Standing water and hardwood floors are not a good combination. The fact that this occurs in hurricane- and flood-prone locations with historic dwellings should be no surprise to those living in such places. If large quantities of water—whether from a flood or otherwise—have come into touch with your Wood Floor, your floors will never be exactly the same as they were before, but you may take measures to save them from being thrown out in the trash. Although your local architectural salvage yard may be interested in purchasing your pulled-up hardwood flooring, it is not yet time to give up hope on the project.
What You’ll Need like Equipment / Tools
- Shop vacuum
- Stiff brush
- Rubber gloves
- Absorbent cloth
- Mild detergent, disinfectant, or TSP trisodium phosphate), as needed.
How to Remove Water From Wood Floors
The sooner you can go to work on your flooded flooring, the better off you will be. The cellulose fibres in wood absorb water quickly but release it more slowly than other materials. Therefore, you should begin vacuuming up the water as quickly as possible with your shop vacuum. Even if you assume your wood floors are so well-finished that water will not be able to get to the bare wood, you should reconsider your position. Aside from the top layer, wood floors contain several infiltration locations, including gaps between seams, cracks in the coating, gaps beneath baseboards, gaps around heating registers, and a variety of other places.
Mold and mildew development may be prevented in the same way carpets can: using a moist environment. Remove all of the filth. Mold and mildew are not caused only by water; rather, they are caused by a mix of water and dirt.
1. Remove Surface Water
Put your shop vacuum on “wet mode” (no bag) to remove as much water from your flooring surface as you possibly can before you start cleaning. This is the quickest & most effective method with a large flooring attachment on the vacuum hose. When sucking up water, it is beneficial to use a squeegee to collect the water as it is being sucked up.
2. Effortlessly Scrub the Floor
Clean water and a mild detergent or an appropriate disinfectant (such as Mr. Clean) should be mixed together in a bucket before use. Brush the whole floor and any associated woodwork (baseboards, stairs, and newel posts, among other things) with a stiff brush, rinsing the brush in the bucket regularly as you go. Pouring the water onto the floor is not recommended (there is no need to compound the situation by adding additional water). Remove any debris, muck, silt, and organic material from the surface of the water by scrubbing vigorously. All of these elements may encourage mould development.
3. Treat Moldy Areas
TSP (trisodium phosphate) or a TSP replacement combined with water should be used to clean mold-infested surfaces. Scrub the damaged areas with the solution until the mould and mould stains are gone, then rinse the surface with clear water and dry it with an absorbent towel to prevent further mould growth.
4. Dry the Floor
The floor should be dried naturally and carefully, using fans and allowing for enough of ventilation throughout the room. Ventilate the area by opening windows & doors (unless the external air is more humid than the inside air) and using fans to circulate the air about. In order to enable fresh air to enter, install a box fan in a big window or door opening so that the fan blows out, and then open windows and/or doors on the other side of the area to allow fresh air to enter. This allows for cross-ventilation, which helps to transport the moisture out of the room.
5. Sand Water-Damaged Wood Flooring
Following the drying of a wood floor, you may notice certain floorboards that are concave or convex; this is referred to as “cupping.” Some modest elevated regions may really be “taken down” by heavy sanding with a drum sander or an orbital sander. Nevertheless, excessively cupped wood cannot be sanded down to a level surface. At some point, it is unavoidable that certain floorboards will entirely rise up at the ends. In this situation, face-nail the floors back down to their original position.
6. Deal With Mold on Wood Under Paint
Mold development beneath paint on a painted floor is a more difficult problem to deal with. At this point, this only option is to scrape off the finish since paint produces a seal over the floor, which retains water in the wood under the surface of the floor. Use an abrasive cleanser such as Barkeeper’s Friend or a TSP-water solution with an additional cup of plain laundry bleach per gallon of water to scrub the wood once it has been scraped clean. After cleaning, dry the floor according to the instructions above.
7. Replace Laminate
It is true that laminate flooring may have a similar look to solid hardwood flooring and engineered hardwood flooring, but it is not the same substance. In the same way that particleboard or MDF are produced mostly of wood pulp, laminate flooring planks are primarily formed of wood pulp (medium-density fiberboard). This material is very susceptible to water damage and expands when exposed to moisture, compromising the structural integrity of the material. Water-damaged laminate flooring must be replaced in the majority of cases.