First, get the floor dry. Use towels, fans, heat and dehumidifiers. Even a hair dryer can be helpful if the spot’s small enough. Use anything, but get the floor dry. If you have the ability to get to the wood floors from under them, do it, you never know where water is going to get so take a look, if you see some moisture there, dry underneath.
Next, figure out how bad it is really. If the floor is cupping, then you can repair your water damaged wood floor. If it is lifting up, detaching from the subfloor and separating, you should replace the damaged area of wood flooring. Either way you’re going to need to sand. If it’s a large area to repair of the wood flooring you might want to get a drum sander, highly recommended cause using a belt sander over a larger area is brutal on your back. In any case you are going to need to sand the wood down to bare wood, that’s so you don’t see the stain any longer. If your stain is in a corner or a hard to reach area, we hate to tell you this but in that spot you will just have to use a hand scraper and sandpaper till you get the wood down to its bare surface. Once the finish is completely removed you’ll be working with a wood floor free of water damage and looking like it was when it first went down.
When the sanding is complete you will need to clean up. Sweep the floor to get all the dust and debris up. Use a tack rag treated with paint thinner or mineral spirits to remove the fine dust. Don’t use water; remember, that’s what started this mess to begin with. If you find any holes or scratches us a putty knife and some wood putty to fill those holes, then smooth them out. Let the putty dry for a good amount of time, I’d recommend at least 45 minutes. Then, if you need to, sand it again.
What To Do After You’ve Stripped The Damage
Now you’ve got the floor down to bare wood, it looks great but it needs some color. Time for some wood stain. If you’re only repairing a small portion of the floor, use the same stain and finish you have previously to match the prior work. Be careful here cause if you’re not sure about the color you can end up with a mismatched floor. If you have to redo the entire room, well the worlds your oyster—you can choose any color you want.
After staining, you get a choice. Stick with the stain on the floor or if you want the high polished look, add polyurethane or urethane. This will bring your floor that high shine. Keep in mind that between coats you will need to do a light sanding of the floor, and I mean a light sanding.
That’s how you fix a water damaged wood floor. It’s not horrible, it can take some time depending on the size of the area you need to repair but you can do it. If the job sounds too big, or you don’t have the time for all of that, be sure to call us. We’re experienced with repairing water damaged wood floors and we’ll be at your service no matter when you call.