Water Damage to Wood Floors

Water, the universal solvent is absolutely vital in bringing back most floors, such as carpet, vinyl and marble, to their former glory. Yet in the case of wood floors can be very destructive, and are therefore rarely used in the wood floor restoration process. So what causes water damage to wood floors, why is it important, and how do our wood floor sanding professionals recognise it?

Dampness in Wood Floors – Leaks

A common cause of dampness or water damage to a wooden floor is a leak in an adjoining room that travels underneath the floor and makes its way into the area underneath the wooden floor. Modern conveniences such as dishwashers, washing machines and showers are very often the cause of leaks such as this. Unfortunately, this type of problem can go unnoticed for a long time, often leading to the complete destruction of the wood floor.

Water Damage to Wood Floors – Sub-Floor Issues

Many water damage issues are caused by subfloor problems. these mostly involve old or damaged damp-proof membranes. Many wood block floors were bedded in bitumen. Bitumen served not only as the adhesive but also as the method of damp proofing. The problem is that with age bitumen becomes brittle and the wooden blocks become loose. It’s good to know that generally speaking the layers of bitumen on the subfloor and on the back of the blocks will be sufficient to prevent moisture damage. However, when our floor sanding professionals are repairing a wood floor like this using modern adhesives it is important to make sure that the adhesives are not only compatible with bitumen but also that any potential dampness is investigated and taken care of.

wood floor moisture metre

Tramex Moisture Metre –
Taking a moisture reading from a wood floor

Moisture Damage to Wood Floors – Incorrect Cleaning

A third common cause of water damage to wood floors is caused by day-to-day cleaning. Cleaning a wood floor requires very little moisture, a small amount of a pH-neutral wood floor cleaning product and the sensible use of a quality microfiber mop are all that is required to keep wood floors looking good. Allowing excess water to sit on the floor can cause water damage over time.

Heavily soiled restaurants and bars may require more intensive cleaning but this should only be undertaken by professionals with rotary machines and wet pick-up equipment working on small areas at a time. Quite often plant pots that don’t have plastic trays beneath them can also be the cause of water damage to wood floors.

Water Damage to Wood Floors – Air Humidity

Many people are unaware that water damage to wood floors can also be caused by excess air humidity. Wood stays in equilibrium with the moisture in the air so if there is too much moisture in the air there will be too much moisture in the wood too. Excess humidity can occur naturally, but generally speaking, excess humidity is caused by either the shower, tumble drier or cooker. Thankfully the solution is as simple as opening the window!

Professional Wood Floor Restoration

So why is important to know about moisture levels before carrying out any work? The fact is that the level of knowledge about wooden flooring and the standard of wood floor fitting in the UK are extremely poor. Problems that are caused by poor fitting or maintenance are often made worse by sanding and finishing. That’s why our professional wood floor restoration experts carry out a full site survey, including moisture levels, before starting any wood floor restoration project.  It’s one of the benefits of hiring a floor restoration expert who specialises in wood.

We hope you find this article useful.  If you have noticed water damage to your wood floor and would like to speak to one of our restoration experts about how to bring it back to its former glory, why not speak to us?

Freephone 0333 9390193  or find your local approved Ultimate Floor Sanding contractor.