Water Damage Wood Floor Restoration

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Water Damage Restoration Service

Wood floors, being solid T&G, engineered, laminate or bamboo, might all experience water damage at some stage in their life. Damage from water can result from an event such as a flood or cyclone, or simply more extreme damp weather. Other sources of water damage can consist of building leakages, burst dishwashing machine, fridge water, laundry pipework or just an overflow from a bath or tub. 

The water might affect a minimal area or full inundation might have occurred. It is for that reason crucial to have an understanding of how the many various kinds of lumber flooring items will respond, in order to figure out whether the flooring can be saved or will require to be changed. In addition to this, we are also beginning to see accelerated drying procedures being utilised and in some instances floors being conserved that would otherwise have actually been changed. This page will go over water damage to floors and will outline what requires to be thought about with regard to repairing or replacing a water damaged floor.

Water and wood, some important facts

To start with, both the timber species density and the duration that the flooring has been wet are factors that need to be considered.

The basic principal here is that low density (light) woods take up and lose water fast, whereas high density (heavy) timbers take up and lose water slowly.

If you need proof of this, you can just get a piece of Radiata pine and a piece of Spotted Gum (i.e. low and high density woods) and submerge both in water.

A quick trial suggested that after 4 hours the pine increased in weight by about 40% and the Spotted Gum by just 2%. Pine floors will absorb moisture quickly but are likewise quick to dry. If a greater density wood flooring gets swamped with water for around 4 hours, this will trigger just a small amount of moisture uptake.

However, if the high density hardwood is resting on wet pine plywood or particleboard for a number of weeks, or there is a slow water leak that is not found for weeks or months, then that hardwood flooring will soak up significant quantities of water and also take a very long time to dry.

So the species of flooring installed, along with the duration of wetting are two important factors to be considered.

Water Damaged Wood Floors
Saving Flood Damaged

How Moisture Effects Different Floor Types

Floor type is the next aspect to be considered and closely linked to this is subfloor type, as will be discussed in the section below.

Effect of Moisture on Solid Timber Floors

The traditional timber floor was solid T&G timber flooring, top nailed into joists. Historically solid timber flooring was very resilient to the effects of becoming wet.  Nowadays it is also less common to see solid timber floors laid direct to joists, with solid flooring now being laid over many different types of subfloors.

Effect of Moisture on Engineered, Laminate or Bamboo Floors.

When it comes to engineered flooring, bamboo and laminate these are generally overlay flooring items and for that reason are tied into being laid over a structural subfloor. All these products can be laid as floating floors and when laid in this manner, either a section of the floor or the whole floor can usually be more easily replaced and this is what generally happens when water affected. 

The cost of a floated floor may also be at the lower end of the scale, making replacement the most feasible option, whether in part or full. If a section of the floor is to be replaced then being able to source the same of very similar product can be difficult, or not possible to achieve and this also needs to be considered and has resulted in full replacement. 

One other aspect to consider with this, is the age of the installed flooring as after say 10-20 years, the condition of the floor may have deteriorated to the point where replacement is the prudent option. As such, remedial work that does not result in either replacing either some or all the floor is much less common, but may occur if the affected area is small and the effect of the water damage is also minor.

Restoration of Water Damaged Floors

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