What to Do if Water Damages Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors and water are not compatible, in fact enough water can cause irreparable damage. So what do you do if you find your hardwood has been subject to moisture mishap? Take the following steps….

Find the Culprit – and Act Fast!

The first thing you need to do is find the source of the water spillage and attempt to stop it as soon as possible. The faster you act to address the problem, the better. Time is certainly of the essence. Hopefully if you act quickly your wood can be saved.


Use a shop vacuum to suck up as much water as you can on the correct mode, using a squeegee to pool the water. The more you can suck up, the better.


One issue that wet hardwood faces is mold due to the increased moisture. To avoid this, clean with a mild detergent and disinfectant. Ensure to test on an inconspicuous area first to avert any potential damage caused by the cleaning products. Use the mixture on the entire area (including baseboards etc.) using a brush. Try not to put on an excessive amount of additional liquid on the area. Mold growth can start within 48 hours of water damage, so start the cleaning process as promptly as you can.

Dehumidify & Fan

For the next few days use a dehumidifier for two or three days to assist in the removal of moisture. If the damage is bad, leave it in the room for longer. Place clean fans around the room, facing the affected subfloor is applicable.


As the wood dries out, try and avoid stepping on the affected areas. This can be difficult, but it helps the flooring dry more evenly.


After a 4-6 weeks, asses the damage and see if the flooring needs to be replaced, sanded down and refinished – or if all your hard work has paid off. If the wood buckles during this time, remove a few planks in order to lessen the stress and allow the area to dry out.