How To Save A Water Damaged Wood Floor

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From a broken pipe to a leaky roof, water damage can be devastating for the wood floor of your home. Not only can it ruin the look of the floor, but it can also lead to expensive repairs. But don’t despair! There are steps you can take to save your wood floor from water damage and get it looking beautiful again.

We’ll show you how to identify water damage in your wood floor and provide detailed instructions on how to repair it yourself. You’ll also get tips on how to prevent further water damage in the future. With our help, you’ll soon have that wood floor looking as good as new.

How To Remove Water From Wood Floors

Removing water from hardwood flooring can be a tricky task, but it’s essential for preventing mold growth and further damage from occurring. Water damage to hardwood floors is not only unsightly, but can cause serious long-term structural damage if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several ways to restore your flooded hardwood floor and prevent further damage.

The first step in restoring water damaged wooden floors is to remove as much of the excess water and moisture as possible. It’s important to act quickly; the longer water sits on the hardwood floor, the worse the damage will become. By removing excess moisture, you can prevent further damage and decay. There are a few different methods for drying wet wood floors, depending on the severity of the water damage.

How To Dry Wet Wood Floors

The best method for drying a typical hardwood floor will depend how much water is present. You can use towels and rags if you’re dealing with a small amount of flooding. Alternatively, you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner if you have one.

Another option is to use a dehumidifier and fans to dry out the wet wood. This option is best when the surface water has been removed. Place the dehumidifier in the room, close all windows and doors, and turn on the fans. Make sure that you place them close enough so that air can circulate around them and dry out the wood faster. If you’re dealing with a large area of water-damaged wood flooring, it’s best to call in professional help who can assess and treat any potential problems quickly and thoroughly.

Can I Use A Steam Cleaner To Remove Water From A Wood Floor?

A steam cleaner can help eliminate surface water quickly and effectively, allowing for quicker drying times. The hot steam also helps to kill bacteria, mold, and other contaminants that might be present in the water. However, steam cleaners produce high levels of heat, which can cause more damage to the floor. There’s also a risk of water getting trapped under the boards and cause warping or cupping if it isn’t removed properly.

However you choose to dry the floor, the most important thing is removing all moisture from the floor and ensuring it is completely dry. The drying process can take anywhere from a few hours to several days depending on the size of the area or the extent of the damage. It’s at this point you should assess whether it’s worth using a local water damage restoration service to carry out the repair work – especially if there are more affected areas such as walls or under the flooring.

How Water Damages Hardwood & Engineered Wood Floors

When water soaks into the grain of wood, it causes warping and other distortions of the wood. That’s why older wooden floors can be uneven, it is often the result of moisture exposure. The most common effects of water damage on a wooden floor are:

  • Cupping
  • Crowning

This often leads to a bowed or raised appearance across the entire floor and can be difficult to fix if not addressed quickly. If you’ve had water damage and notice this happening to your floorboards as a result, you may be able to get the repair costs covered by your home insurance policy. Give us a call to see if this is the case.


Cupping is a common issue with hardwood floor water damage. This happens when water seeps into the wood and lifts the grain, causing it to form an uneven surface. Cupping occurs in ‘V’ shapes, with the edges of the cupped area being higher than the center. It can make your floor look unsightly and cause the flooring to become weak and unstable over time.

Dealing with cupping requires addressing both the moisture source and drying out the affected area. If you’ve recently mopped or had water spill onto your hardwood floors, you should use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to quickly remove as much of it as possible. Then, you need to make sure that any remaining dampness is dried out thoroughly. You can do this by using fans or dehumidifiers to get rid of moisture from the air in your home, as well as placing absorbent materials such as towels on top of the cupped areas overnight if necessary.



Crowning is a common issue that can occur when dealing with water damaged floors or wood floors. It occurs when the edges of the boards lift up or cup due to changes in humidity levels or other causes. This can create an uneven surface, and it can be difficult to fix if not addressed early on.

The good news is that crowning can often be remedied without having to replace the entire floor. One way to fix this issue is by sanding down the areas that have lifted. This will level out the floor and help restore its appearance. However, it’s important to make sure to use a sander that’s suitable for wood floors in order to avoid any further damage.

It’s also a good idea to address any underlying issues causing crowning before sanding. These could include high humidity levels or a lack of ventilation in the room, both of which should be corrected as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage from occurring. Taking these steps can help keep your wood floors looking great for years to come.

