Thursday 15 April 2021

How to Restore Water Damaged Hardwood Floors: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by at 6:14 AM

At Steele Services, we understand the frustration and concern that comes with water damage to hardwood floors. As experts in the field, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you restore water damaged hardwood floors effectively and efficiently. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions, expert tips, and valuable insights to help you overcome this challenging situation. By following our guide, you'll be able to restore your hardwood floors to their former glory and prevent further damage.

Assessing the Damage

Before diving into the restoration process, it's crucial to assess the extent of the water damage on your hardwood floors. Conduct a thorough inspection to identify any visible signs of warping, buckling, discoloration, or mold growth. By understanding the severity of the damage, you can determine the appropriate restoration methods required.

Immediate Steps to Take

Acting swiftly is vital when dealing with water damage. Follow these immediate steps to minimize further harm to your hardwood floors:

  1. Remove Standing Water: Use a wet/dry vacuum or mop to carefully remove any standing water from the affected area. Ensure you use absorbent materials and wring them out frequently to prevent spreading the water.

  2. Dry the Area: Utilize fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to increase airflow and expedite the drying process. Avoid direct heat sources as they can cause further damage to the wood.

  3. Prevent Mold Growth: To inhibit the growth of mold and mildew, apply an antimicrobial solution or vinegar-water mixture to the affected areas. This will help eliminate any potential health hazards.

Sanding and Refinishing

Once the hardwood floors are completely dry, it's time to address any visible damage by sanding and refinishing the surface. Follow these steps to achieve a smooth and flawless finish:

  1. Prepare the Floor: Clear the area of any furniture, rugs, or debris. Ensure the surface is clean and free from dust or dirt.

  2. Sand the Floor: Using a drum sander or belt sander, carefully sand the damaged areas. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits for a polished result. Be cautious not to oversand, as this can thin out the floorboards.

  3. Clean the Surface: Thoroughly vacuum the area to remove all dust particles created during the sanding process. Wipe the floor with a damp cloth to ensure it is entirely clean and ready for refinishing.

  4. Apply the Finish: Select a high-quality wood finish suitable for your hardwood floors. Using a brush or applicator pad, apply an even coat of the finish following the manufacturer's instructions. Allow it to dry completely before applying subsequent coats for optimal results.

Preventative Measures for the Future

To safeguard your hardwood floors from future water damage, consider implementing the following preventive measures:

  1. Routine Maintenance: Regularly inspect your floors for signs of damage or potential water leaks. Fix any issues promptly to prevent extensive damage.

  2. Protective Coatings: Applying a protective sealant or wax can provide an extra layer of defense against water penetration. This barrier helps minimize the risk of immediate damage in case of spills or accidents.

  3. Proper Cleaning Techniques: When cleaning your hardwood floors, avoid excessive water usage. Instead, use a damp cloth or a recommended wood floor cleaner to maintain their natural beauty.


Dealing with water damaged hardwood floors can be a stressful experience, but with the right knowledge and actions, restoration is possible. By following the step-by-step guide we have provided, you can effectively restore your hardwood floors and prevent further damage. Remember to assess the severity of the water damage, act swiftly, and follow the recommended restoration techniques. By taking preventative measures, you can enjoy the timeless elegance and durability of hardwood floors for years to come.