Laminate flooring is a great way to have the rustic charm of a wooden floor without the downsides. It is a staple of modern kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms that boasts many benefits. There are no splinters, no gaps between boards, and most importantly, laminate is easy to clean with a mop.
However, one thing it does have in common with a regular wooden floor is the effect of water damage. Like anything in your home, laminate flooring is at risk of becoming ruined by prolonged exposure to water.
Today we’ll look at what happens to the laminate floor with water damage and how you should deal with it.
The Causes of Water Damage
Water damage can occur for many reasons, affecting your home’s flooring. Some of the leading causes include:
Burst or Leaking Pipes
The most common water issue to happen at home is a burst pipe. Pipes can burst or leak for many reasons, such as blockages, physical damage or weakness, or freezing.
In a bad storm, water can find its way indoors and damage your floor. Sometimes through weaknesses in windows and doors or through physical damage caused by the debris. Regardless, if water makes its way in without being cleaned up, it will settle and slowly seep through a laminate floor.
Entirely unpreventable but hugely damaging, floods are the best way to ensure damage to a laminate floor. Water pouring in from outside will have nowhere to go for days and likely can’t be removed for longer. It also brings plenty of debris and wildlife to help mold settle and take root.
The Effects of Water Damage on a Laminate Floor
Regarding water damage, your floor will likely be the most badly affected part of your home. Whether you suffer a large flood, a burst pipe, or even just a little standing water, and your laminate floor is left exposed, you risk the water seeping into it.
If water seeps into – and through – your laminate, you’ll find it’ll soon create one or more of the following issues:
- Bubbling and cupping – As the laminated layer becomes loose and warps away from the flooring beneath, it creates unsightly bumps and twists. These are unpleasant to look at and become trip hazards for anyone walking over them.
- Cracking and splitting – The laminate breaks down, either from shrinkage or the expansion of the boards beneath, tearing itself apart. These are also unattractive to look at and open your floor up to further damage as dirt and debris get into them.
- Buckling and warping of the wood – The wooden floor beneath the laminate covering will become weakened by the water that soaks into it. In time, this will lead to the wood becoming weaker, usually enough to break or buckle beneath any weight. If left untreated, this can cause serious structural damage to your home or potential physical harm to you and your family.
- Mold – Mold thrives in dark and damp places, especially wood. Mold grows fast, especially in rooms that frequently face humidity, such as the bathroom or kitchen, and can cause many health concerns to anyone exposed to it. What’s more, it also weakens the flooring, leading to similar damage as buckling and warping. If your laminate flooring has suffered water damage, the odds are that the wood beneath it has, too.
Any single one of these issues is a big problem that needs to be fixed, but when it comes to water damage, they rarely come alone. The chances are good that if you get one of them, at least one or two more will be forming alongside them. Time is of the essence, and you must swiftly address the water damage on your laminate floor.
Dealing With the Damage
If you have suffered any of the above issues, and have found your laminate floor damaged, do not despair. You can employ many techniques to handle the situation without incurring too much cost.
Of course, the easiest and most effective solution will be to contact a Utah water damage restoration specialist. This will be costly, however, and some people’s insurance does not cover it, leading to the need for a DIY approach. If this is you, you can take the following steps to deal with your laminate floor water damage.
Address the cause
If you have a leaking pipe, cut off the water supply and repair it. The same applies if you have a clogged water system. You want to avoid trying to repair your laminate only to have it destroyed partway through. If you have suffered a flood, you’ll also need to wait until the water recedes.
Clean up any remaining water
Once the cause is resolved, clean up any remaining water on your laminate flooring. Use mops and rags to soak up standing water and a heater and dehumidifier to dry the air.
Remove damaged laminate and vacuum up the flooring
When everything is properly dry, you can then remove the damaged laminate. Beneath, you will find the flooring just as wet, or at least still damp, which will need to be dried. You should also vacuum it and use disinfectant or antifungal chemicals to remove any dirt, debris, or mold spores.
Repair the remaining damage
When everything is clean, you can fix any damage that may have occurred to the flooring. If this is done correctly, your floor might stay intact due to its weakened state. This may be a bigger job, especially for the upper levels of a building, as the flooring may need replacing.
Replace damaged boards
If the damage is not very extensive, you can do this by only replacing the damaged boards and those surrounding them. For bigger floods, you will need to replace all of the laminate.
Water damage is a constant threat to any home, new or old. It can be something that entirely ruins a good floor if left unchecked, and even lamination will not escape it. The good news is you can follow the steps above to address water damage and prolong the life of your laminate floor. And if you run into complications, give the professionals at your local Utah flood restoration service a call. We’re here to help.
With laminate flooring, you may enjoy the rustic appeal of a wooden floor without the inconveniences. It is a common fixture in contemporary kitchens and dining because of its advantages. Laminate is completely splinter-free, has no gaps between the boards, and is most importantly simple to maintain with a mop.