Protecting Your Floors From Water Damage

Labor Day 2020 was Northeast Ohio’s third-wettest day on record. With record-breaking precipitation comes flooded basements and damaged floors. We’re likely to see more heavy rains this autumn so it’s a good idea to inspect your hardwood floors for possible water damage and take precautions before it’s too late!

The Best Offense is…You Guessed it…

…a good defense. The polyurethane coating on your hardwood floor is your defensive line against encroaching moisture. Nothing is more effective against potential water damage than maintaining the integrity of your floor’s protective coating through consistent cleanings.

A regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping routine eliminates the buildup of dirt and moisture that turns your floor into a petri dish for mold, mildew, and other bacteria. One easy way to prevent extend the life of your floor’s protective coating and prevent UV damage is to close the curtains or blinds when leaving a room. Check out our blog on hardwood floor maintenance to learn more about how you can keep your floors looking and feeling fresh.

Identifying Water Damage

The worst thing about water damage is that by the time you can see it, it’s already happened. But if you know what to look for you can spot moisture damage before it spreads.

Waterlogged floorboards will become cupped or crowned as they hold onto moisture, resulting in a springy, uneven floor. Carefully check for rusty nails or dark stains along the edges of individual planks, which could be mold. Luckily for many homeowners, hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished several times before total replacement becomes necessary. In extreme circumstances it could be necessary to repair the plywood subfloor before installing new floorboards.

Get to the Root of the Problem

Identifying damaged planks is only the beginning. To eliminate the possibility of water damage in the future, we need to locate the water source. Many homeowners are quick to check for external culprits like clogged downspouts, faulty windows, or a worn-out roof but neglect to inspect the interior of their home for leaks. Radiators, hot water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers, kitchens, and bathrooms are all potential suspects when it comes to water damaged floors.

Check that all fittings are intact and free of cracking, dripping, or leaks. Showers and bathtubs should be properly caulked to prevent leakage and interior plumbing should be inspected for leaks that could be dripping inside walls, ceilings, or floors. Make sure that all ventilation and ductwork is sealed, as water could be collecting between your floor vents and hardwood molding.

Safety First

Minor-to-moderate water damage can be a weekend DIY repair if you have the know-how and tools, but contaminated water and mold can pose serious health risks if you’re not careful. Always use adequate ventilation and appropriate protective equipment when working with moldy, water damaged flooring. Mold growths larger than 10 square feet should be treated by a professional.

Are you considering water-resistant flooring upgrades for your bathroom, basement, or kitchen? Click the button at the top of this page for a FREE consultation or give us a call at (888) SHOP-123 to answer your water-resistant flooring questions!