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How to Handle Water Damage in Floors
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
So many things can cause water damage to a floor such as leaking refrigerators, faucets that were left on, burst pipes, and natural floods. In fact, any incident involving water damage would most likely affect the floor since water normally flows downward to the lowest place.
Signs of Water Damage
Aside from standing water or pools of water that have collected on the floor, other signs of water damage in floors include wet carpets or rugs, discolored grout lines, stains or water marks, warped wooden floors and soft or spongy flooring material.
Cleanup, Repair and Restoration
In all cases of water damage to floors, cleanup should always start with removing any standing water to prevent further damage. Next, discard any floor materials that cannot be salvaged such as carpet padding.
It is also very important to remove excess moisture from the floor and especially the subfloor of wooden floorings. This can be done by using dehumidifiers or fans and other drying devices that force dry air onto the area and help restore the correct level of humidity. Once the surface is thoroughly dry, it should be treated against mold growth.
After applying an anti-mold treatment, the floor should be ready for repair and restoration. The specific methods for restoring water-damaged floors will depend on the type of floors that were affected. For carpeted floors, replace the carpet padding and then reinstall new carpet if the old one was severely damaged and beyond cleaning.
For water-damaged wooden floors, make sure you've removed all hardwood that was damaged. The subfloor must also be replaced if the water has weakened it. Apply a floor-leveling compound and then install new wood flooring, making sure it has the same color, thickness and texture as the existing floor. Re-sanding and refinishing the replacement wood pieces may also be necessary so they will blend with the rest of the floor.
For water-damaged tiles, use a baking soda and water solution to clean stains off tiles. If there is serious staining and discoloration, it would be necessary to call a tile professional. If there are cracked grout lines or any loose tiles, they would have to be removed and replaced. It is important to make sure there is no moisture in the surface underneath the tiles.
When It's Best to Call for Professional Help
If there was a flood in your area caused by a storm or river overspill, or the cause of water damage in your home is sewage backup, do not attempt to do the cleanup yourself. You will be putting yourself at great risk because you're dealing with highly-contaminated water. You should call a water damage restoration professional instead.
Also, if the water damage is extensive, affecting large areas, or more than one floor, then it is also best to call professional help because you may not be able to clean up everything quickly and time is of the essence in any water damage incident. Molds can grow on a surface that's been wet for just a day or two.
In addition, the wet floor and subfloor must be dried thoroughly and this is done properly with the use of specialized equipment. You may have to rent them so why not just hire a professional water damage crew who already has the needed equipment and training to do the job efficiently?
Calling for professional help is not just a convenient way to have your water-damaged floors cleaned up and restored. In most cases, it is necessary to prevent further damage.
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