How to Fix Water Damaged Wood


Did you know that water causes wood to weaken, fall apart, and rot to help mold grow? If you do not know how to fix water damaged wood, you may be looking at a very expensive bill to restore your floor. This is because wood is a porous material.

Over time, water damage can penetrate your wood’s membranes. This will soften the wood and compromise its structure. Then your floor can become dangerous because it can cave in depending on the level of water damage.

Wood can be stunning and durable, but it is not indestructible.

You need to prevent moisture as much as possible. Although a splash of water from a cup will not cause significant damage, a flooded basement can be a crisis.

Here is everything you need to know about fixing water damaged wood and why this is necessary to prevent losing a lot of money.

How to Fix Water Damaged Wood

The first step is to clean up moisture from your wooden floor as quickly as possible. When water meets wood, every second that it seeps in jeopardizes its structure. Depending on the amount of water damage, you should try to use a dry rag mop or towels to soak any standing water.

Then you should remove any soaked objects from your floor. After cleaning the spill, all carpets or wet furnishings from the floor should be transported elsewhere. If you leave things in place, they will continue to drive all the moisture into the wood.

This can lead to mold growth and mildew even as soon as 24 hours after the initial spill. Get rid of all dirt and debris that can seep into the pores of your wooden floor.

This will reduce the damage to the vulnerable wood. A scrub brush and disinfectant cleaner with soft bristles can work wonders.

However, you will need to get a wood floor cleaner to get rid of traces of the disinfectant. While cleaning the wood, you should always be careful about how much water you use.

Otherwise, you can make things worse by adding too much moisture. This is an easy mistake, so you should always seek professional help instead of attempting a warehouse water damage cleanup yourself without the right experience and tools.

Identify Wet Stains

If you can still see the floor and it is not entirely flooded, you should thoroughly examine the stains to know what to work with. Usually, you should see whitish or dark gray marks.

You may also come across some black discolorations. The white marks are typically in the wood’s finish. Dark discolorations are bad news because they indicate substantial water damage since they occur deep inside the wood.

You can use a paint thinner or other mineral spirits to treat bare wood. After dampening the floor’s surface, you should notice whitish marks that will disappear in no time. They will also reappear when the mineral spirits evaporate.

This does not mean that you cannot get rid of these marks. You will need to apply another couple of finish coats to take care of these. If you notice that the marks refuse to disappear, you should call a professional service to fix water damaged wood.

Treat Stains Carefully

Remember to treat these stains consistently across the entire surface and not only the damaged parts. This procedure can involve flooding the surface with a bit of water. However, this is tricky because you can risk ruining the wood if you use too much water.

Mineral spirits like polish or old wax can remove any greasy residues. You can also use mild dish soap and water to get rid of the crud. These should not damage the wood finish, but only if you get the amount of water right. Avoid using any spirits or acid that you are unfamiliar with.

Always use eye protection and gloves to ensure that you clean the wood safely. Instead of pouring anything directly on the wood, you should also get a sponge or rag to saturate the entire surface you want to treat.

Allow the surface to be wet for less than five minutes before wiping away the excess. Then you need to allow the surface of the wood to dry. You should see an immediate effect at times, depending on the type of spirits or solution you use.

However, if this does not work and you need to scrub a bit more, you should wait for a while to let the wood dry completely. Otherwise, you risk adding too much moisture to your wood finish that can permanently damage its structure if it is not dry enough.

If there is still some discoloration, you may use a process called sanding to remove this. However, remember not to sand anything until the surface of your wood is rinsed properly.

Check Signs of Mold

After your wooden floor is all squeaky clean and dry, you need to look closely to inspect signs of mold growth. This is because mold can damage the quality of your wood. It can also cause a lot of health problems.

Mold can still be present even if your wood looks dry and safe. Never assume that you are in the clear unless you check every inch carefully. If there is mold in your wood, you should be able to tell in no time because you should see spores that appear green, gray, or black.

Why Call a Professional?

Knowing how to fix water damaged wood is tricky if you are unsure how to deal with the problem. Without the right experience and equipment, you can worsen the water damage if you are not careful.

It is always best to call a professional service, especially if you are dealing with significant water damage like a flooded basement. If you enjoyed reading this guide on fixing water damaged wood, check out some of our other posts for more information.


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About Marc Wallace

I'm never too busy to share my passion. I've created this page to help people learn more about business, finance and real estate. Besides all the serious stuff, I'm also a man that values family and healthy relationships. I hope you find my content insightful.

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