Repairing or Replacing the Floor

When it comes to repairing or replacing a wood floor that’s been damaged by water, there are some important considerations that must be taken into account. First and foremost is the extent of the damage – if the floor has experienced extensive water damage, it might not be possible to repair it, and may need to be replaced entirely. Here are some of the factors you should consider when deciding whether to repair or replace:

  • Cost: How much will it cost to repair the floor? If it’s cheaper to replace than repair, that may be your best option.

  • Time: How long will the repairs take? Replacing a floor can sometimes take longer than repairing one.

  • Safety: Is there any risk of further damage occurring by attempting repairs? It may not be worth risking further damage to an already damaged floor if replacement is a viable option.

In making this decision, it’s important to factor in all these elements and make sure you weigh up all your options carefully. You’ll want to make sure you get a good quality outcome while also keeping costs down as much as possible. Researching local contractors and getting multiple quotes from them can help you understand what your best options are for dealing with your water damaged wood floor.

How to Repair Water Damaged Wood Floors

If you’re going to repair your wooden floor, make sure you’re comfortable with all the steps and have all the tools and equipment required to finish the job. 

  1. Remove damaged sections of the floor
  2. Replace with new boards or tiles
  3. Sand down areas where new and old floorboards meet. Alternatively, sand the entire floor for an even, consistent finish
  4. Stain or paint as desired
  5. Seal with a protective finish


How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Water Damaged Wood Floor?

The cost to repair a water damaged wood floor can vary depending on the extent of the damage. If the floor is only slightly damp, then it may just need minor repairs such as replacing a few boards or sanding it down and refinishing. However, if there has been significant water damage, then more extensive repairs may be needed such as replacing large sections of the floor or even having to replace all of it.

It’s best to talk to a professional before attempting any major repairs yourself, as they’ll be able to give you an accurate assessment of what needs to be done and what materials and labour are required. They can also recommend the best products and techniques for repairing your wood floor, so you don’t end up spending more money than you need to.

How to Sand Water Damaged Wood Flooring

When it comes to salvaging a water damaged wood floor, sanding is a hugely important step that is worth taking the time to get right. Since moisture can cause wood to swell and warp, sanding the floor will help level out any rough surfaces. This process also removes any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the surface of the wood.

Sanding a water damaged wood floor isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Using a belt sander is recommended for larger areas and an orbital sander for smaller areas. The key is to start with a coarse-grit paper and gradually move up to finer-grit papers until you reach your desired smoothness. It’s also important to pay attention to the direction of the grain so that you don’t create any dips or uneven surfaces in the wood.

After sanding, make sure to use a vacuum cleaner to remove all dust particles from the surface of the floor before applying any sealants or finishes.

Choosing the Right Finish

Choosing the right finish for your floor, think about how durable you need it to be, the maintenance requirements, and how you want the floor to look. Some of the most common options you may want to consider are:

Polyurethane: Polyurethane provides a long-lasting protective barrier. It comes in both oil-based and water-based formulas, and can be applied with a brush or roller.

Oil Finish: An oil finish penetrates the wood and enhances its natural beauty while providing protection against moisture and wear. Tung oil, linseed oil, and Danish oil are popular options for finishing wood floors. However oiling wooden floors takes longer than other options.

Wax: Wax provides a warm, natural look to wood floors and can help protect against moisture and wear. It is typically applied in thin coats with a cloth or mop, and can be buffed to a shine.

Varnish: Varnish is a clear, protective coating that can be used to finish wood floors. It comes in both oil-based and water-based formulas and provides a hard, durable finish.

Stain: Stain can be used to enhance the color of a sanded wood floor and provide a protective barrier. It comes in a variety of colors and can be applied with a brush or rag.

Frequently Asked Questions

In cases where only one area or board has been affected, replacement may be an option. It is important to check that any new boards match the existing ones in terms of colour and finish, or else they may stand out when installed. Additionally, it is essential that any new boards are properly sealed so as not to risk further water damage in future.

Replacing a section of a damaged wood floor may be a viable solution, however if extensive damage has occurred then replacing all of the floor may be necessary in order for it to look consistent and aesthetically pleasing again. Ultimately, it’s important to assess the extent of the damage before attempting any repairs or replacements.

One of the simplest methods for protecting your wood floors from water damage is by using area rugs and mats. They provide a barrier between your floor and any liquids that may be spilled or tracked in on someone’s shoes. When choosing an area rug or mat, make sure that it is designed for indoor use and has a non-slip backing so that it won’t slip and slide around on your floor. If you have pets, make sure you choose a material that can handle their claws and messes!

You may also want to consider sealing your wood floors with an appropriate sealant every few years in order to protect them even more from potential water damage.

Look out for warping or buckling of the boards or discoloration or staining caused by moisture seeping into the wood.


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