Pipes, faulty appliances and everyday accidents can all conspire to create water-damaged hardwood floors and issues that go way beyond the cosmetic. Resting-water damage can become a major issue in any room, particularly in basements (often including basement water seepage), where it could be an indicator of potential structural issues.
Water risks aren’t only an indoor problem. The danger of flooding is no longer the sole concern of coastal and lowland homeowners; it’s a potential threat to ground-level rooms across the country. This guide will alert you to the pitfalls of water-damaged hardwood floors, what you can do to prevent them, and who to call when disaster restoration is necessary.
The Hazards of Water-Damaged Hardwood Flooring
These dangers include slip-and-fall accidents, which cause half of all accidental deaths in the home and over 1 million emergency room visits annually. Pooled water can also become a hot spot for fungal spores like mold, which can quickly exacerbate allergies and asthma while causing nasal, ocular, and respiratory complications, even in those without pre-existing conditions.
Sitting water causes serious damage to hardwood, such as splitting, shrinking, buckling, and expansion. Homeowners can avoid advanced disaster restoration entirely if they act quickly. Remember: The first sign of water on a hardwood floor is cause for action. The faster you act, the less of a physical and financial price you’ll pay.
What to Do When There’s Water on the Floor
Be Aware of Which Type of Water Damage You Have
Steer Clear or Start Cleaning
Any amount of black or gray sitting water should be avoided by people and pets. Using towels, mops, wet vacs, fans, or dehumidifiers can be a proactive way to start the cleaning process before calling a professional (provided the spill is clean/white water). Don’t hesitate to get an expert to assess the effectiveness of any cleanup you attempted alone.
These tips are your first response to any water sitting on a hardwood floor. Homeowners can, however, put proactive measures in place and make their lives easier if disaster restoration is required.
Best Practices to Prevent Water Damage
1. Seal the Flooring
Hardwood floor sealants range from aluminum oxide and shellac to polyurethane and wax. Each method has its pros and cons and can have variable effects based on the floor’s traffic, age, and environmental exposure. The sealing process is delicate and must be done carefully and repeated either annually or whenever dullness, discoloration, or scratching becomes evident.
2. Adhere to Appliance Guides and Service Them Regularly
3. Be Tough on Mold
Keep the surface of hardwood flooring clean, particularly during warmer months, to discourage mold growth, but never allow standing water to be left behind. This comprehensive guide on identifying and beating mold is essential for homeowners to protect hardwood and their health.
4. Add Flood Insurance for Floor Defense
The next few decades will put everyone at greater risk as climate change and rising sea levels influence the map, leaving homeowners more likely to experience a flood. Use these Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) resources, consider finding flood insurance to make home damage restoration more cost-effective, and read up to demystify the flood map reading process.
Taking better defensive and offensive actions against water damage will go a long way toward maximizing your investment in them. Here’s more insight to make sure you stay even safer in the process.
The Risks of Tackling Water Damage by Yourself
Home damage restoration after water leaks will require either a quick fix or advanced work. Each case is best handled – or at least appraised – by a qualified professional.
Get Help with Water Damage in Frederick MD
Dry House Restoration’s experienced staff can help you with any questions on water damage and walk you through the entire home and water damage restoration process. We’re the 24/7 go-to team to help undo a disaster and make sure your living space looks as good as new. Contact Dry House Restoration any time and let us take care of your home restoration needs in Frederick, Maryland.