Even small amounts of water can cause significant damage to your floors, and if you don’t repair it quickly, it can spread and mean even more costly repairs — or a new floor. If you discover flooring water damage in your home, the following guide can help you address the issue, prevent mold, and protect your home from further problems. Keep reading for more tips on repairing floors from water damage from the experts at Carpet to Go, Seattle’s leading flooring provider for over three decades.
How to Address Flooring Water Damage
Deciding how to repair water-damaged floors depends on the extent of the damage. In some cases, you can nail or screw a damaged section of wood flooring back into place or replace a section of wood, tile, or carpet with new materials. After completely drying the floor, remove the damaged area and replace it with new materials.However, widespread water damage usually requires replacing the entire floor. If the subfloor sustains damage, it, too, will need repair or replacement.
4 Tips on Repairing Floors from Water Damaged
If you have a plumbing leak or another water incident, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to make flooring repairs. The sooner you clean up the water and dry the floor, the less likely the damage will be severe. Here’s how to repair water-damaged floors.
Check for Moisture Damage Symptoms
Depending on the flooring type, the signs of water damage after a leak will vary. Excess moisture on wood floors can cause discoloration, warping, swelling, and buckling, while laminate floors will split and crack. Water-damaged tile may be loose, cracked, and stained, while vinyl may develop bulges or look warped.
Repair the Leaks
Before making any repairs, locate the water source and address the problem to prevent further damage. Water may be clean water from rain or plumbing leaks, gray water from appliances, black water from a sewage leak, or groundwater. In the case of black water, you’ll need additional cleanup to eliminate health risks.
Prepare the Floor for Replacement or Repair
Before making water damage repairs, remove the surface water and clean the affected area. Use a mild detergent, disinfectant, and a gentle brush to remove dirt and grime and prevent mold from growing. Dry the floors completely before making repairs since any remaining moisture can cause mold or further damage.
Do the Required Repairs
Once the floor is dry, perform the repairs. Consult a professional to determine whether the entire floor requires replacement. In some cases, replacing the whole floor may be more cost-effective than attempting to fix the damaged area.
How to Identify if Your Floor Has Water Damage?
Any flooring can sustain water damage, but the specific signs vary between materials. The surface may also appear warped, with bulges and bubbles.
Linoleum Flooring Symptoms
Linoleum resists moisture reasonably well, but discoloration and sudden stains are often signs of water damage.
Tile Flooring Symptoms
Tile is typically impervious to water, but if the subfloor gets wet and swells, the tiles will show signs of damage. Some symptoms of a damaged tile floor include loose tiles, cracks in the grout or tile surface, stains, a hollow sound when tapping the tile, and musty odors. Broken tiles can also cause visible mold.
Carpet Flooring Symptoms
Wet carpets can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew, and wool carpets, in particular, can rot if not dried quickly. Signs of water-damaged carpet include discoloration and a foul or musty odor.
Laminate Flooring Symptoms
Although considered more durable than hardwood flooring, laminate flooring is vulnerable to water damage, especially if it is not waterproof. Water can infiltrate the core of the laminate planks and cause swelling, which leads to warping, swelling, splitting, cracking, and mold growth. Water-damaged laminate may also become stained or discolored.
Hardwood Flooring Symptoms
Hardwood flooring is most vulnerable to water damage. The most common signs are cupping, when the sides of the boards curl upwards, and crowning, when they curl downwards with the center bubbling up. Wet hardwood can also buckle or warp, detach from the subfloor, and develop dark or discolored spots.
Contact Our Carpet to Go Team!
If flooring water damage means you need to replace your floors, visit the flooring experts Seattle area homeowners trust, Carpet to Go. Visit our showroom today to explore a wide selection of flooring options. Or call us at (425) 441-3658 or complete the online form to request an estimate today.