Signs of Water Damage in Hardwood Floors

Sometimes, looking for water damage in hardwood floors can be difficult due to the color and lack of structure change. Water damage in hardwood floors can sometimes go undetected. When you notice that there may be something off about your hardwood floor, damage has already been done. When searching for water damage in hardwood floors, be cautious of the condition and practice safe handling by wearing protection gear.  

What you need to know about signs of water damage in hardwood floors

  • Not all water damage in hardwood floors is noticeable 
  • Water damage can affect your hardwood floors in several different ways depending upon the layout and type of wood
  • There are several different ways to tell if your hardwood floors have been affected 
  • Water damaged hardwood floors can be restored at home or by a professional

Do you notice an increase in your water bill?

Signs of Water Damage in Hardwood Floors - Water Damage Restoration Sometimes, although the leak may go unnoticed physically, it can be present in your monthly water bill. A sudden increase in your water bill could suggest that there is a leak somewhere that you don’t know about. 

There are several things to think about when you see a higher water bill. What does a normal bill look like in your area and water usage? We suggest going online to your city website and reading your local rates. 

Was more water used during that period of time? Sometimes we can have family members visit, take more bubble baths than usual, or wash more dishes and this will cause a change. 

What time of year did you see this increase? Summer months can cause higher water bills because we usually use more water at this time. During summer, most people will water their yard or care for their pool which changes their water bill. 

A faucet that leaks around 1 drip per second, could be wasting around 17 gallons over the period of one day! You can imagine that 17 gallons leaking into your hardwood floor daily would not go over well. If you notice an increase in your water bill, contact a professional quickly to inspect your property for potential leaks. 

Do you notice a bad odor in your home?

The smell of water damage is one of a kind and easily noticeable. This musty odor is usually a sign that there is moisture located somewhere it is not suppose to be. The smell of mold is caused by the release of chemicals by the growth as it grows, eats, and multiplies. It is a blend of different compounds reacting from each other. If there is a room in your home that has a strong odor, get a flow of fresh air supply quickly. We advise opening windows to begin cleaning the air of bacteria. 

Mold grows successfully in porous materials so it is important to stay cautious while inspecting if you are doing it yourself. If mold is found, it is best to locate the source of moisture to determine if there is a leak. It would be advised that you address any problems that may be present quickly by a professional. 

Do you notice any cupping in your floors?

Cupping in your hardwood floors happens when the edges of the board are lifted higher than the center. Assuming that the flooring was installed properly, the following action is a direct result of moisture in your floors. This excess moisture causes the floor to swell meshing the boards together causing deformation at the edges.

Do you notice any spore buildup?

If you notice spores in your solid hardwood floors, take precautions by opening up windows or doors for fresh air flow. Inhaling any type of mold could cause allergic reactions. If self cleaning, be sure to wear a dust mask and a form of latex gloves for protection. 

Spray the area with a white vinegar and water mixture to clean the mold growth on the floors quickly. The solution normally calls for ¼ vinegar per 1 cup of water. For more extreme cases, you can use equal parts water to vinegar on the affected area. 

After spraying, dry the floor of any excess water until it is completely dry. A moisture meter is advised to ensure that surface of wood floor is free of any extreme amounts of water. The drying process on water damaged wood floors will help ensure that mold does not quickly return. 

Ultimately, we advise contacting your local restoration company for assistance to repair the damage if you notice water damaged flooring. In addition, a floor contractor may be needed after water damage is addressed to offerer sanding and refinishing. A floor contractor can sand the floor and bring the wood back to life. This will help eliminate the visible imperfections caused by the water damage.

Do you notice any planks buckling?

Signs of Water Damage in Hardwood Floors - Water Damage Restoration

Normally, wood can expand a from conditions of the environment so a little change is nothing to stress over. However, if you notice extreme buckling, this could be caused by different things. 

Water damage in hardwood floors

Because wood needs to make changes if there is more moisture added, the wood will begin to move in an upward position to adjust. Your flooring could also have stains or spots where water has gotten into the wood. Ways you can prevent water seeping into the wood would be to check the coating of the wood often for any wear or tear, get wood waxed with protective coating, or add wood oil. 

Acclimation of wood

Many people do not know that you are supposed to let wood acclimate to its environment 2 weeks prior to installing. Wood needs a chance to respond to the environment conditions and if it does not, this may cause buckling. If buckling was not caused by this, it is safe to assume that moisture is present.  

Poor installation of hardwood floors

When installing wood, it is imperative that the installation be correct. Using the correct tools and, in the situation of avoiding moisture, the correct installation of a moisture barrier. If the moisture barrier is not present or incorrectly installed, this could cause buckling. In addition, the flooring should be installed with a ¼ inch to ½ inch gap for potential expansion around the rim of the room to help reduce the opportunity of buckling.  

Care of hardwood floors

Caring for beautiful hardwood floors should be part of your routine maintenance. Making sure that any way spills get correctly cleaned up, not wet-mopping your floors, and tending to any wear and tear as soon as possible, are just a few things that will help keep your hardwood floors looking great.

All in all, any sign of water damage in your hardwood floors should be addressed immediately to make sure they stay nice and continue to look good in your home. Getting the help of a water restoration company can also guaranteed that any and all problems are addressed and do not return.