How to Salvage Your Water Damaged Wood Floor

Facing the aftermath of water damage to your wood floor can be daunting. Whether it’s from a burst pipe, flooding, or any other water-related mishap, the effects on your beloved wood floor can be disheartening. But fear not, there are steps you can take to salvage your water damaged wood floor and restore its former glory. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of saving your precious flooring.

Assessing the Damage

Before diving into the restoration process, it’s crucial to assess the extent of the damage. Inspect the affected area thoroughly to determine how much water has penetrated the wood. Remember, the sooner you act, the better your chances of salvaging the floor.

Also Read: Water Damage Dallas: Understanding the Impact and Restoration Process

Gathering Your Supplies

To begin the restoration process, you’ll need the following equipment and materials:

Equipment / Tools:

  • Shop vacuum
  • Squeegee
  • Stiff brush
  • Bucket


  • Mild detergent, disinfectant, or TSP (trisodium phosphate)
  • Absorbent cloth

Removing Surface Water

Start by using a shop vacuum on “wet mode” to remove as much water as possible from the surface of the flooring. Be thorough in this step, as lingering water can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Additionally, using a squeegee can help gather water as you vacuum, making the process more efficient.

Scrubbing the Floor

Once the surface water has been removed, it’s time to scrub the floor. Mix a mild detergent with clean water in a bucket and scrub the entire floor and surrounding woodwork with a stiff brush. This step is essential for removing dirt, mud, and other organic material that can promote mold growth.

Treating Moldy Areas

If you notice any areas with signs of mold, it’s important to address them promptly. Use a solution of TSP or a TSP substitute mixed with water to scrub affected areas until the mold and discoloration are gone. Rinse the area with clear water and dry it thoroughly with an absorbent cloth.

Drying the Floor

Once the cleaning process is complete, it’s time to dry the floor thoroughly. Natural drying methods combined with fans and airflow are the most effective. Open windows and doors to promote air circulation, and use fans to move air through the space.

It’s important to ensure that both the surface and underside of the wood floor are completely dry to prevent further damage.

Sanding Water-Damaged Wood Flooring

After the floor has dried, you may notice some unevenness or “cupping” of the wood. This can be addressed with sanding, using either a drum or orbital sander. However, heavily cupped wood may require more extensive repairs.

Sand the floor carefully to remove any high spots, but be cautious not to remove too much material.

Dealing With Mold Under Paint

If your wood floor is painted and has mold growth underneath the paint, additional steps are required. You’ll need to remove the paint to access the affected wood, then clean the area thoroughly with an abrasive cleaner or a TSP-water solution.

Once the area is clean, allow it to dry completely before refinishing or repainting.

Replacing Laminate

Unfortunately, laminate flooring that has been water damaged is often beyond repair. Due to its composition, laminate flooring swells when exposed to water, compromising its integrity.

In most cases, water-damaged laminate flooring will need to be replaced entirely to restore the appearance and functionality of the floor.

Also Read: Water Damage Restoration Services in Miami: Restoring Peace of Mind


Facing water damage to your wood floor can be a daunting experience, but with the right approach, it’s possible to salvage your flooring and prevent further damage. By acting quickly and following these steps, you can restore your water damaged wood floor to its former beauty.

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