Your floors are an often overlooked but very important part of your home. Dirty, tattered, outdated or ugly floors can make your home look far less attractive and valuable than it may be. In contrast, beautiful and well kept floors give your home a special sparkle. It is especially important to pay attention to your flooring if you are thinking about selling your home. By installing clean and beautiful new floors, you can increase the value of your home far more than the cost of your flooring. My background as a real estate agent has taught me what potential buyers want in floors, and now I'm going to teach you. Make your home all it can be with floors that say your home is the best.
When you experience a flood or water break in your home, it can be a frustrating experience. Even more so if you have hardwood flooring, as it is well known that hardwood doesn't usually stand well against water. However, if you act quickly, you might be able to save your wood flooring from permanent damage. Here are some tips for reducing the water damage to your wood flooring.
Are the floors still wet?
If the hardwood floor is still wet, you have a better chance at reducing water damage. You have the opportunity to clean the floors thoroughly. This is important because with debris, mud and dirt on the floors, water can build-up faster and it stays wet for longer periods of time. Before you start cleaning the floors, make sure you are safe while entering your home. If there was a major flood, do not start walking around inside your home without being sure it is safe. However, if it was a plumbing issue inside your home and there isn't an inch or more of water, you should be okay to enter. Just be cautious and wear sturdy boots. This method will not work if there is still a good amount of water in your home. You need to remove the water first.
You will need a broom or stiff brush, mild detergent, a bucket, disinfecting product, and an absorbent cloth. Use the broom or stiff brush to scrub the wood floors. You want to get rid of all the dirt, organic material, debris and mud from the floor. Many floods and water breaks bring along sewage and other debris with them. In the bucket, combine water, disinfectant, and detergent. Use this to scrub away any debris from your wood floors.
Has the mold set in already?
If your wood floors already smell like mildew, there is probably mold already growing from the water damage. It is not too late to clean the floors and hopefully save them. You will need a product called trisodium phosphate (TSP), which is sold at hardware stores. This is the best product for safely removing mold from wood floors. Get another bucket and add a few tablespoons of the powder TSP to a gallon of water. Mix it well, then use a stiff brush to scrub away at the mold. Continue scrubbing until the mold is removed, then rinse with water and let it dry. This only works on small areas of mold. You will need to replace your hardwood floors if there is heavy saturation of mold.
Do you have warping of the wood?
If your hardwood floors have already begun to warp from the moisture, the only thing you can do is try sanding them down. Once they have been cleaned and are dried, get an orbital sander from your hardware store. Use the sander to try sanding down some of the high areas where the wood is beginning to warp. You won't be able to get these areas completely flat, but you can reduce how bumpy they look.
For more information on water damage restoration, contact a professional.