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How To Repair Wood Flooring Damaged By Water

How To Repair Wood Flooring Damaged By Water

Wooden floors are a fantastic addition to any building, offering a sense of class and quality in any setting. However, if they’ve suffered a great amount of water exposure due to either a leak, spill or flood, they need expert help to avoid permanent damage.

Respect the quality of wooden flooring by restoring them to their full potential with Rainbow International’s water damage restoration team. Wooden floors need a professional approach due to their technical needs, so you must consult the help of a wood restoration expert.

1. Find The Root Cause Of The Leak

Before you can restore your wood flooring that’s been damaged by water, you must find the root cause of the leak. This can be difficult to do, however, it’s incredibly important as the sooner you can take care of the wet floor, the better.

This speed is how to minimise the risk of further damage to your wooden floors. There are ways to find the root causes of leaks, but Rainbow International’s trace and access service is the best way to confirm the exact root cause of the leak.

A cost-friendly and non-invasive technique, trace and access service functions as a way for property owners to spot the source of a leak without causing any damage to their wooden floors. By using professional equipment, our specialists not only identify where the leak is coming from, but also bring solutions.

However, this isn’t always a quick process, so it’s important to spot the signs early and contact our wooden flooring damage restoration team for help too.

What are the Warning Signs of Wood Floor Water Damage?

Dealing with water-damaged wooden flooring as quickly as possible is very important. Being aware of the first warning signs helps you get ahead of the problem and keep your wooden flooring healthy and looking it’s best.

The first warning sign of wooden floor water damage is excessive moisture on your wooden flooring or in surrounding areas. Following on from this, wood movement is the second most common sign, as the wood soaks in the water and causes it to expand. This can then lead to cracks within the wood, damaging it further.

2. Assess The Damage

The next step to handling water damage in your wooden flooring is to assess the damage. Understanding how your wooden floors have been affected by water damage can guide you in your efforts to restore it.

However, it’s highly recommended to have a professional handle the issues from this point as they can find harder to spot warning signs and damages that your untrained eye might miss.


Crowning is an effect on wooden flooring that has been damaged by water. It’s usually characterised by the floorboard edges sloping downwards, forcing the middle to raise up and create a crowning effect. This is usually caused by moisture being trapped at the top of the floor, often by direct contact with water, causing the wood to absorb it and swell.


Cupping is seen on floorboards that have lifted in the centre, giving them a concave, or cupped, appearance. This is often the first sign that you have an excessive moisture problem around your wooden flooring, either through vapour or direct water.

3. Equipment You’ll Need

Whilst it’s highly recommended to have a professional handle your water-damaged wooden flooring, you can still take steps to minimise the damage in the meantime.

To reduce the risk of long-lasting damage to your wooden flooring, you can take the following steps. But first, gather the essential equipment together to be best prepared:

  • Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Stiff brush
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Disinfectant
  • Squeegee

4. Remove Surface Water

The first step is to remove the surface water from the wooden flooring. Erasing the risk of further damage by clearing away the water is the best way to stop the floor from absorbing it. Use a squeegee or rags to remove the water, or get a water vacuum to suck any remaining moisture.

5. Scrub The Floor

Once all of the water has been removed, it’s time to scrub the floor with your stiff brush. This step is essential to avoiding more issues later down the line, as any leftover grime on the floor will cause bacteria to grow.

We recommend using disinfectant at this stage, however, any water you use should not be directly poured onto the floor, and taking time to dry off any remaining cleaning solution is very important.

7. Treat Mouldy Areas

Spotted some mouldy spots? This needs special attention due to the risks of mould and should be left to the professionals. Rainbow International’s expert mould removal teams are well equipped to handle mould spots on your wooden flooring.

This professional approach is the best way to ensure that your wooden flooring is not damaged further when dealing with water damage, and is restored properly without any future issues arising afterwards.

8. Use Drying Equipment

Once you’ve handled the surface, we recommend drying the floor steadily over a longer period. This is because wooden flooring that is dried quickly can weaken the boards leading them to crack and become even more damaged.

Drying shouldn’t be done using heat either. Wooden flooring is a beautiful addition to your home but it is picky. Heat is not its favourite as it can actually cause the boards to split and cup, so dehumidifiers, fans and strong airflow is best for drying out your wooden floors. However, if the outside air is on the humid side, it’s best to just use fans instead.

Rainbow International has drying equipment that is designed to clear away any remaining moisture from your wooden flooring. Hire out our expertly designed humidifiers, air movers and other specialist equipment to get the best outcome when drying your wooden floors. Not sure how to use it? Our team is happy to help and will get straight to work restoring your wood flooring!

9. Sand The Floor

Unfortunately, after these steps have been taken, you’re likely to still see some lasting damage from the water on your wooden flooring.

Some boards may be bending upwards or downwards (cupped or crowned) and will need sanding down to reduce the effect. This should only be done by a professional, as sanding your wood flooring without any experience can lead to irreparable and costly damage, most likely resulting in you having to say goodbye to your floors.

Sanding isn’t always the solution either, so some boards may need to be either re-nailed down or completely replaced.

10. Stain & Refurnish

After these steps are complete, it’s time to restore your wood flooring to it’s former glory. Scraping any paint off the floors with an abrasive cleaner will give the right surface to refurbish the floor.

Then staining and refurnishing can begin. It’s incredibly important that this step is not overlooked as it prevents further mould growth by creating a seal, and removes any existing mould growth underneath the current paint. Mould growth may also appear under the paint on the wooden floor, which creates a tricky problem.

How Rainbow International Can Help?

Rainbow International’s expert team have decades of experience to handle wood flooring damaged by water. With the professional equipment and technical knowledge, they can spot any worrying signs and know exactly how to restore your wooden floors back to their original standard.

If you want to avoid costly damage, long-lasting concerns and the risk of having your flooring need to be replaced entirely, Rainbow International is here to help, especially as growing mould is a risk which can impact your health and cause even more issues.

Our team of experts understand how important your home is to you and your loved ones, so get in touch to enlist their help in preventing any further damage from water-damaged wooden flooring.

Published: 24 Jun 2022