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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Will Water Damage in Westerly Harm My Engineered Hardwood Floor?

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO restoration equipment inside of storage facility Take a peek in side our warehouse and see just some of the equipment available to restore your home.

SERVPRO can give your Westerly home's hardwood flooring the attention it needs to avoid loss from floodwater damage 

Flooding in Westerly happens unexpectedly, fast, and most often, the flooring gets the brunt of it. The key to any water spill in a home is removing the water as quickly as possible, which may involve actions such as mopping, blotting. If there is any inkling water seeped under the floorboards or behind baseboards, you need professional assistance to extract the water and dry the boards. 

What Does Water Damage Do to Engineered Hardwood Flooring? 

Several factors affect the outcome of water damage in Westerly homes to engineered hardwood boards. First, the construction of this type of flooring differs from a conventional hardwood floorboard and tends to with water loss better. Second, the length of the exposure the boards had with the water.

If your engineered boards meet the following criteria, there is the potential for restoration through rapid action for extraction and drying:  

  • Your floorboards have hardwood or plywood materials
  • The top layer veneer is not thin
  • The sealant on each board is intact
  • Your floorboards do not have fiberboard centers 

Necessary Actions to Save Different Types of Wood Flooring from Water Loss 

Hardwood floorboards are absorbant, and, to some extent that assists in saving the boards in a water loss event even though they may cup and buckle; most boards return to their original shape with little to no sanding necessary. However, the longer the high moisture conditions exist, the less chance of full restoration as the sealant and top veneer layer can only hold up so long against water. Avoid contact with the water, mainly if it is groundwater, and put down towels or rags as needed. Additionally, if it is safe to do so, move furnishings and small items out of any room experiencing flooding as a precautionary measure. If the water has a foul odor or has known chemicals in it, avoid all contact and await the arrival of the SERVPRO technicians.  

Engineered floorboards are a more complex product that gets created in layers. The inner layers are plywood or hardwood, and the outer layers are veneer (a thin slice of wood) of whatever tree species you desire, such as oak or cherry. Because of the way the boards get constructed in layers with a sealant, it can’t swell or warp.  

The type of wood-look flooring with the least amount of restorable potential is wood laminate flooring, which is essentially a high-density fiberboard with an image of wood on top. While it is less expensive than solid or engineered hardwood flooring, it also fares the worst after a water loss event due to the fiberboard core, which reacts poorly to moisture exposure and tends to deteriorate when it comes into prolonged contact with water. 

Extraction and Drying Methods for Engineered Hardwood Flooring 

The goal of SERVPRO is to use their advanced equipment and cleaning methods to save property owners from replacing their floorboards with flood damage in Westerly. Our methods include:  

  • The use of powerful water extraction equipment
  • Doing several "dry" passes to ensure the maximum amount of moisture gets removed
  • Removal of baseboards for water removal and drying

Situations When Removal of the Flooring is Necessary 

The seal on the boards is usually enough to halt the penetration of moisture into the flooring; however, that may not stop seepage under the boards into the subfloor or substrate underneath. When the techs' moisture detection equipment shows the subfloor needs drying, the boards are carefully removed in the area and set aside for reinstallation.  

Drying Tactics for Engineered Hardwood Flooring 

The use of air movers is standard when drying this type of floorboard. However, the techs often rely on individual add-on devices such as drying mats. These mats lay flat on the boards and deliver a steady stream of warm, dry air directly into the boards, which causes any embedded moisture to rise and assists in drying the wood from the inside out.  

Dehumidification equipment is a vital part of the restoration process. As the drying equipment runs, it causes moisture to rise. The dehumidifiers capture that water vapor and port it away, which creates a steady cycle of progressively drier air and works to lower the interior humidity levels quickly. 

Contact SERVPRO of Washington County at (401) 315-2337 when you need help with water damage on engineered hardwood flooring. The technicians have the experience and equipment to extract the water and, in many cases, restore your flooring to its pre-water loss condition.

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