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Sub-Floor wood & Hard Floor Drying

Flood and water damage restoration happens fast. A nice wooden floor can become a disaster area quickly, and just sopping up the water is not enough to ensure a safe environment with no structural damage.

The amount of damage that occurs depends on how long the water stands on the wood before restoration begins. Wood cups, buckles, swells, and warps when it is subjected to a lot of water:

– According to Andrew St James in Hardwood Floors Magazine, cupping happens when the sides of each board are higher than the centre of the board such that the board has a concave surface. Cupping is caused by a change in moisture content such as a flood or other water damage.

– Hardwood Flooring Inspectors defines buckling as when the wood floor lifts from the sub-floor surface. Ordinarily this is also caused by excess moisture in the flooring.

– When hardwood boards swell they can cause cupping, buckling or warping.

– Warping occurs when excess moisture causes floorboards to lose their original shape.

Wooden sub-flooring can also be damaged in flooding situations, causing the carpet or linoleum covering to have to be removed if it is not dried properly. When flooding on wooden floors happens, it is imperative that you call in wood drying and restoration professionals who know how to minimise the problems that are caused by excess moisture in wood.

METHOD TWO: USING A HEAT DRYING SYSTEM

1. Using 6-mil poly, lightly cover the wet area of the floor. The poly should not be taped end to end, but just enough to hold the poly down to prevent excessive flapping.

2. Place thermostat control for your heat system between the middle of the tenting and the egress point, set to 100-105ºF.

3. Duct the heat into the containment area.

4. Monitor moisture content frequently by using a penetrating meter with a hammer probe (slide hammer). Make sure you are checking at all levels including the sub floor.

5. When monitoring, remember if to use either an infrared thermometer or thermal imaging camera to record the material temperature of the wood floor.

6. If you are not using either the MMS2 or Navigator moisture meter, you will need to have a conversion chart for your moisture reading.

METHOD THREE: USING A DESICCANT DEHUMIDIFIER

1. