Wood Floors & Water Damage

Revive Water-Damaged Hardwood Floors in Denver, CO & Beyond

Repair Water-Damaged Hardwood Floors at A+ Hardwood Floors

At A+ Hardwood Floors, we specialize in restoring water-damaged hardwood floors throughout Denver, CO & surrounding areas. Water damage can wreak havoc on your beautiful hardwood, causing warping, staining, and mold growth. But do not worry; our skilled team of experts is here to help you return your floors to their original beauty. With prompt action, we can repair and restore water-damaged hardwood floors to maintain the appeal and longevity of your investment. Learn the best methods to repair water-damaged hardwood floors with our expert tips.

Signs of Water Damage on Hardwood Floors

Recognizing signs of water damage on hardwood floors is crucial for maintaining the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your flooring. Early detection of these signs enables prompt intervention and professional restoration, preventing further damage to your hardwood floors. When left unaddressed, water damage can lead to irreversible harm to the wood structure. By recognizing the signs of water damage and acting promptly, you can repair your water-damaged hardwood floors or hire a professional restoration service who can assess the extent of the damage and know how to repair water-damaged hardwood floors. Signs of water damage on hardwood floors include:

  • Discoloration – This is the first and most obvious sign. Hardwood that has absorbed water might change color, turning darker or even displaying white or black stains.
  • Cupping or Crowning – When moisture causes the wooden planks to expand, they may push against each other and warp. The edges may turn upwards (cupping), or the center may bulge upward (crowning).
  • Buckling – Over time, water-damaged floorboards might start to lift from the subfloor they're attached to. This usually happens after extended exposure to moisture.
  • Odor – Persistent musty or damp smells may indicate water damage beneath your flooring. This might also suggest the growth of mold or mildew.
  • Loose nails – If you notice your floor nails popping up or rusting, this may indicate water damage.
  • Squeaky or Creaky Sounds – These noises could indicate that the boards have absorbed water and expanded.
  • Cracking and Splitting – These are also common in water-damaged hardwood floors, especially after they dry out.
  • ​​​​​​​Mold and Mildew – Visible growth of mold or mildew on the floor surface or baseboards often indicates hidden water damage.

Understanding the Types of Water Damage on Wood Floors

Not all water is created equal. The source of the water carries varying levels of contaminants. Clean water from a burst pipe poses different challenges than contaminated water from a sewage backup. Understanding the water's origin is crucial for tailoring the cleanup and restoration process to the specific type of water damage. The composition of the water directly affects how it interacts with hardwood floors. Clean water may cause swelling and warping but is less likely to introduce harmful substances into the wood. On the other hand, contaminated water can bring in not only physical damage but also toxins and bacteria that compromise the integrity of the wood. The three types of water are:

  • Clean Water – This type of water doesn't typically pose a significant threat to your health because it originates from water supply lines, sink overflows, tub overflows, or appliance malfunctions, hence lacking dangerous contaminants. The cleanup for water damage from clean water is the easiest, assuming the response is immediate. Regular vacuuming, dehumidifying, and refinishing are standard remedial measures. Quick action will prevent the situation from escalating to severe water damage.
  • Grey Water – This water type may contain chemical or biological contaminants that could cause illnesses if consumed or even touched. Examples include overflow from dishwashers, washing machines, or toilets with urine (no feces). Dealing with greywater damage might necessitate more substantial cleanup efforts and precautions to protect your health. You need to ensure your remediation plan incorporates antimicrobial treatment after the drying process.
  • Black Water – This water category is severely contaminated, typically from flooding rivers, sewage backups, or toilet overflows involving feces. Black water may harbor dangerous bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi. Specialized personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection techniques are essential when dealing with black water to prevent exposure to dangerous pathogens. Complete floor replacement is often recommended for black water damage due to high health risk levels and difficulty in eradicating all contaminants.

How do you fix water-damaged hardwood floors?

Firstly, it is important to assess the level of damage to your hardwood floor. Check how far the water has soaked into the floor. You can do this by checking the underside of the floor from a basement or crawl space. The more the water is soaked, the higher the likelihood of warping, cracking, and rot. Is it just a small stain or a vast area of damage? Light damage might just require cleaning and polishing. Follow these steps to fix water-damaged floors:

  • Step 1: Identify the Source – You’ll want to identify the source of the water damage so you can stop any more damage from happening. This step also allows you to determine which type of water has caused the damage, giving you more insight on how to treat your water-damaged hardwood floors.
  • Step 2: Remove Excess Water – If the floor is still wet, use towels or a mop to remove as much standing water as possible. For more substantial damage, consider using a wet-dry vacuum to suck up all the water.
  • Step 3: Dry the Floor – Speed up the drying process using fans or a dehumidifier. These can help circulate the air and draw out moisture from the wood. Depending on the amount of water and the size of the room, this could take several days or even weeks. Ensure the subfloor is also completely dry before moving on to avoid mold growth.
  • Step 4: Sanding the Floor – Once your floor is completely dry, sand the affected areas. This will remove any stain, seal, or finish on the hardwood which would have prevented the wood from drying properly. It also helps to remove any raised edges or cupping.
  • Step 5: Refinishing – After sanding the floor to a level surface, apply a wood stain that matches your original flooring. Once the stain is dry, add a sealant or finish to protect your floors from further damage. Use a brush to apply it evenly on the surface and let it dry. After the sealer is dried, use a high grit sandpaper to smooth out any remaining unevenness, then vacuum the dust. Then, stain and seal again. Allow it to dry, and your floor should look like new!
  • Step 6: Replacing Damaged Boards – If the water damage is severe, and sanding or refinishing does not solve the issue, some or all of your floorboards may need to be replaced. This is typically a job for a professional, as it involves carefully removing the damaged boards, replacing them, and ensuring they fit seamlessly with your existing flooring.

Remember to consult a professional if you're unsure about anything. Water damage can be serious and may involve the need for significant repair work on the subfloor if not properly managed. Don’t take any chances if you think the problem might be beyond your skills.

How Do I Repair Water Damage Stains on My Wood Floors?

If there are stains on your water-damaged hardwood floors, there are some safe and effective cleaning methods you can use. Cleaning water stains from hardwood floors will vary based on the color of the stain. Always remember to test cleaning products and methods on a hidden part of the floor first to make sure they won't damage your flooring. Always wear gloves when handling cleaning products and be careful to follow product instructions exactly to avoid any damage or discoloration. Here's how you can do it:

White Stains –

  • Make a mixture of baking soda and water. You're aiming for a toothpaste-like consistency. Baking soda has mild abrasive properties, making it effective for gently scrubbing away surface stains without causing significant damage to the finish of hardwood floors. It is also known for its absorbent qualities. For water stains, especially those caused by recent spills or moisture, baking soda can help absorb the remaining moisture from the wood, potentially eliminating or reducing the stain.
  • Apply this paste on the white water stains and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to rub the area gently. Be sure not to rub too hard to avoid scratching your floor.
  • Once the stain has disappeared, clean the area with a damp cloth to remove any leftover baking soda paste.
  • Dry the floor with a clean, dry cloth to avoid further water marks.

·       Black Stains –

  • Black water stains on hardwood floors suggest that the water has seeped through the finish and into the wood. It's more difficult to remove black water stains, and you might have to refinish the area.
  • First, try to scrub the stain with a mixture of vinegar and water. This will remove the top layer of the stain.
  •  If this does not remove the stain, lightly sand the stained area with fine-grit sandpaper, being careful not to sand too much. Vacuum or wipe up the dust.
  • If the stain is still visible, apply a layer of bleach to the stained area and leave it for about an hour.
  • After one hour, neutralize the bleach by wiping the area with a cloth soaked in hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar.
  • Once the floor is dry, apply a matching wood stain to the area.
  • Finally, apply a water-based polyurethane finish to the area to protect it from further stains.

Eliminate Signs of Water Damage on Hardwood Floors Naturally

Natural home remedies can be effective for cleaning and addressing minor water damage on hardwood floors. These natural remedies for addressing minor water damage on hardwood floors are often chosen not only for their effectiveness but also for their eco-friendly and non-toxic properties. Utilizing ingredients like white vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, or other eco-friendly solutions minimizes the introduction of harmful chemicals into your home. This is a sustainable approach that promotes a healthier living space for you and your family. Here are some common household items that you can use:

  • Vinegar and Water Solution – Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Dampen a clean cloth or mop in the solution and gently clean the affected area. Vinegar can help remove dirt and stains, but it's essential to dry the floor thoroughly afterward.
  • Baking Soda Paste – Create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to stains or discolored areas, gently scrub, and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Lemon Juice and Olive Oil – Combine one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil to create a natural polish for hardwood floors. Apply the mixture sparingly and buff with a soft cloth to restore shine.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Dampen a cloth or sponge in the solution and gently scrub away water stains. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth afterward.
  • Cornstarch – For water stains, make a paste using cornstarch and a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the stain, let it sit for a few hours or overnight, and then gently wipe it away.
  • Salt and Lemon – Mix salt and lemon juice to create a natural abrasive cleaner. Use this mixture to scrub away minor stains or dirt. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.

​​​​​​​Expert Repair for Water-Damaged Hardwood Floors

At A+ Hardwood Floors, we bring our expertise and specialized equipment to effectively handle water-damaged hardwood floors in Denver, CO & the surrounding areas. Should you be facing a situation beyond your capability, remember that you do not have to do this alone. Dealing with water damage to your hardwood floors can feel like a daunting task. Understanding the different types of water damage, identifying the signs early on, and employing appropriate cleanup and restoration methods are essential in maintaining the beauty and durability of your flooring. Reach out to us today for professional assessment and repair services tailored to meet your needs. Protect the appeal and longevity of your investment and ensure your peace of mind.