Hardwood floors are designed to last decades, with proper care. And luckily, that care is usually not overly difficult. However, your floors can certainly be damaged over time, and water damage can be one of the worst problems that can happen. If exposed to a large amount of water, your hardwood floors can actually become warped, buckled, or moldy.
Don’t let water pool on your hardwood floors. A small amount of water won’t harm your floors (after all, you probably mop them regularly). Problems mostly arise when water is allowed to pool and stand on your flooring for a length of time. So if there’s a leak in your ceiling, a spill, or some other incident, the first thing you should do is remove all excess water immediately. Dry your floors with towels or use a water vacuum. You might also consider setting up large fans to circulate air, and help the floor (and sub-floor) dry faster.
Contact a wood flooring specialist. If your floors are exposed to an excessive amount of water, contact a hardwood flooring specialist immediately. We can make recommendations to potentially save your flooring, or at least prevent the problem from becoming worse.
Check for mold. The longer your floors are exposed to moisture, the more likely it is that you will incur mold damage. Mold will obviously damage your floor’s appearance, but the potential health hazard is an even more serious concern. If you suspect mold (remember, it might be invisible because it’s growing on the sub-floor) contact a mold remediation specialist immediately. He or she can test your home for mold spores and help you decide how to proceed.
Refinish your floors – but don’t rush! If your hardwood floors are damaged by water, in many cases they will need to be refinished. However, we must caution you not to rush this process! Depending upon the amount of water exposure, it can take several months for the sub-floor to completely dry. Attempting to refinish floors before they’re completely dry can actually make the problem worse. Contact us so that we can check your sub-floor for damage, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to proceed with refinishing your floors.