With all the hurricanes hitting the United States, this reminds us all that it is important to know what to do if your home experiences water damage from flooding. These same techniques apply to water damage caused by other things such as broken water pipes or leaky water heaters. Here are the things to do to minimize water damage and get your flooring back to a good condition.
Call the Experts
The first thing to do is call U.B. hardwoods. We are expert professionals who know what to do. If the damage is covered by insurance, it is better to let us do all the “grunt” work necessary for the cleanup before the flooring is repaired and refinished. As an alternative, you can do the cleanup portion and then call us in for the finishing work.
The faster the cleanup process is started, the better. The key to making this step successful is to work diligently to remove the water, cleanup the mess, and let the flooring dry properly before mold and mildew have a chance to set in.
If mold and mildew have not set it, then scrub all floors and baseboards very vigorously using detergent mixed with clean water and disinfectant (such as Lysol). Apply this using a stiff broom or brush.
The objective is to remove all dirt, silt, mud, etc. that later causes mold and mildew to form. If mold and mildew already set in, add TSP or bleach to the cleanup water. Use a wet/dry shop vacuum to pick up all the water. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until the floors are perfectly clean.
After removing all the excess water with the shop vac, use clean cloths to wipe the flooring down. Then open all the windows and use ventilator fans to circulate fresh air and blow it out the windows. If you cannot open the windows use a dehumidifier. Do not use any heating elements. You do not want to dry out the flooring too quickly because that causes buckling and additional problems.
Repairs and Hardwood Floor Refinishing
Water damage typically leaves stains in the flooring. Sanding is necessary to bring the hardwood flooring back to a fresh look and get the flooring level. Some of the flooring may need to be replaced. Remaining stains can be covered by choosing a new wood stain color for the flooring that is a slightly darker color than the water stain.
If the floorboards are painted, and mold has gotten under the paint, they need to be removed, heavily sanded to get rid of the mold, repainted, and then put back in place. Water damage that goes up the walls requires the sheetrock to be replaced and this can be done at the same time when repairing the floorboards.
Give Us a Call
If you experience water damage, or for any other flooring needs, contact UB Hardwoods right away for an appointment to get a free assessment about how to best repair the problem and refinish the flooring.