that won’t scratch the floor. Also, use a dark stains mixture to bleach stained areas. Furthermore, It’s best to disinfect the area before drying the water to make the process of drying the wood floors faster.
- Vacuum the Excess: Having cleared the debris, vacuum the wet wood floor with a wet vacuum to eliminate moisture from the wood floor’s invisible pores. Don’t just use any kind of wet vacuum; use professional and standard vacuums designed for the process or a water pump sold in hardware stores. In addition, routinely vacuuming the wet wood floor will completely remove moisture from the wood pores. Also, remove a few floorboards to ensure there is no trace of moisture underneath.
- De-humidify Your Room: To avoid causing permanent damage to your wood, you need to dehumidify your room after drying the water. Dehumidification removes all traces of moisture from the entire area when you place the humidifier at the center of the affected area for 24-hours or more. Also, turn on the fans.
- Check for Mold and Mildew: Mold can damage hardwood floorings from the inside out. The wood floor must never have traces or mold. Mold also triggers allergies. Therefore, focus on getting rid of mold and mildew if you find traces or take steps to prevent mold growth. Check for mold growth on your floorboards. Also, scrubbing the floor with a solution of baking soda and water is effective against mold.
- Do a Meter Test for Moisture: Since it is difficult to trace water trapped in hardwood pores, you should test the floor’s moisture content with a moisture testing meter. The device will reveal traces of moisture on the wood flooring even if you cannot see it. Therefore, use a dehumidifier and fan until the moisture test shows no trace of moisture in the floorboards.
- Call an Expert: Cleaning and maintaining your wood flooring can be challenging. You should hire an expert. The expert understands wood flooring conditions and signs of damage. Also, they know how to use the equipment for hardwood maintenance. Therefore, contact an expert to quote a price that will cover the maintenance of your wood flooring after a water leak.
Hardwood floors have a fantastic decorative aesthetic appeal in homes. Sadly, water can ruin its good looks. Your floor can go from shining and gorgeous to faded and molding due to trapped moisture in the wood’s pores. Use a disinfectant and wood floor cleaner to clean the floor to prevent mold and mildews. Also, use baking soda and water to scrub any areas with mold growth.
Furthermore, water gets underneath seats, tables, and other unseen places. That is how it seeps into the wood pores to cause damage. So, you should clear out the entire area before you start drying spilled water on your wood floor.
In addition, check the type of wood flooring before applying water while cleaning. Some wood flooring is unsealed and susceptible to moisture. In that case, you should use a damp rag to clean the surface when necessary.
In addition, use dehumidifiers and large fans to quicken the rate of drying. However, if you do not see any signs of improvement in the wood floor area you want to dry, please hire an expert.