When hardwood flooring is water damaged, there are two primary negative results that concern us: permanent structural damage and mold growth. It is our objective to avoid both negative outcomes and both are a function of moisture content.
A flooded or water damaged wood floor will stay at a dangerously high moisture content for weeks and even months if left to naturally dry on its own. According to the EPA, in as little as 48 - 72 hours, mold is capable of growing in soaked hardwoods. This is why you need to call us right away - it needs to be seen as an emergency.
Time is your enemy when it comes to water on or in your wood flooring because the moisture, temperature and dust layer beneath a wet wood floor provides a pretty good environment for mold. Leaving wet floors to naturally air dry is not worth the risk.
Hardwood Floor Drying - The Steps We Will Take
Our experts determine if your water damaged floor is salvageable. Solid hardwood floors that have cupped but are not completely buckled stand the best chance for restoration. We will also examine the subfloor and even the nails, to make sure they will not be a problem.
We then remove the bulk moisture. Most of the moisture absorbed by a hardwood floor is not from the top surface but from the bottom. Therefore, if you don't quickly evacuate the standing or bulk water, you're going to have a hard time drying floor. Wood will continuously absorb water if there's a source for it to draw from. We've got to get in there and remove any moisture that can be absorbed.
We then set up our state-of-the-art, hardwood floor restoration vacuum panels. The floor restoration panels are temporarily installed over the wet hardwood flooring and a powerful negative pressure is applied. The warm dry air will be "pulled" out from under the wood floor through the flutes in the hardwood. This is why it is important to get a professional and experienced restoration company on the job.
Some More Info on Moisture and Wood Floors
In all of our years of hardwood floor drying, we've learned definitively that no wood floor can withstand prolonged exposure to water and moisture issues. Wood floors can react differently depending on their make up. Solid wood floors have the highest potential to be saved and can be sanded and refinished, and harder woods are also a little more likely to be saved. Oak flooring for instance, can be restored easier than parquet flooring, this is because harder materials have a slower absorption rate.