Hardwood floors need high maintenance and are susceptible to moisture damage. A swollen wood floor clearly means it needs to be fixed. Although it is best to hire a flooring specialist, you may repair it yourself and save on paying expensive service costs.
Most of the time, high humidity and water leaks cause wood floors to swell. The most effective solution for buckling is removing excess moisture.
Fortunately, dealing with swollen hardwood floors is a simple process. Even though the fix is straightforward, the repair procedure will probably take days.
How Can You Fix The Swollen HardWood Floor?
You can repair a swollen hardwood floor on your own, mainly if the damage is minor or if you want to save money.
Your wood floor’s optimal restoration methods rely on the amount of swelling, the damage’s depth, and the swelling’s real cause. In difficult situations, certain flooring may need replacement.
1. Identify The Extent Of The Damage
You must first evaluate your floor to determine the main cause of the damage and the amount of swelling.
Water damage may cause paint peeling and mold growth inside the boards. Other sources of floor degradation may not show similar symptoms as water damage.
You can use temporary markers to identify the problematic areas of your floor so that you can choose the most effective way of restoration.
For instance, you can determine whether excessive moisture is the primary reason for your floor’s accumulation even though you have followed basic wood floor cleaning procedures.
Wet concrete might cause your wood floor to swell. Observations help you address issues and avoid future harm.
2. Remove Excessive Moisture from Your Floor’s Surface
Wood floors often swell outward when the humidity level is high. Drying a wood floor reduces the severity of piles and restores the wood to its natural form.
There are various methods available for drying wood flooring. Most of these techniques are suitable for a do-it-yourself installation, are practical, and need minimum expert help.
- Use a steam cleaner to eliminate swelling
- Attempt to dry the floor using a vacuum cleaner.
- Moreover, You can employ a dehumidifier to eliminate extra moisture.
3. Power up Your Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier
Temperature control systems may prevent floors from expanding. Temperature fluctuations and humidity can cause your wood flooring to buckle or bulge.
Low temperatures in the winter may cause wood to contract. The majority of hardwood floors warp over the winter owing to low temperatures.
Irrespective of the season or climatic circumstances, your flooring will stay pristine if you practice proper indoor temperature management.
4. Sanding The Buckled Wooden Floor
Sanding may temporarily repair swelling wooden flooring. You may level off the bulge by delivering extra wood grain. However, if the underlying cause is not still treated, the harm can continue.
Sanding could be one of your alternatives for dealing with a bloated wood floor, albeit less effective. Before attempting to minimize swelling with sanding, consider alternative, very effective techniques.
5. Replace The Damaged Floorboard
Repairing some swellings with the other methods available may not be possible.
Replacing the floors is an appropriate remedy for such harsh conditions.
However, it may be costly and time-consuming.
Although DIY flood board replacement is possible, you can also contact a expert service. Poor installation may exacerbate the damage and increase repair costs.
Tools You’ll Need For Fixing swollen wood Floor
The following tools are required if you need to fix a swollen wood floor:
- A moisture meter: With the aid of this device, you may ascertain the wood’s moisture level and spot any places that are too damp.
- A chisel: To remove swelling timber and provide a smooth, clean surface for restoration, use a chisel.
- A hammer & drill: Use a hammer to tap a chisel and remove swelling wood softly. You can drill holes into the floor to allow extra water to drain.
- Sandpaper: After repairs, the floor’s surface may be smoothed using sandpaper to prepare it for refinishing.
- Wood filler: After repairing the floor, apply wood filler to cover any gaps or flaws.
- A paintbrush: Use a paintbrush to spread wood filler and other floor repair supplies.
- A refinishing kit: If the floor needs refinishing after repair, you’ll need a refinishing kit, which usually contains a sand pad, refinishing solvent, and protective coating.
- Safety gear: To shield your eyes, skin, and lungs when dealing with wood, you should use safety gear such as gloves, eyewear, and a face mask.
Why Is My Wood Floor Swelling And Bulging?
Incorrect installation, exposure to excessive humidity, or significant temperature shifts may cause wood floors to grow and bulge. But water is the primary reason why hardwood floors expand and bubble.
A subfloor with a high moisture level may cause your floor to expand, swell, and seem uneven. Since wood is inherently porous, it could collect moisture from the surroundings or the concrete beneath the flooring.
The moisture content of your floor might rise if there are water leaks, spills, or a humid atmosphere. The floor must make room for moisture, which may produce bulging by swelling unevenly on the affected surface.
