Water damage is a major hassle in any home. However, it is particularly detrimental for certain types of flooring, such as hardwood, which is more susceptible to water damage than other common flooring materials. In the event of water damage, many homeowners assume that all hope is lost and that they must purchase new flooring. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to save the floors.
Determining whether or not you can save hardwood floors
In some instances, water damage is hard to spot. If you aren’t sure about the extent of your damage, hire a water removal company that can use a special meter to evaluate the damage. These non-intrusive meters use radio frequencies to measure the extent of the water damage underneath the flooring. If the damage is shallow or limited to a small area, you have a much better chance at saving the flooring.
The sooner that you can address water damage, the better the chances are of reversing the damage. Regardless of the extent of the damage, you should work on repairing the floors or should call a professional before you do anything else. You’ll be able to talk to the insurance company later. There’s no point in waitingon hold for minutes on end while water is seeping into the floor and mold is growing. Deal with the problem immediately and then talk to your insurance provider.
One of the critical aspects of restoring water damage is finding the source of the water. If the water damage occurred from a clean water source, such as a bustedhot water heater, it’s likely that you’ll be able to repair it. If the water damage occurred from a dirty water source, such as severe storm flooding, it’s likely that the water is filled with chemicals, dirt, and sewage. Even a professional water removal company will be hard pressed to remove these contaminants completely. You’re better off replacing the flooring to minimize the risk of health hazards.
The first step for hardwood water removal is to get rid of as much standing water as possible. You may want to use a rubber push squeegee or a Shop-Vac to help you with this process.
How to clean wet floors
Are the floors wet but mildew and mold haven’t started growing yet? You’ll need a stiff brush or broom, mild detergent, a bucket, disinfectant, and an absorbent cloth. Scrub all flooring and other hardwood, such as newel posts and baseboards, with the stiff broom or brush. Use a generous mixture of water, detergent, and disinfectant to get rid of as much silt, mud, dirt, and organic material as possible. The more contaminants you remove, the less likely it is that you’ll get mildew and mold growth.
How to clean floors with set in mildew and mold
Are mildew and molds setting into your hardwood floors? If the growth is extensive, you may be looking at a full floor replacement. However, if there is only a small amount of growth, you may be able to take care of it yourself. You’ll need a stiff brush or broom, a bucket, an absorbent cloth, rubber gloves, and TSP (trisodium phosphate), which is readily available at hardware stores.
Mix TSP with water as directed on the TSP package. Use the brush or broom to scrub the damaged areas with the TSP mixture until you’ve removed as much of the mildew and mold as possible. Rinse the hardwood with clean water and allow it to dry fully.
Drying hardwood floors
Once you’re left with damp floors, you want to dry them slowly to prevent further damage. Set up fans to dry the floors. Avoid using heat sources during the drying process, as they increase the risk of cupping, splitting, and other problems.
There is no question that home remedies can restore hardwood successfully in the event that water damage occurs. However, sometimes the damage is so severe that you’re better served by calling a professional. You don’t want to end up making things worse just to save a few dollars. Get the help that you need when you need it.
Kala Professional Restoration Services is on call 24/7 and can be on-site in under an hour. To learn more about our services, including water damage restoration, visit our website or give us a call today. You can reach our Los Angeles staff at 310-405-0782 and our San Bernardino staff at 909-259-9905.
Robert Matheka is the Owner of Kala Construction Inc.., a leading water damage repairs. and restoration services provider in Ontario, CA. Our services include extraction of water and drying out the structure by using special extraction equipment, air movers, and dehumidification equipment to restore your property back to normal after a disaster.