Wood floors can add character and style to your home, but water damage can cause the wood to buckle.If you can dry your wood floors, they can be saved.A combination of surface drying and air circulation can be used to remove water from wood.
Step 1: All floor coverings need to be removed.
While the wood is wet, the area underneath the floor won’t dry.You need to remove the wet rugs, mats, and carpeting immediately if your wood flooring is covered by them.If your carpets have been soaked and you don’t immediately clean them, they will need to be thrown away.A professional carpet cleaning company can save your carpet and treat it for mold.
Step 2: Water can be seen immediately after floors get wet.
You won’t be able to dry water that has seeped into and underneath the floors, but you should immediately start drying the visible water on your floors.If flooding is severe, you may need to use a water pump.You can rent equipment that is too expensive to buy for a single use at many hardware stores.If you rent a pump, you can set it up in standing water and run a hose to another area, like outside, where the water can drain.
Step 3: Before the floors are dry, scrub woodwork with a brush and detergent.
Mud and silt will be trapped in the crevices and corners of your floor if your house has flooded.Before the floors are completely dry, take a stiff brush, lots of water, and a non-sudsing detergent.If you clean the floors while they are wet, you won’t have to re-wet them after they’re dried.
Step 4: Remove a few boards to allow the others to expand.
The wood floorboards swell when they get wet.If you remove a few floorboards, you will be able to expand your floorboards without cracking.This will speed up the drying of the subfloor.
Step 5: Fans can be used to move the air around.
If you want to help your wood floors dry out, use large fans to circulate the air in your home.You can rent box fans or buy commercial-strength fans for faster drying.
Step 6: Measure the amount of water in the wood floors.
It’s a good idea to make sure your wood floors are completely dry before refinishing or recovering them.If you want to measure the humidity in your floors yourself, you can either buy a meter or call a professional.A section of wood flooring that wasn’t affected by flooding should have the moisture content within 5%.Most hardware stores have moisture meters.If you want the most accurate readings, make sure you get one with pins that can be inserted into the wood.
Step 7: Have patience.
It may take weeks or even months to fully dry your wood floors.It is worth the wait, as some floors will return to their original shape once they are dried.They may need a surface sanding and re-nailing, but that is not much of a problem.Water damage can cause interlocking wood floors to be permanently warped.
Step 8: If the humidity is low, open the windows and doors.
If the air outside of your home is less humid than the inside, you should open all of the windows and doors.If you don’t know if the air is dry, you can purchase a humidity gauge from a hardware store.It is less humid outside if it is sunny.It is likely that you will need to close the windows and doors at night.
Step 9: Remove sliding drawers from closets and cabinets.
Open up damp closets and cabinets to help your home dry quicker.The air in the home will be able to circulate more freely thanks to this.It will be difficult to remove the drawers.Don’t try to force them, just open the cabinet.
Step 10: If you have a flooded crawl space, you should pump it out.
In order to dry your wood floors, you need air to circulate through your crawl space.If you have a flooded crawl space, use pumps to remove the water.You may want to put a fan in the crawl space.
Step 11: If your ducts were under water, you shouldn’t use the central air conditioning.
If your ducts are flooded, they will be full of dirt and silt which can be dangerous if you breathe them in.You can either clean the ducts yourself or hire a professional to do it.
Step 12: If the water has seeped into the wood, then run dehumidifiers.
Dehumidifiers and window air conditioners can be used to reduce the humidity in the air.Commercial dehumidifiers remove 3-4 times more water than home models, which makes them a better choice for severe flooding.When using a dehumidifier, close nearby windows and doors.
Step 13: Desiccants are used to remove water from closed-in areas.
Desiccants are used to absorb water.They can be purchased at hardware, grocery, or drug stores if you place them in closets or other areas where air doesn’t circulate.Cat litter, calcium chloride pellets, and chemical dehumidifier packs are examples of desiccants.