How to Fix a Laminate Floor That Got Wet: A Simple Guide
Laminate flooring is a beautiful addition to any home and has become very popular in recent years. Laminate floors modernize any space in a home or business and is designed to fit all interior design preferences.
The beautiful wood materials that constitute laminate flooring are what make it unique and ever so popular in renovations.
While there are many positives about laminate flooring, there are some issues that may arise that you need to know. In this post, we will be covering a big one: laminate floor water damage. So, before rushing to one of the nearest flooring stores to replace your entire floor, we recommend trying these few steps.
Read on to see the five recommended steps on how to repair a laminate floor with water damage.
Types of Damage To Laminate
When looking to fix damage caused by water on laminate flooring, it is essential to understand that different types of damage can occur.
This specific type of flooring is not compatible with water or humid environments and can be irreversibly damaged, even in short periods.
Manufacturer instructions make it very clear that laminate floors should not be placed in rooms with severe temperature or humidity fluctuations, like a bathroom or laundry room. The materials that are used in laminate flooring expand and contract due to changes in the environment. If they get really wet laminate floor bubbles will appear!
That being said, laminate floors will not just breakdown the second water touches them. If a liquid is spilled on top of the wood flooring – do not panic. This, if handled efficiently, is an easy fix.
For these types of liquid spills, we recommend wiping up the area as quickly as possible and ensuring that the water doesn’t travel any further than it needs to.
The real issue happens when water makes its way underneath the laminate flooring. Laminate floors are installed with expansion gaps to allow them to expand and contract as needed. This is necessary, but also leaves room for water to seep underneath and cause some real problems.
It is much more likely that there will be damaged boards if water finds its way underneath. As you can imaging, repairing laminate flooring is not always an option. Here are the steps you should follow to lessen the amount of irreversible damage caused to your flooring.
Step 1: Stop the Water from Causing Further Damage
First things first, you need to spot the source of the water. If it wasn’t caused by a small spill or an apparent accident, this should be your first focus. If it is a leak from your dishwasher or some other location, focus all of your efforts on stopping that before you take the time to worry about the laminate floors.
Once you have stopped the flow of water, revert your attention to the damaged boards to see the extent of the problem.
Step 2: Clean Up Excess Water
As mentioned above, laminate flooring can handle a little bit of water on the surface but can still be damaged if it sits for too long. Clean and dry all affect boards before moving on to the next step.
Make sure all leaks have been resolved, before doing any repairs or adding a sealant. If your leak still exists, further damage will be done to your laminate tiles.
Step 3: Closely Examine the Affected Area
Water spreads quickly. You might be surprised at how fast it can move through the wood materials in the flooring. Because of this, we highly stress taking your time on this step.
You need to find all affected areas on your laminate floors. If some spots go unnoticed, you will likely have a more significant issue on your hands as mold and bacteria can build up in areas that are not treated quickly or handled. If you see signs of mold, contact All Dry USA for emergency mold removal services.
It is recommended that you step on each damaged board to feel for any changes or movement that may suggest water is underneath. You should be looking for visual changes in the laminate flooring as well.
Damaged planks typically will have some level of discoloration and can sometimes buckle and become misshapen after being exposed to any amount of water. These are the laminate planks you should be focusing on. Make a note of or flag each board that stands out to you for the next step.
Individual laminate planks that have been damaged will need to be removed to prevent the water damage from spreading to any more areas.
Step 4: Remove Damaged Planks
To do this, you will need to remove all of the afflicted boards. Laminate floorboards that may have warped from the damage can usually be removed with your bare hands, while others may require more attention.
For those, you can use any tool or knife that is thin enough to get under the board and lift it from the barrier underneath. Take your time with this process – laminate floors are designed with a locking system, meaning the pieces fit together quite easily.
Taking them apart should not be super challenging for small amounts of water damage, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Step 5: When in Doubt, Contact an Expert
Water damage is no joking matter and can range in its severity. Unfortunately, laminate floors can be prone to some of the more severe issues.
Not all of these damages can be resolved with the things you have lying around at home or the workplace, and you can’t always repair laminate flooring. It will sometimes require the attention of an expert.
If you have tried all of the steps listed above and still feel that the water damage issue has not been resolved, or is getting worse, All Dry USA is here for you.
We are a locally established company that specializes in mitigating any problems that may arise from water damage in your household or business. Our staff is all experts who can ensure that no further issues will result from your laminate flooring.
If you need a water damage consultation, call our number today, and we will be sure to get your laminate floors looking like new.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is laminate flooring ruined if it gets wet?
Not necessarily. If you act quickly and follow the above step-by-step guide, you can save your laminate flooring. But even short periods of water exposure can cause lasting damage to the laminate.
Can you fix swollen laminate flooring?
No, swollen boards will not flatten back out over time. The best way to fix swollen laminate is to completely replace the affected boards.
Will mold grow under laminate flooring?
When exposed to water, mold can fester under laminate floors. Mold will start to grow in your floors in as little as 24 hours if left untreated. Remove the boards and dry up all water as fast as possible.