Water Damage Floors

By | January 8, 2013

Your Helpful Guide to Repairing and Clean a Water Damaged Flooring

Fixing water damage floors is perhaps the most challenging part in any water damage repair project. ´

Floors can be extremely vulnerable, and the biggest challenge is that repairing different types of flooring require different techniques and materials.

The important thing to remember in repairing water damaged flooring is that you should never take damaged floors at face value. Flooring that doesn’t show signs of permanent damage may have leftover moisture lurking underneath the surface, gradually developing into dry rot.

water damaged floor


On the other hand, water damage floors that look really bad can sometimes still be salvaged without having to replace them completely. But to do the right thing, you need to face the repair methodically, starting with an accurate assessment of the damage all the way to the finishing touches.

Here’s an easy to follow step by step guide on how to do just that without having to call a water damage floor repair service.

A Step by Step Guide to Repairing Water Damaged Floors 

Step 1: Assess the damage. Although you may be in a rush to fix your water damage floors, try to control yourself and take the time to assess the damage. You need to identify whether the damage is minor, such as a water stain, or major, such as warping of the wood.

Warping occurs when the wood is already damaged; in such cases, you have no choice but to replace the damaged floorboards with new ones. In minor water damage, a simple but thorough cleanup process would suffice.

repairing water damaged floors

Step 2: Cleaning hardwood water damage floors. To clean hardwood floors that have been exposed to water damage, get a brush with soft bristles that won’t scratch the floor and use it to scrub the floor down with a detergent-water mixture.

Be particularly thorough in the corners, cracks, and crevices. Make sure to clean up before the mud dries up so the mud and dirt won’t stick; otherwise, they’ll be much harder to remove. Wipe the floors dry afterwards.

Step 3: Cleaning laminate floors. If you have laminate flooring, cleaning will be more efficient. Just mop up all the water and use a dehumidifier to make sure any excess moisture is evaporated.

Laminate floors are not as easily water damaged as wood floors, but if the damage is severe and the water is left too long, then don’t expect laminate to still hold up the whole time. Fortunately, laminate flooring is usually made up of many sections that are simply locked together, so you can confine the repair process to just the affected area.

Step 4: Replace warped floorboards. Sometimes, repairing water damaged wood is simply impossible. To replace floorboards that are damaged beyond repair, remove the floorboards using a pry bar and saw. When replacing, make sure to choose the same type and color of wood as your existing floor.

repairing water damaged floors, check sub floor

Be careful when placing your order; ask for a sample to be sure. Floorboards are fairly easy to install, especially if you use the exact same kind. They usually have a tongue and groove design that fit perfectly. All you have to do is secure them.

Step 5: Check the sub floor. Do take some extra time to check the sub floor underneath the main flooring. This is a crucial step if your sub floor is made of plywood, which means the water probably also affected it. If so, chances are that you also need to replace it; otherwise, extra moisture may get left behind and compromise the integrity of your flooring, even after you replace the floorboards with new ones.

If the sub floor is concrete, you won’t need to replace it, but you still need to check the humidity level to see if any moisture has seeped in. If this is the case, you will need a blower or dehumidifier to dry it up quickly and thoroughly so you can get on with your water damage repair.

Step 6: Sand down stained floorboards. If the water damaged floorboards are stained but not warped, you can get away with just a simple sanding down process. Remember to apply oxalic crystals after sanding down, then finish with a wood stain the same color as the original state of your floor.

water damaged flooring polyurethane coat

But if the floorboards are warped and you did a replacement procedure on them, you still need to sand down the entire floor area and re-stain them together to make sure the stain is exactly the same and perfectly even throughout the whole area. Wait for the stain to dry.

Step 7: Apply polyurethane. Once the stain is dry, apply two layers of polyurethane. You will have to wait for the first application to dry before applying the second coating. After the second application, wait for the floor to dry completely before declaring it ready for use.

DIY or Water Damage Floor Repair Services – Which is Better? 

If you have water damage floors and you don’t have any idea what to do with them, then you can avail of a professional water damage repair and restoration service. Most, if not all, water damage services offer and are experts in water damage floor repair and restoration since the floor is what usually suffers the greatest damage.

Repairing and restoring water damaged flooring is a task not impossible for you to do on your own. This way, you get to save money.

water damaged floor restoration services

Unfortunately, not all people have the same level of knowledge and skill in this respect, and various water damage cases also vary in difficulty.

If you don’t think you have the necessary knowledge and ability to replace the damaged floor based on the extent of damage you see, it would be best to leave the work to the professionals.

Another reason why you should consider hiring professionals is that they already have the necessary equipment needed to clean, repair, and restore your water damaged flooring. They use special equipments to assess whether any moisture is left behind and to remove it completely so as to prevent mold growth and ensure your home’s safety.

Special Tips for Your DIY Water Damage Floor Repair 

If you choose to do it yourself, then make sure to collect as many floor cleaning tips and floor repair guides as you can. This way, you know exactly what to do so you won’t go wrong.

Remember, a simple mistake in a water damage cleanup attempt, especially to flooring, can be costly. But with the right tips and adequate guidance, you can pull off a successful repair and restore your floor back to their original state, all on your own.