Water on floors is not an ideal situation but it happens, from small spills to burst pipes that cause widespread flooding. Flooring may need to be repaired or replaced, depending on the level of damage and material of the floor.
Water is detrimental to hardwood floors. It is essential to stay on top of every spill so that your beautiful floors will not be damaged.
Wood is an organic material that can only resist the effects of water for a short while. Eventually, wood will become stained or discolored at minimum with popped nails, buckling from absorbed moisture, or mold growth likely if the water exposure continues.
The largest factor in determining the damage is the amount of water and the length of time the wood floor is exposed to the water. More moisture will be retained if the floor is left to dry on its own rather than cleaned up differently. A solid hardwood floor is more vulnerable than an engineered hardwood floor. Water that has penetrated the subfloor is also much more damaging than water that is cleaned up more quickly.
If the water damage is minor, the floor can often be repaired by replacing individual floorboards and then sanding and refinishing the entire floor. This is a great option if it can be done but if there is widespread water damage or water has seeped into the sub floor than the entire floor may have to be replaced.
Carpet is easily damaged by water due to its high absorption of moisture. Carpet that has been soaked by rainwater or other clean water may be salvageable by placing large fans in the affected room to help the carpet dry. Assess the carpet for any growth of mold in which case it will need to be removed immediately.
Carpet that has been soaked with unsanitary water such as an overflowing toilet or leaking dishwasher is generally considered unsalvageable and should be removed and replaced immediately. A flooring professional can help determine whether the underlying floor was damaged and needs remediation as well.
Tile is the most durable flooring with regards to water and moisture buildup, but it can still become damaged by excessive moisture and water. The adhesive seal in the grout of individual tiles is easily damaged by moisture buildup and can break apart, allowing water to seep in between the tiles and underneath the tiles. Tile floors need to be dried and potentially regrouted with minor water damage while major water damage may require the entire floor to be torn up with possible mold remediation.
Our flooring specialists are here to help you determine whether to repair or replace your floors, call us today!