Coping with floor water damage
Until you experience floor water damage you most likely take your floors for granted. It is a lot like not having fresh water, you don’t realize how basic it is. Water damage restoration is costly and time-consuming; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
If your home has been subjected to flood waters or had basement water damage from other causes it is important that you respond as fast as possible after the waters have subsided.
To combat floor water damage, all of the hardwood floors need to be cleaned thoroughly. Water and mud will tend to gather between the boards and along the walls. Mold and mildew will grow and you will soon have that musty basement smell everywhere.
This can be removed by scrubbing the wood with a stiff brush. You want it stiff enough to remove the silt but not enough to be abrasive to the wood and cause more floor damage. Use plenty of fresh water and a non sudsing detergent on this cleaning project..
How to deal with floor water damage
Knowing how to deal with floor water damage can make all the difference when your pipes break or you experience flooding in your house.
Clean it thoroughly
You will need to get down into all the cracks to be sure that all the mud had been removed. After the thorough floor cleaning with soap and water and a fresh water rinse, use your regular floor cleaning compound to do the final cleaning.
Inspect all areas of floor water damage for any signs of mold or mildew. You must make sure to get rid of black mold. If you have gotten in fast enough to avoid it, so much the better.
If not, you may try cleaning it with a solution of washing soda or trisodium phosphate. Then rinse the wood with fresh water. Since the mildew and mold will flourish in damp areas you will want to dry the floors thoroughly with a soft cloth before adding a mildew resistant finish. If the mold is too heavily infested, the boards may have to be replaced.
Make sure it is dry
Floor water damage will often cause the floor boards to buckle. This can sometimes be corrected by allowing them to rapidly and thoroughly dry. Air drying of floor water damage is usually best.
If the temperatures are above 50 degrees and you can get good ventilation in the house by opening the doors and windows that should be enough to allow the drying. Crawl space ventilation is also very important. This will help get rid of mildew and that musty basement smell.
Once the floors have been cleaned and dried further flood water damage can be assessed. Buckled boards may have to be nailed down. There are many good basement waterproofing products that can help with flooring.
Floors that have received too much floor water damage may be beyond the point of refinishing. Some of them can be sanded down with a commercial floor sander and depending on the extent of the sanding either covered with a carpet or hard surface covering.