A large number of people prefer using hardwood floors for their home flooring on account of their beauty and longevity. However, one problem that many people have to grapple with is the fact that keeping the floors in this state is sometimes difficult. However, you should remember that most of the time, this only becomes difficult if you don’t take the right steps to maintain the floor. One of the types of damage that you should particularly watch out for is water damage. This can cause staining that will ruin the color of the floor. There are several ways of preventing and avoiding this type of damage that you should always put in place.
Signs that your floor might be damaged by water
The degree to which you prevent water damage of hardwood floors is often determined by the circumstances surrounding the use of the floors. There are some signs that mean that you should pay more attention to this including:
• If you live in a particularly humid climate
• When there are signs of water damage in other parts of the house, such as the walls and the roof
• If there is mold growth in the house, which indicates the presence of too much humidity
• If the previous floor had water damage
Preventing the problem from occurring
The best way to guarantee the longevity and aesthetic quality of the floor is by preventing water damage, rather than waiting for it to happen and then dealing with it. This is not only cheaper, but also more effective as well.
The first and most important step would be to identify the sources of water or humidity, and then try to compensate for them. For instance, if you have a plumbing leak, make sure that it’s fixed before you install the wooden floor. If you live in an environment with high humidity, you should consider getting an air conditioner that has the capacity to minimize this effect. In addition to preventing water damage for your floor, this will also protect the other wooden items in the home such as furniture.
Before installation, it’s also recommended that you check for the presence of any elements that might contribute to water damage. For instance, since underground water has the potential to seep into the deeper layers of the floor, you could opt to prepare the subfloor with a waterproof material to prevent this.
If you have the floor in place
If you already have the wooden floor in place and it ends up being damaged by water, there are a few steps you can take to reverse this effect. Please note that the degree with which this can be done depends on the degree of water damage. If the floor has not been too badly damaged, you could even use home remedies to get rid of the stains. However, when the problem has been long standing, you would need professional help to get it done. In the worst of cases, the only way to solve the problem would be by replacing the floor.
Some of the important strategies you can use to get rid of water stains in wood include:
• Sanding the floor: This has the effect of removing the stained portion of the floor. It is only effective if the water damage is from above. After sanding the floor, it’s important to coat it to prevent further damage to it.
• Remove the stain using vinegar: Vinegar can sometimes be used to get rid of dark water stains on the floor. To do this, you will need to soak a piece of cloth in vinegar and then gently scrub the area with it. This method is most effective for minor stains, and those that are not too deep.
• Using wood bleach: The main ingredient in wood bleach is oxalic acid. This can be used to get rid of the stain through oxidation, and is one of the most effective ways of removing dark water stains in hardwood.
There are some behavioral changes that can be made to further reduce the chances of hardwood floors staining on account of exposure to too much water. For instance, if the wooden floor is adjacent to a source of water such as a sink, you could have a rag nearby to clean any water that drips onto the floor. You can also instruct all your family members to ensure that they always clean such water to prevent it stagnating for too long.
If you find that most home remedies don’t work, you should consider getting some professional help in solving the problem. Attempting more radical measures such as replacing the floor on your own might turn out to be very expensive, and is something that you should avoid at all costs. The number of specialists providing such services in most parts of the world has increased, which means that you will find it easy to get one.