Hardwood floors are often considered the most expensive type of flooring. However, many of these types of floor, including high-quality parquetry flooring, are cost-effective. That means in the long term they will cost less than other forms of flooring.
Of course, considering the cost of installing hardwood flooring, you will want to know when you can fix it and when it needs to be replaced. This is especially true when you are talking about water damage. If left, the dampness can lead to wet rot and mold, neither of which is good for your home or your health.
Fixing The Damaged Floor
This is the preferred option for most people as it is cheaper than replacing the floor and less hassle. If you spot the water damage early there is a good chance you will be able to repair the floor and it will last for many more years.
The key to this approach is to regularly monitor your floors. You should pay particular attention to cupping and crowning.
When your floorboards become damp they absorb the moisture and adopt a concave appearance. In effect, the edges are higher than the center. This suggests the dampness is coming from underneath, allowing the underneath of the wood to absorb more moisture than the top, creating a concave appearance.
Crowning is the opposite, the center of the wooden boards becomes higher and the edges appear to sink downward. This suggests the top of the floorboard is getting more dampness than the bottom. It could be an issue with humidity in the house or mopping with a wet mop.
Assessing The Damage
You need to look at a piece of the floorboard. The more severe the damage the more difficult it will be to save your floor. Examining a piece of a floorboard and taking a moisture reading will help you to decide between fixing or replacing.
Low moisture readings and minimal warping suggest you can repair the damage. But, before you can do this you need to find out what is caused the damage.
The most common problems are a leak inside the house which is allowing moisture to ingress into the wooden floor. Alternatively, a failure of the damp proof membrane or a lack of ventilation under the floors can allow the floor to get damp. Before you fix the floor, identify and fix the damp issue.
You need to dry the wood out. But, this must be done slowly to prevent the wood from cracking as it dries. It is best to eliminate any surface water first. You can then vacuum the floor and ventilate the room with cold air. This absorbs moisture faster. It is also possible to use a dehumidifier and position it near the damaged floor. This will suck the moisture out of the wood.
It takes time to dry the wood and then reposition it. But, this is significantly cheaper than replacing it. Of course, if it doesn’t dry or the wood is too warped or cracked, then you can either use a table saw and fix it or you will need to replace it. You may want professional help with this.