How long does it take for water to damage hardwood floor?

According to the EPA, mold can grow on most materials (including wood) within 48 to 72 hours. Other damage, such as spots or deformations, can appear in as little as two to seven days. If you have hardwood floors, you don't want any liquid to stay on that surface for too long, as it could deform the wood. If this is a major flood on your hardwood floors, it should ideally be resolved within 24 hours.

Within the first 2 hours to 7 days of coming into contact with moisture and water, the wood is likely to experience mold and mildew. Hardwood floors, window frames, and doors will begin to warp and swell. Keep in mind that a wooden floor damaged by water is prone to serious biological contamination, so it would be best to treat it right away. Water damage occurs when water is allowed to saturate a wooden floor; often, the result is a condition that is often referred to as hollowing.

This happens because the unfinished lower part of the boards absorbs more moisture, which causes the lower part of each board to expand more than the upper part. The result is a wavy appearance and each row of wood is raised at the seams. The first twenty-four hours are critical to saving hardwood floors. As the water recedes, the outer floor may appear dry, while the subsurface may still be wet.

During the restoration of water damage, it is important to first eliminate any sources of moisture (carpets, furniture, etc.) The effects of water damage occur over time; once you notice something different on hardwood floors, water damage has already occurred. The effects of water damage are slow and constant; you might not notice anything wrong with hardwood floors for a while, so be preventive and clean up any amount of water right away. When noticing water damage, the ideal would be to call your lawyer or insurance company immediately to see if water damage is included in your insurance coverage. Water can compromise the structure of the wood, causing mold growth and costly restoration tasks.

Hardwood floors are a classic design option with several practical benefits, but despite the aesthetic appeal, hardwood floors are incredibly vulnerable to water damage. With hardwood floors, you can sand and scrape up to a quarter of an inch of the wood to eliminate water damage on the surface. Continue vacuuming the surface to remove water from the invisible pores in the wood that can damage the water later on. Once the water is removed quickly, Restore Pro can repair or replace wood beams that bend, hollow out, or discolor.

The best way to care for a water damaged area on your hardwood floor is to replace the affected boards and then repaint the entire floor to return it to a unifying look. Water is the worst enemy of hardwood floors, so it's important to get the water out quickly, whether it's a small spill from a falling glass or a large amount of water due to a leak or flood in the house. You are left with wood floors damaged by water after a flood caused by ice reservoirs, faulty appliances, broken pipes, or another incident in your home or office. Water damage to your property and belongings is one of the most stressful things a homeowner can experience.

At Certified Restoration, we've been restoring water-damaged hardwood floors in San Diego for more than 20 years.

Therese Lamkins
Therese Lamkins

Proud social media scholar. Passionate food scholar. Infuriatingly humble zombie maven. Evil entrepreneur. Professional social media evangelist.

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