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Water damage can be the cause of expensive repairs and even floor replacement, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether your home features carpet, laminate, or hardwood flooring, learn how you can save money by protecting your floor from water damage.
Tips for Protecting Your Hardwood Floor from Water Damage
Water damage most commonly occurs with hardwood and laminate flooring. If you have wood floors, particularly in your basement, make sure you apply the following tips.
1. Watch your home’s humidity level.
Excessive humidity leaking through exterior walls can penetrate flooring, resulting in long-term water damage. If you live in a humid area, combat the extra moisture by running a dehumidifier whenever you can. A dehumidifier can also improve the overall comfort of your home.
2. Seal your flooring.
While hardwood floors are known for their durability, their wax sealant needs to be redone every year or two. Not only does a wax coating provide a protective barrier between the floor and the water, but it also increases the lifespan of your hardwood and laminate flooring.
3. Wipe up spills immediately.
If you have young children, make sure you keep an eye out for drink spills. Likewise, if you have pets who are not yet house-trained, lay towels on the ground until they are. The longer something wet sits on your hardwood, the greater the chance of long-term damage. If you spot something wet, wipe it up immediately.
4. Check doors and windows for leaks.
Many people notice warped wood near the bases of their doors. Gaps beneath the doorframe or on the edges of your windows allow water to enter your home when it rains. A few drops of water at a time eventually cause a lot of damage.
5. Inspect your plumbing regularly.
Water damage most commonly occurs when septic pipes suddenly burst, or a toilet overflows. Avoid surprise flooding by scheduling annual plumbing inspections and by personally inspecting everything monthly.
6. Invest in a few rugs.
Placing rugs in front of exterior doors can prevent damp drafts from affecting the hardwood.
7. Use the proper cleaners.
Rather than use soapy water to clean your floors, only use a cleaner specifically designed for hardwood. After you are finished cleaning, make sure you thoroughly dry any leftover wet spots.
Can You Protect Your Carpet from Water Damage?
Carpet is a slightly different story than hardwood and laminate. While water warps hardwood, wet carpet retains moisture and can cause several health risks. Mold, mildew, and poor indoor air quality are all by-products of wet carpet. Consequently, take careful steps to dry your carpet if it gets wet.
● Towel the wet area.
● Set up fans.
● Dry carpet with a wet-dry vacuum.
If you experience flooding in a carpeted area, it is usually best to call in a professional for cleaning and drying.
What if the Damage is Already Done?
Over time, water damage can corrode ceilings, walls, and flooring. If the problem area is small enough, you might be able to fix it. However, water damage in flooring tends to spread quickly, permanently warping hardwood floors and ruining carpet. If you live in a home with water-damaged floors, the best course of action is probably to replace them and start over.