Timber floors are beautiful, but the wood tends to absorb moisture, and as a result, if you have a leak over a timber floor, you need to deal with it expediently in order to protect your floor. Want to minimise damage? Take a look at these tips for dealing with a timber floor affected by a leak:
1. Remove the water.
As soon as you realise that water has leaked onto your timber floor, start to remove it. Mop it up, and if the leak is coming from the roof, make sure that you cover it with a tarp until a repair person can come address the issue. If the puddle of water on your floor is on a first floor, you may want to drill a few small holes in the ceiling below this part of the floor. This allows any water that is between the timber floor and the ceiling to escape.
2. Dry out the floor.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely sop up all of the water, and to remove the moisture, you need to encourage the water to evaporate. Direct fans toward the part of your timber floor that experienced the leak, and to ensure the fans are powerful, consider hiring industrial fans. If possible, turn on the heat in your home to boost the air temperature and make the water more likely to evaporate.
3. Address the underside of the floor.
In most cases, if your timber floor has been exposed to a large leak, the water is likely to have seeped under the floor. To deal with this, you need to get air circulating under the floor. If you have a crawl space below the wet part of your floor, place fans under there as well and direct them upward. Similarly, if the leak affected a timber floor on the first floor, you may want to cut a hole in the ceiling of the room below the leak, and you may want to position fans so they blow upward through that hole.
4. Don't forget ventilation.
Once the water droplets evaporate from your timber floor, they need to go somewhere, and ideally, you don't want them landing on your walls, carpet or other parts of your floor. Create an escape hatch by opening a few windows.
5. Call a timber floor expert.
You should also call a timber floor expert as soon as possible. They can help you remove any timber planks that are too wet to save, and they can check the moisture levels of your floor to see if it's ready to sand and refinish. If the timber is too wet, you will need to wait for a bit before doing anything with the timber.