How to Repair Baseboard Water Damage Step by Step
Water damage is a dreaded sight for every homeowner, affecting your home’s structure from its walls to its baseboards. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how you can repair what seems like irreparable water damage on baseboards.
Where Does Water Damage on Baseboards Come From?
Water damage on baseboards comes from various sources, not all of them obvious. Learn about the common causes so that you’ll know where to look for signs of damaged baseboards. If you discover any of these issues, contact a reputable water damage restoration company immediately to repair the affected area.
A hidden leak is typically the most common source. Most homeowners have spotted a leak at some point, and it’s crucial to deal with it ASAP. Even a tiny hidden leak can turn into a massive problem for your drywall, floors, and other parts of your home.
If water can’t flow through the gutters, it will eventually overflow and seep down to the home’s foundation and floors. Aim to clean your gutters at least twice per year.
Heavy rain can lead to water damage over time. The water can eventually spill down behind your walls and reach your baseboards.
Faulty appliances can cause water to collect behind your walls and eventually drip into your baseboards. Make sure to keep your appliances well-maintained.
HVAC problems can lead to damaged baseboards, especially issues with the air conditioner and moisture leaking from it. Like your appliances, make sure your HVAC systems are well-maintained.
Signs of Water Damage in Baseboards
Some signs of water damage you want to look for are:
Moisture stains are one of the most visible signs of water damage, indicating issues behind your walls or baseboards. Water stains usually look like small or large wet patches of discoloration on your baseboards, floor, walls, or ceiling.
Most stains result from a leak in your roof, so the water damage on your baseboards could be coming from a hidden roof leak.
Call a professional water damage restoration company if you notice excess moisture stains on your drywall, floor, ceiling, paint, or wallpaper.
Mold growth thrives in damp and dark environments. The primary cause of mold growth is a leak or excess humidity. While small amounts of mold on the wall are usually nothing to worry about, large amounts can cause severe health problems.
Signs of mold include discoloration on your walls, visible spores, peeling, or sudden respiratory issues. If you notice any mold growing on your wood baseboards, ceiling, paint, or wallpaper, it may be a good idea to get professional water damage restoration services right away.
Mold spores can start to grow within 48-72 hours on your wallpaper and drywall. As a result, you must dry off any walls that can wet to avoid a mold outbreak and health risks.
Warping and Peeling Paint
Warping in your walls and peeling wallpaper are signs of leaks or dripping water behind the walls.
Fiberboard panels are particularly prone to collecting excess water. Many homes have fiberboard behind walls as an affordable material. However, the material can retain moisture and cause warping, peeling, and water damage on baseboards.
Read more: Can you paint over water-damage?
If you can hear water behind the wall or in your wall or roof, you likely have a plumbing issue that needs restoration service right away.
Hidden leaks behind your walls cause strange dripping or scratching noises, so any sound that seems abnormal may be a leak issue requiring speedy plumbing repair services.
How to Repair Water Damage On Baseboards
Once you discover the signs of water damage on baseboards, it’s time to start repairs. Timely resolution is critical. Leaving the issue unattended for too long can cause structural damage and severe health issues.
Step One: Identify the Damage
Sometimes, the source of the water damage is visible. You may discover damp patches on the floor, mold on the wall, or water leaks from the plumbing.
In other instances, water damage isn’t quite as obvious. Cracks, bubbling, or wall swelling all indicate water damage resulting from moisture behind your walls. Broken pipes, even if only slightly damaged, can accumulate water over time.
This moisture puts pressure on your baseboards which then causes water damage and swelling on baseboards. So, the first step is to tackle the issue at its root.
Step Two: Gather Your Tools
You will need some tools and materials if you plan to tackle your water damage on baseboards by yourself. We recommend the following supplies:
- Pry bar
- Utility knife
If your baseboards are wood (most are), bring some wood, glue, and filler.
Step Three: Remove the Damaged Area
Use your pry bar to lift the damaged baseboard. Take your time with this step. If you’re too heavy-handed, you risk damaging the surrounding areas and the drywall.
To remove the water-damaged baseboard, you will need to break the seal between the trim and the wall. Slowly and carefully work away at it with the utility knife until the baseboard loosens enough for you to pry up.
Step Four: Clean Up
Using the same utility knife, chip away at any caulk or glue residue from where you removed the baseboard. When sealing the new board down, a clean slate makes for a much better fit. If you discover any rough spots, sand them down to ensure total smoothness.
Now, this could be a good time to check for any other damp spots in the drywall. If you see any signs of excess water, don’t bother applying a new baseboard. You’ll end up damaging it again. If the damp/leak is persistent, it’s likely time to give up the DIY project and call in an expert.
Step Five: Measure Your Baseboard Replacement
Using the old, damaged baseboard section, find a replacement baseboard of a similar size. When you purchase your new baseboard, you want it to be a few feet longer than the original damaged piece to leave room for any mistakes while trimming it down. It’s always better to have more if you want to replace it properly.
Step Six: Paint Your Baseboard to Match the Wall
People make a common mistake when replacing their baseboards by attempting to paint them after fitting them. It is far easier to paint them before fitting. Not only does this provide you with more maneuverability while painting, but it also means you don’t need to lay down any carpet or floor protection to prevent further damage.
Step Seven: Fit Your New Baseboard
Once you have primed, painted, and cut down your new baseboard, it’s time to fix it in place! You’ll need both caulk and nails for this portion to ensure a secure fit.
Apply the caulk to the back of the replacement baseboard and hammer it with nails to attach it to the wall. Job done!
Not Confident? Give Us a Call!
Replacing baseboards isn’t a job for everyone—water damage on baseboards presents a real challenge that sometimes is better to leave to a professional baseboard repairing service.
Contact our team at All Dry USA today to book an inspection! Our local restoration experts will come to your property, replace your water-damaged baseboards, and prevent any water damage on baseboards from happening in the future. Give us a call today!