People often face the issue of hardwood floor buckling and water damage. If you are also one of them, you must read its causes and fixes to rescue yourself from this disaster.
Having wooden floors is probably a dream for many, who want to enhance the aesthetics of their house. As much as they enhance the appearance, they have many other benefits side by side.
But with all of the mentioned benefits of having wooden or hardwood floors, they do require proper maintenance in order to use them for a longer period of time and to prevent any damage.
Buckled hardwood floors are one of the most common issues that are reported by homeowners. We’ll start by getting to know what exactly is the hardwood floor buckling.
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What is Hardwood Floor Buckling?
Hardwood floor buckling is the damage that is caused by exposure to excess water. Due to the floor being exposed to water it becomes damp and the moisture starts to fill up gradually.
Wood often contracts and expands due to its nature and seasonal expansion as well.
But sometimes the causes of expansion are other than nature itself which can damage and ultimately ruin the overall condition of the floor.
Causes of Hardwood Floor Buckling
These are a few reasons that cause hardwood floors to buckle in our homes and apartments:
The damage caused by water is the main source of hardwood floor buckling. This usually happens when the floor is exposed to excess and huge amounts of water but the occurrence may also be because of the moisture build-up over time.
Just a few spills could lead up to the formation of moisture and especially when the water spills are not cleaned on time.
The moisture build could be because of the rise and fall in the levels of humidity. The build-up of moisture is not something that forms within minutes or seconds, but it builds up gradually.
You might notice the damage as the floors will start to expand and lift up a bit, that is because of the moisture build-up and prone to water.
Acclimation is a process where the wood stays in the room before the installation. And this process should be done at least two weeks before for the best results.
This process prevents the wood from getting the contraction and expansion after installation, which could lead to the deformation of the wood.
So it is better to leave the wooden planks in the room where they are to be installed before direct installation, to check for the wood and room compatibility.
Improper installation of the wood can be due to incorrect nail insertion or poor quality of the floor. Also, an insufficient amount of glue applied can result in buckling of the hardwood floors.
How to Fix Buckling Hardwood Floor Water Damage?
Fixing Buckling Hardwood Floor Water Damage – A Guide
Following is the step by step guide to fixing the hardwood floor buckling water damage:
Identifying the Water Source
As you may know that you can not just directly remove the water from the wood, you will surely need to identify the real cause behind the occurrence of the water.
Without identifying, there is a possible chance that the damage to the wood may reoccur with the passage of time.
Resolving the Water Source
It would help if you keep a mop or a vacuum, or you can also use the squeegee to suck up the spilled water on the floors.
Scrubbing and Cleaning
DIYers usually look for ways to clean their hardwood floors without making scratches on them or damaging them. It is not as hard as it looks and anyone can do it if he/she follows the instructions properly.
For the cleaning part, it’s best to get a nice pack of detergent that is compatible with being used on the hardwood floor. Then you’ll need to mix the detergent with the bucket of water.
After mixing, it’s time to mop the floor. You can use top-rated mops for hardwood floors for this purpose.
Mop the floor along the surface where you feel there are visible water stains. Make sure that you remove all the dirt, grime, and stains from the floor as you move the mop over the surface.
Treating the Mildew on the Floor
After mopping over the surface, you need to note the area that is covered mostly with mold and mildew.
You can use the hardwood floor bleach that suits your floor to prevent it from discoloration after mopping.
Dry Mopping the Floor
The next step here is to dry mop the floor. Now there are various methods to do so.
Firstly you can use the dry mop to mop over the surface and dry the floor by it. Or you can open the windows to let them dry naturally.
Lastly, you can turn the fans on to let the floor dry. All of the above measures can be used to dry the floors from water.
Sanding the Floor
Sanding the floor to prevent it from the water is also considered one of the major steps.
While if you feel that the floors are forming a concave or a convex shape, you may require sanding them to shape them back to normal completely.
It is a must to keep in mind that if your floors are laminate or highly engineered hardwood floors, then sanding the floors might not be considered
Sealing and Refinishing the Floor
In this step, you need to check the growth beneath the paint or sealed floor carefully. So for this, you will need to remove the paint and install a new seal.
Then you will scrape off the paint and dry it until you reapply the paint to seal it. Doing so will help restore the aesthetic look of the floor.
Warning Signs of Hardwood Floor Buckling
Following are the important warning signs that can help you take safety measures before buckling off the floor.
Cracks and partings between the hardwood floors are a visible sign of floor buckling.
Cupping occurs when the moisture is present in excess on these floors due to water leakage or spills on the floor.
During cupping the edges of the wood, planks become swollen and usually form a bigger size than their center.
This type of crowning defect develops as the mid of the plank swells more than the side and edges of the floor.
This happens when the main floor gets lifted up from the subfloor.
This is also one of the major signs and warnings that could lead to the buckling of hardwood floors.
Safety Measures for Prevention & Maintenance
- Ensure not to use hard shoes and inform people or visitors to take off shoes before walking on the floor.
- It is best to use vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors regularly to clean up the dirt and dust build-up.
- Using rugs and mats in high traffic areas is a great way to deal with longer-term usage.
- Padding your furniture to save the floor from scratches is another great way.
- If in case of any spills on the ground, wiping it straight away is the correct solution.
- It’s best not to use the wet mops on these floors as it will only increase the damage.
- Also, you should avoid walking with sharp and pointy high heels on these floors to prevent them from any damage.
- It’s best not to use the steam cleaners on these floors as many of the wooden planks do not support the steam enough.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the questions that people usually ask the experts.
Why Is My Hardwood Floor Buckling?
Many of the leakage and moisture build-up due to water spills can be the reason for the hardwood floor buckling.
Can You Fix Buckled Hardwood Floor?
Only minor damage can be easily repaired like the white water or normal water stains.
How Do You Fix a Buckling Hardwood Floor?
One of the easiest and effortless ways to fix the buckling of the floor is by drying the area as soon as there is any spillage of water.
Can Water Damaged Hardwood Floors Be Repaired?
The water-damaged hardwood floors can be repaired if there are any white water stains on the floor as well as some mild damage.
What Happens when The Water Gets Under the Hardwood Floors?
When the wood gets under or beneath the surface of hardwood floors, the wood begins to absorb the water and then it gradually starts to expand.
Making the edges and sides of the floor swell, becoming larger than its center to completely deform the floor.
How Do You Fix the Swollen Wood Floor?
You can use the nails to nail down on the swollen wooden floors, but these can only be done on mildly damaged floors.
How Long Does It Take for The Water to Damage the Hardwood Floors?
It may take around 48-72 hours for the water to reach the surface beneath the floor.
How Do You Fix Warped Hardwood Floors from Wood Damage?
The best way to fix the warped hardwood floors from buckling and other wood damage is to remove the amount of humidity from the area.
Whether you install a floor from the best hardwood floor brands, it can be damaged, if proper care is not given to it.
If you feel that your newly applied hardwood floors, or even older ones are getting buckled you don’t need to stress out as the above-mentioned guides and warnings will surely help you get rid of the buckling of hardwood floors.