Water can seep into laminate floors, causing the wood-sourced materials to expand and contract, creating a swollen appearance that may seem irregular; however, this issue is easily remedied.
The key to successful floor drying is thorough air drying. This may take days or more depending on how much water is present.
Find the Source of the Leak
The initial step in fixing water damage on laminate floors is identifying and stopping the source of the leak. This could be anything from a broken pipe to an appliance that’s leaking (like a refrigerator or washing machine). It is essential that you stop this source before beginning repairs on your floors; thus, be sure to identify and turn off all sources before beginning work on them.
Laminate flooring is often a popular choice in homes due to its affordability, ease of upkeep and appealing appearance. Unfortunately, laminate is vulnerable to moisture damage so should not be installed in areas prone to high humidity levels.
Laminate flooring differs from wood in that it doesn’t absorb water and becomes warped; rather, laminate is composed of several materials bound together by glue. Water entering these joints can release pressure created during production that could otherwise cause extensive damage to your floor.
Once the water reaches the surface, it can spread rapidly and cause extensive damage. Be patient as you inspect every section of your floor for signs of water damage such as stains, bubbles, or warping.
If you observe any of these symptoms, make sure to remove the affected boards immediately and dry them thoroughly. Otherwise, the issue will only worsen.
Inspecting damaged planks closely will enable you to determine how severe the issue and what repairs need to be made. Be sure to pay close attention to edges of flooring as well, which could indicate signs of warping, discoloration, or other issues.
Some planks may have buckled or twisted due to being oversoaked with water and starting to absorb it. Others could be bent in odd shapes or give way under your footsteps as you traverse them.
While laminate floors can handle light water spills, it’s best to avoid saturated areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms for heavy duty cleaning. If you must use these areas for heavy duty tasks like vacuuming or mopping floors, always use a low-spray cleaner that won’t cause permanent harm to the floorboards.
Remove the Water
Water damage on laminate flooring can be a real hassle to remediate if not addressed quickly and correctly. The first step should always be removing water from the floor; this helps avoid mold growth and other serious damages that may require extensive restoration efforts in the future.
The second step is to ensure the leak has been stopped at its source. Otherwise, you could face irreparable water damage that requires replacing the entire floor.
You should replace damaged boards if they’ve come into contact with sewage or any liquid that could be hazardous for your health. Furthermore, warped or swollen boards should also be replaced as these can be hazardous.
Once you’ve cleaned up any water damage and made repairs, it is time to dry your flooring. The key is cleaning thoroughly and using a fan to expedite drying time.
Without proper precaution, standing water can seep into the seams of your laminate floor and cause significant damage. This is especially problematic if the flooring was installed in a bathroom or other room with high humidity levels.
It is also essential to remove water from any areas where it could seep beneath your floorboards, such as behind sinks and around toilets. Doing this helps avoid further issues in the future and keeps your flooring in excellent condition.
Once the flooring has dried, inspect each board individually to determine if it can be repaired or replaced. Delamination, cracking, discoloration, soft spots and other signs of damage may indicate that a board cannot be fixed and must be replaced.
Generally, it’s better to replace laminate flooring than attempt repair if the damage is extensive. Wood materials in laminate floors expand and contract when exposed to moisture, so even a small amount of water can cause extensive harm.
If water damage to your floor is severe enough to require replacement, local flooring stores offer exact matches for originals. This is an ideal option since you simply remove the old board, replace it with the new one and reinstall the floor in place of any damaged areas. It may take some time, but this method can save your laminate flooring.
Dry the Floor
If your laminate flooring is wet, it needs to be dried quickly. Delaying too long can cause serious damage and mold growth as well as making the floor swell and buckle – possibly necessitating you to replace some of its tiles.
Laminate floors are composed of many interlocking sections that can be pulled apart and replaced with another if necessary. However, it may be more economical to simply replace some of your flooring with new planks at a time.
As long as you act quickly, most water damage to laminate flooring can be repaired. However, if the damage is extensive, you’ll have to replace it completely.
First and foremost, you must identify the source of the leak. Doing this is essential for drying the floor and saving your floorboards.
Be on the lookout for signs of water damage, such as bubbles in between floorboards. If this occurs, it could indicate moisture has penetrated past the wear layer and reached into the base of your boards.
Once you’ve identified the source of the leak, it is important to act quickly and take necessary measures for immediate removal. Doing so will save your floorboards and minimize any damage done to your subfloor.
Once your floor is dry, use towels or a mop to soak up as much water as possible. Additionally, run fans and use a dehumidifier to expedite the process.
The amount of time it takes for your laminate flooring to completely dry depends on the number of planks. On average, it takes 24 to 48 hours for a fully wet floor to completely dry out.
Utilizing high-volume fans and dehumidifiers will expedite the drying process, giving your laminate floor a stronger bond that is resistant to damage. Once fully dry, you can expect it to become much more durable than before.
Fixing common issues such as warping or swelling should be relatively easy, but replacing damaged floorboards is a much better choice. This will save you money over repairing laminate floors.
Repair the Damage
Laminate flooring is a popular choice among many homeowners due to its durability, low-maintenance requirements and budget-friendly price point. Unfortunately, like any type of flooring it may be vulnerable to water damage and require regular upkeep in order to stay looking its best.
When your laminate floor has been damaged by water, the first step you should take is to identify and fix the source of the leak or spill. If possible, shut off the water supply and repair any broken pipes or toilets to stop further damage to your floor. Doing this can prevent more serious issues from arising in the future.
Next, inspect the affected planks for discoloration or bubbling, signs of mold, cracks or buckling. If any of these symptoms are present, it indicates that the board has likely been damaged and requires replacement.
Once you’ve identified the damaged areas, take off all baseboards and molding around them to reveal bare floor. You can do this with a flat pry bar and putty knife; additionally, wear protective eye gear so dust or dirt doesn’t end up in your eyes.
Start by carefully taking away each damaged board, taking care not to cause further harm in the surrounding area. Once all boards have been taken away, you can then begin replacing them one at a time.
Depending on how severe the water damage, you may only need to replace a few small pieces or all of your damaged planks. Be sure to select an appropriate replacement size and color so you can achieve a seamless match.
In order to replace damaged planks, you’ll need a generous amount of adhesive. This will help the new planks adhere to bare floors and remain securely while drying. If installing flooring yourself, be sure to gather all necessary tools ahead of time so you don’t end up running out and having to run to the store last minute.
Alternatively, you can purchase laminate replacement kits that allow you to resurface the existing floor. These are easy to install and cost much less than replacing an entire floor.