We know that not every homeowner will have experienced laminate floor water damage in their property before. To ensure that you know what to do in the event of this happening to your building, we’ve put together this guide on identifying and repairing water damaged laminate floors.
If you are based in London, we can send out a trained and qualified team to rectify any damage to your flooring, at a price which will be suitable for your budget. Contact us if this is something you feel you need, or read on if you would prefer to carry out the work by yourself.
Signs of Laminate Floor Water Damage
Your property’s laminate flooring may have suffered water damage if you spot any of the following signs:
- Splits or cracks in the flooring
- Floorboards buckling
- Excessive cupping
- Visible mould
- Discoloured patches or floorboards
Common Causes of Laminate Floor Water Damage
There are a number of common causes of laminate floor water damage, each of which you may wish to watch out for in your own property:
- A leak from an appliance, such as a washing machine or dishwasher
- A leak from a pipe or drainage system
- Constantly high humidity or high levels of condensation
- Having a damp subfloor
- Large spills that are not cleaned up right away
- A leak from rainwater entering your property
Why is My Laminate Floor Bubbling?
If your laminate floor is bubbling but there are no other signs of water damage, the problem may be caused by too much humidity in the air. This is because the materials in wood laminate flooring expand and contract with the amount of moisture present in a room. As such, the boards may change widths.
How to Protect a Laminate Floor from Bubbling
When installing a laminate floor, there is a step-by-step process you can follow to protect it from bubbling or buckling in the future:
- Start by acclimating the room’s flooring for 48 hours
- Leave an expansion gap of between ¼ inch and ½ inch around walls and stationary structures (such as pillars)
- Use a moisture barrier if you are installing the laminate on top of a cement subfloor
- Keep your property free from humidity wherever possible, including running air conditioning in the summer if this is available
- Clean up spills and wet patches immediately after they occur
Repairing and Replacing a Laminate Floor with Water Damage
If you intend to carry out the work yourself, it is important to follow a set method that will ensure your floor is repaired just as you need it. Technically, the only way to repair laminate flooring with water damage is to replace the damaged section, so this is the method you should follow.
Below, we have provided a several step process on replacing water damaged laminate flooring:
1: Control the Damage
Before beginning any work, you should ensure that the source of the damage is controlled. For instance, if the water affecting your floor has come from a leak, you should place a suitable container (such as a bucket) underneath it to protect the rest of the floor. This will stop the damage from spreading or worsening.
2: Contacting Your Insurance Company
If the damage to your property is extensive, you should always take measures to contact your insurance provider. By making a successful claim on your insurance, you may be able to get the cost of any repair work covered.
3: Inspect the Floor and Find the Damage
Thoroughly check your floorboards for any signs of damage. You should be able to spot warped patches, mould or spots which are bubbling. Mark these areas out with tape, markers or adhesive notes to check the extent of the damage.
4: Ensure You Have the Right Tools
To carry out this work, you should ensure that you have the following:
- Safety goggles
- Flooring adhesive
- A putty knife
- A measuring tape
- Cleaning solvent
- A hammer
- Underlayment material to replace affected areas
- New laminate planks that match your current flooring
5: Remove the Affected Flooring
Pull up the damaged planks by carefully running the putty knife along their edges. You must ensure that every affected plank is removed, even if only part is warped or damaged. This is because every plank counts as one single unit. You should also expose the bare floor underneath and check the subfloor to see if it is wet, or holds any signs of mould or mildew. If it is dry and there is no damage, the boards can be replaced.
You should also clean the bare floor before installing any new planks.
6: Replace the Affected Flooring
Using your new laminate planks, replace the affected section of flooring. Match the design (including the wood grain) as closely as possible. After this, apply the adhesive to the planks and set them in place in your floor. Place a heavy object, such as a bookcase, on the area to help them set. This should be kept in place for several hours, to allow the adhesive to dry.
If you are replacing flooring in an area that is likely to become wet, such as a bathroom, you should wait until the floor is completely dry before using it.
What if There is Water Under the Laminate Flooring?
If there is water underneath your laminate flooring, this needs to be removed as soon as possible. When you are pulling up the floorboards, the water should also be dried or removed with a wet-dry vacuum.
Will a Hair Dryer Fix the Swelling in Laminate Flooring?
Using a hairdryer will not fix the swelling in a laminate floor. This is a common misconception, owing to the fact that other types of wood floor will dry out and can be repaired when you apply heat from a hairdryer.
Laminate flooring cannot be repaired using this method because it doesn’t tolerate excess moisture. The core of laminated wood consists of high density fibers that absorb water rapidly. This causes swelling along the edges of the boards, which will not revert to their original appearance when the flooring is dry.
If you pull up damaged floorboards and find that there is trapped moisture beneath the underlayment, but the wood above is not warped or showing signs of swelling, there is a chance you may be able to save the boards.
Hiring a Professional Firm to Fix Your Floors
We must note that it is highly recommended you do not attempt to fix extensive water damage in your laminate flooring by yourself. This advice is especially applicable if you have little to no experience in restoration work or DIY. It may be possible for you to carry out the work if the damage is limited to small patches or controlled areas of your flooring. However, if it has spread to a wider area then it will be in the best interests of your property to call in a professional maintenance service.
Hiring a specialist firm to repair and replace your flooring will ensure that the work is carried out as you need it. This should offer you complete peace of mind, while guaranteeing you fully restored flooring as an end result. It may even save you a considerable sum of money from your budget, as it protects your floor from accidental damage that could otherwise be caused by attempted repair work.
Contact Us to Fix Laminate Floor Water Damage
Whenever a client is experiencing problems with water damage in a wood finish laminate flooring, Property Rescue Services can be there to help. We will come prepared with a range of solutions to fix and replace your flooring, whether you have noticed extensive bubbling, mould growing between laminate planks, or cracks forming in the wood.
Our team can arrive at a time which best fits your schedule and will be fully committed to carrying out work that offers minimal disruption to your day. So, if you own a property in our catchment area, contact us as soon as possible.