Incorrect installation may also cause wood floors to swell or bulge. An improper material choice and bad installation techniques on the subfloor can sometimes lead your flooring to lose its original form.
Damage to your flooring might spread to vast areas, decreasing its quality and making it unsafe to walk on.
Wood expands and swells as a result of temperature shifts and thermal expansion.
Overheating causes wood to swell. When the temperature outside is high, especially in the summer, the wood in your flooring might expand and cause unsightly bumps and dents.
Some varieties of wood swell more than others when exposed to extended contact with water. As a result of their increased density, hardwood flooring expands more than its softwood counterparts of the same size.
Woods with higher density tend to warp and split due to their increased capacity to absorb water via their cell walls.
How To Repair And Minimize Wood Floor Water Damage
If you have a huge spill, a leaking roof, or a busted pipe that causes water in your flooring, there are techniques to limit the damage and save your hardwood floor. This 5-step drying technique prevents water-damaged flooring!
1- Find the Water Source
You must shut off the source before beginning the drying process. Before cleaning up, check for leaks, busted pipes, and roof weaknesses. After all, water gushing in won’t let you restrict hardwood floor water damage.
2- Remove Wet Objects and Dry Floors
Next, put any damp items somewhere secure to dry. It will safeguard furniture, carpets, and floors from water saturation. A damp carpeting might ruin your wood flooring if left untreated.
Wipe as much excess moisture from the flooring as possible. Wet vacs work best, although towels and rags assist. The major purpose is to eliminate standing water. It’s not critical.
3- Clean Your Floors
Water damage to hardwood flooring involves more than water. Depending on the source, your undesirable wetness may include silt, muck, or organic compounds. Scrubbing floors removes these impurities and prevents irreversible harm.
4- Dry As Much As You Can
After clearing, drying, and cleaning your floors, dry them again. Keep wiping floors. Wood floors must be dried everywhere, even beneath appliances and cupboards.
A moisture meter will verify floor drying. Dehumidifiers eliminate a lot of moisture.
Install and maintain as many fans as possible in the affected region. Open windows for house ventilation. The quicker the floors dry and the less damage they’ll sustain, the more air you can generate.
You’ve done almost everything to protect your wood flooring. The last step is to check for damage that needs expert repair.
5- Look For Mold
Mold is the most significant indicator of floor damage. To prevent mold from spreading, you must remove it immediately. Perform a thorough inspection of the area to look for any obvious signs of mold on the wood or in the cracks of the grain.
All over this process, you must make sure that your fans and dehumidifiers and are operating. Mold thrives on moisture, so everything you can do to ensure that your floors are as dry and hostile to the development of spores. It will save you from hassle in the long run.
How Long Does It Take for Water To Damage Hardwood Floors?
It is difficult to give a specific time frame for how long it takes for water to damage hardwood floors, as it can vary greatly depending on several factors.
Some of the factors that can affect the speed at which water damages hardwood floors include:
- The amount of water: The more water is present, the faster it can damage the floor.
- The type of wood: Some types are more resilient to water damage than others.
- The humidity and temperature of the room: High humidity and high temperatures can accelerate the rate at which water damages hardwood floors.
- The finish on the floor: Hardwood floors with a protective finish will be more resistant to water damage than those without.
Cleaning up any water on hardwood floors as soon as possible is best to prevent damage. If the water is allowed to stay on the floor for a long period, it can penetrate the wood and cause damage.
How To Prevent The Wood Floor From Swelling
We offer a few tips that might be useful if you have had water damage to your wood floor and wish to avoid it from occurring again.
1- Mats and Rugs
Installing rugs and mats throughout the home is one technique to shield your wood floors from flood damage.
If you have a wooden floor, you should lay a mat at each doorway to catch muddy boots, and you should also put a mat under any sinks, pet bowls, or faucets to catch any spills.
2- Inspect Your Home
Ensure that no leaks might cause floods or extra water to your flooring.
Your wood flooring can last longer and be better protected against humidity and other possible damage if you protect it every few years.
The hardwood floor is quite exquisite and luxurious-looking. To fix the wooden swollen floor you need to check the sources of nearby humidity or moisture.
Before taking action, thoroughly inspect the room, seal any moisture entryways, and repair them delicately.
The area must be wiped thoroughly and kept dry. It will take some time, but the floor will return to its prior condition. The hardwood flooring will be gleaming and nice.
Noor-Ul-Ain is a talented interior designer with a passion for creating beautiful and functional homes. With 5 years of experience in the industry, Noor brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her work. She loves to stay ahead of the latest home trends and share her insights with others through her writing.