Hardwood flooring is an elegant and luxurious addition to any home. The sleek shine and natural colors make real wood floors very desirable. Although selecting your flooring is something under your control, flooding or water damage can happen whether you want them to or not.
Water damage can have severe consequences that results in wood floor swelling or buckling from the humidity. Luckily, there is an easy solution to dealing with swollen hardwood floors. Although it is a relatively simple solution, the entire repair process will most likely take months.
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Assessing Wood Floor Swelling
Before any action can be taken on the damage visible on your hardwood floors, you need to see how badly the hardwood floors were affected from the water infiltration or moisture. The first step is to determine where the moisture or water is coming from. The source of the moisture needs to be completely sealed off or fixed before action can be taken on the flooring. Once the leak has been fixed , you then need to determine where the floor is buckling.
You know there is damage in the floors if the wood looks swollen, bowed or if they have any type of mold appearing on the wood. If there is any signs of mold, make sure to treat this first before doing any other steps. This is in order to maintain the quality of your flooring and to keep the mold from spreading. Once the mold is taken care of and any leaks are fixed, you can proceed to fixing the wood flooring.
No matter how warped the flooring boards are, it is extremely important to control the climate in the room where the buckled floor is. If the floor is swollen from humidity, then you must set up ventilation fans to dry out the room. To speed up the process, a dehumidifier may also be set up in the room to help dry out the flooring and capture the moisture.
Unfortunately, if you were expecting the drying process to be quick, it is not the case. Completely drying out the hardwood flooring can take a very long time, depending on how humid the wood floors are. It is normal to wait several months before returning to normal and before the wood is rid of all traces of humidity.
Hardwood flooring may become damaged during the swelling or buckling process. However, the flooring almost always returns to its original state. If you have controlled the climate in the room and the flooring is back to normal, then you may want to decide if the floor needs to be refinished to give it a new and glossy look. This will also help keep your floors in good condition and prevent swelling from happening again.
You may find the floors need help to become dry again. One of the best ways to make sure all the moisture disappears is to use heat in order to dry out the wood. This will allow you to have the best assessment before proceeding with how you want to fix the floorboards, if they need to be fixed.
There may be certain situations where the wood flooring has split or even come apart from the tongue and groove fixing that is used when installing the floor. If certain floorboards have split from buckling, or if the wood has been sitting in this humid state for too long, then these boards will need to be replaced. You can attempt to change the flooring yourself; however, it may be best to have a professional come in and evaluate the situation before proceeding with replacement or with a new hardwood floor.