How To Fix Wood Floor Water Damage

If you have a large amount of water on wood floors in your home, you probably are fearing the consequences. Water damage is one of the biggest fears of homeowners everywhere because of the risk it poses to nearly everything in the home. For example, when not handled properly, water damaged hardwood floors can warp, develop mold, and drastically lower the value of your property. The good news is that there are ways to fix wood floor water damage.

How Long Does It Take for Water To Damage Hardwood Floors?

How long it takes for water to damage hardwood floors really depends on where the water damage is located. The top of the boards is usually treated to helpwater leaks onto hardwood floor avoid this, particularly if you’re dealing with a small spill. However, a large volume of water will seep in between the boards and get underneath. The untreated areas of the boards will absorb water and expand. Typically the quicker the water damage in the wood floor is removed, the better chance it has of being saved.

Ideally, if you have a major water disaster such as a flood, leak, or burst pipe, you should call a professional water damage mitigation team within 24 hours to minimize the damage of water in hardware floors.

Signs of Water Damage on Hardwood Floors

The first sign of hardwood floor water damage may be an odor coming from under them. This could indicate moisture or mildew growth beneath the surface of your wooden floors. You’ll want to contact a professional immediately so they can assess the situation before making repairs. Also look for crowning of your hardwood floor. Crowning means that the moisture content is more than likely at the top of the floor rather than the bottom. Crowning is caused if water is placed directly on the hardwood flooring or from moisture content.

Other Signs of Water Damage to Hardware Floors

  • Staining and discoloration to wood floor
  • Hardwood floor buckling
  • Lifting nails and floorboards
  • Mold

Does Water Ruin Hardwood Floors?

Once water is absorbed by hardwood floors, moisture can spread throughout a plank and cause swelling in some areas while other parts remain dry due to how porous wood really is. This usually leaves you looking at unsightly bulges across your wood floor where water collects over time, only adding more wear on top!

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Floor

The most common reason for swelling on wood floors is high humidity. To fix it, lay thick towels over the area that has been swollen and run a dehumidifier to remove any excess moisture from your home’s air conditioning system or ventilation system before running an upright vacuum over these spots until they go down again

How to Repair and Minimize Hardwood Floor Water Damage

If you do have a large spill, a leaky roof or even a burst pipe in your home leading to the need to repair water in hardware floors, there are ways to mitigate the harm done and maybe prevent damage to your hardwood floor. This 5 step drying process will help you avoid water damaged flooring!

1. Find the Water Source

Before you can start drying anything out, you need to cut off the source. Look for leaking, burst pipes, weak spots in your roof, and repair the damage as much as you can before starting cleanup. After all, you won’t be able to do much to limit the hardwood floor water damage while water is still rushing in.

2. Remove Wet Objects And Dry Floors

Next, you need to move any and all wet objects to a safe place to dry out. Not only will this help save items such as furniture and rugs, it’ll limit the amount of water that saturates your floors. If left unattended, a soaked rug could cause potentially irreparable damage to your wood floors.

Next, using whatever you have, remove as much standing water from the floors as possible. A wet-vac will work best, but laying down towels and rags will help quite a bit. The floor will be completely dried later, the main goal is to remove the standing water. This part does not have to be perfect.

3. Clean Your Floors

When dealing with water damage to wooden floors, water is not the only material that you have to watch out for. Depending on the source, there might be silt, mud, or other organic materials along with your unwanted moisture. Scrubbing your floors gets rid of these impurities and can prevent permanent damage to your flooring.

4. Dry As Much As You Can

Once you’ve cleared, dried, and cleaned your floors, you’ll need to dry your floors once again. Continue to wipe the floors with whatever you can. Removing water from everywhere, including underneath cabinets or appliances, is vital to saving your wood floors.

A moisture meter will check to make sure that the floors are completely dried. If you have a dehumidifier, that will help remove quite a bit of excess moisture.

Set up as many fans as you can and keep them running in the affected area. Open your windows to ensure ventilation throughout the home. The more moving air you can create, the faster the floors will dry, and the less likely you are to face any severe damage to the wood.

At this point, you’ve done just about all you can to prevent damage to your wood floors. All that’s left is to make sure there’s no damage that requires calling in the professionals.

5. Look For Mold

Outside of checking for obvious deformity in the floors themselves, the most important sign to look for is the presence of mold. If mold growth has set in, you’ll need to take care of it right away in order to prevent the mold from spreading and becoming a bigger issue. Check the area carefully for visible mold either on the wood or in the pores of the grain.

You’ll want to keep your fans and dehumidifiers running throughout this entire process—mold loves moisture, so anything you can do to make your floors as dry and inhospitable to spore growth as possible will save you headaches down the line. For more help with mold, check out the professionals at Jenkins Environmental.

Use a Water Vacuum

Another option to clean up water off of your wood floors is to use a water vacuum. A water vacuum is a great way to remove water from your wood floors. It works by sucking up all of the water in the area where it is placed. This allows you to clean up any spills, or water damage immediately. It also makes it easier to sweep up any excess water that may have accumulated on your floor.

How to Fix Water Damaged Swollen Wood Floor

If the floor is swollen because of humidity, then you need to install ventilation fans to dry out your room. You can set up a dehumidifier in the room to help dry out the flooring, capture the moisture, and speed up the process.

How to Protect Wood Floors from Water damage

If you have experienced water damage to your wood floor and want to prevent it from happening again, or simply just want to know the best ways to prevent water damage from occurring in the future, we have a few strategies that can help.

Rugs and Mats

One way to protect your hardwood floors from water damage is by laying down mats and rugs throughout the house. Place a mat at each entrance, so that wet muddy shoes don’t traipse across it when you step onto your wood floor; also putting one under sinks, pet bowls, or faucets in case someone splashes their drink there!

Inspect Your Home

Ensure that there are no leaks in things such as your pipes that could cause flooding in your home and excess water onto you hardwood.


Sealing your hardwood every few years will help to prolong the life of your flooring and give it more of a guard against moisture and other potential harm.

Water Under Engineered Wood Floor

Most engineered wood flooring has a core that isn’t water-resistant and will be damaged if it’s soaked in water. Once the core has absorbed enough water, the floor will begin to expand and cupping will occur.

The best way to deal with a water damaged area under a engineered wood floor is to replace the affected boards and then refinish the entire floor to bring it back to its original look

Wood Floor Water Damage Repair

Depending on the water source, you may want to bring someone in to ensure the flooding doesn’t recur. Remember, if you ever are facing a water damage issue in your own home, all is not lost. You can still save wood floors with immediate action and if necessary, help from professionals such as Jenkins Restorations can help with wood floor water damage repair.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Treat Water Damaged Wood Floors

The best way to treat water damaged wood floors is to remove all furniture and other items from the room, then clean the area thoroughly using a mixture of soap and water. After cleaning, dry the area well.

How do you remove old water stains from hardwood floors?

You can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to remove old water stains from wood floors.

What happens when water gets under hardwood floors?

Water can get under hardwood floors if there are cracks in the subfloor. If this happens, it will cause damage to the floor and may require repair.

Does wet subfloor need to be replaced?

Wet subfloors should be replaced when they become damaged from water leaks or flooding, especially if it is growing mold. If you’re dealing with a serious situation, replacing the flooring may be the only option.

Have You Recently Dealt With Water Damaged Wood Floors?

After water damage, make sure to call Jenkins Restorations to get your home – and your life – back to normal again.