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We all know that water can cause a lot of damage to our homes, but many homeowners tend to forget until they experience the impacts following a flood. Mold can quickly move into your room, ruining drywall, wallpaper, and paint. The real problem is that mold leaves behind spores that don’t go away until you deal with them appropriately. You may need property restoration professionals to save your property when it’s too late.

When there is a minor leakage in a plumbing pipe or a faucet, you will likely choose to fix the issue rather than replace your floors. But is this a long-term solution?

Floors are vital parts of your home, and having them replaced can be quite expensive. If you’re on a budget, replacing them might not be the wisest move. However, you need to consider the work required when you choose to repair them, plus the money you can save over time.

Signs of Water Damage on Floors

  • Dents 
  • Uneven boards
  • A watermark
  • Warped boards/buckling floors
  • Uneven patches
  • Discoloration
  • Soft spots
  • Sagging floors
  • Softening and swelling
  • Warping
  • Caulking issues
  • Peeling

Note: You may see some signs, such as discoloration and buckling, under whatever is covering the mark. However, sometimes you may not identify these floor parts because everything else around them looks similar. That’s why it’s essential to check all these signs together as they can paint a more accurate picture of what’s going on with your house’s floors.

When to Replace Water Damaged Floors

1. The Subflooring Becomes Decayed or Moldy

Consider replacing your floors if the subflooring becomes decayed or moldy. If only a few boards have to be replaced, check with your local lumberyard for discount rates on pieces of hardwood you prefer. Before assembling the boards, they must end up being flush with one another. 

A hand plane helps achieve this result. If there are sections near the middle of the floor where nails are protruding through all layers of the subflooring and glued ply, these areas should receive extra attention in their replacement.

2. Wood Floors Damaged by Flooding or High-Humidity

When water damage has occurred to wood floors, the process is more complicated. It might be difficult to determine whether you need a full refinishing or a simple patch job. If only isolated boards have warped and cupped, sometimes replacing those boards is less expensive than an entire floor replacement. 

You can always trim down boards that no longer level using a hand saw to make them fit back together again. But this will typically require extensive sanding if not a complete replacement of the board itself. When dealing with water-damaged floors, you can usually recognize warped boards because they are no longer completely smooth or flat.

3. Exposed Subfloor

If you have an “exposed” subfloor, or exposed plywood/OSB, it’s time for a replacement. There needs to be some insulation between the ground and whatever is being replaced to ensure proper installation. For example, if you have exposed OSB on an exterior wall, simply replacing the OSB would work fine. 

However, if you have exposed OSB on an interior wall, you will need to address proper insulation between the subfloor and whatever is being installed. Also, if you have an “exposed” subfloor on an exterior wall, it’s time for a replacement.

4. Major Gaps in Subfloor

If there are major gaps in your subfloor that allow moisture to find its way into it easily, floor system replacement also needs consideration. For instance, if you have plywood (most common) and 1/4″ – 3/8″ gap at the baseboards or around doorways, then it needs attention before replacing your current flooring system. 

These gaps could be filled with a high-quality caulk. However, you may need to replace the carpet pad with the appropriate thickness, with an additional cost.

5. Persistent Damage After Cleanup

If you have damage that doesn’t go away after doing everything reasonable to remove it, like proper drying, moisture readings consistent with dry out conditions, etc., then replacement is probably necessary. If you did all these and dried the subfloor correctly and still suffered damage to the point where water seeped through, replacement is the only option. 

When to Repair Water Damaged Floors

If your home experiences flooding, either from a broken pipe, rainstorm, or overflowing bathtub, you may feel you need to rip up your laminate flooring and install hardwood floors instead. 

There is an easy way to tell if it is even necessary for you to take out and dispose of your ruined lamination wood flooring. Do a simple test in a small inconspicuous area of the laminate material before trying a repair or a replacement. Pour a bucket of water on the flooring you want to test. If the water immediately sits in a puddle, your flooring needs to be replaced due to excessive swelling caused by the flood. Your laminate floors can be saved if water beads up and rolls off.

For more expert advice and tips on mold removal services, you may visit PuroClean – a leading mold restoration Clairemont company specializing in property damage restoration.

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