Water Damage Restoration for a Hardwood Floor

If you have hardwood floors in your home, then you will know that they are a real asset to any home, adding a real sense of old fashioned class to any room lucky enough to have them.


You will probably also know that hardwood floors and water do not mix!

So if you are unlucky enough to have a flood or a leak, then any hardwood floors that are affected are going to require some care and attention to get them back to their previous condition.

If you are looking to restore hardwood flooring that was damaged by a flood or water spill then, here is everything that you need to know:


Stain Removal

Depending on the exposure of the hardwood flooring to water, you may be very lucky and only have some staining.

If this is the case then, after completely drying the floor, the next stage is likely to be to sand down the stained boards to lift off the top layer of staining.

If the stain has gone deep, you could try careful cleaning with something like oxalic crystals to remove deeper stains.

Once they are all removed simply reapply the stain or varnish.


Discard Damaged Boards

If however you have been unlucky enough that the damage is worse then mere staining, then you will unfortunately have a bigger job on your hands.

Hardwood floorboards that have been seriously damaged by water will warp, often twisting upwards and free of the nails that usually hold them in place on your floor.

On the one hand this is bad news, as they will never settle back down flat, so they must be replaced.

After interviewing a damage restoration company and their crew, they told me that it’s actually good news and that’s because as they are warping upwards, they are easy to rip out!



The next stage is of course to fill the gaping holes in your floor!

It is a good idea to try to secure floorboards of the same type and grade as those currently installed. If you are unsure of what this is, take a piece of the warped flooring with you to a hardware store or specialist hardwood floorboard supplier. Same goes for smoke and fire damage repair but you should first consult a specialist regarding exposure to smoke after the fire.

Install boards until the space is filled again.


Sand It

The next stage is to sand the entire floor.

Now, we’re going to assume the floorboards are in a large room like a living room. If so, it would definitely make sense to borrow a couple of sanders from a tool hire company. You’ll need one upright model to tackle the bulk of the job, and a smaller, hand held sander to get right into the corners of the room.

Use the below video to help you along.


Stain It

Yep, this was why you went to the effort of sanding down the entire floor. You can now stain it again – this being a re-stain of the old boards and a first stain for the replacements so everything now blends into one shade.

If you want, add a couple of layers of polyurethane as extra protection once the stain has dried.


Congratulations – it was probably a lot of tough work, but your beautiful hardwood floor has now been restored!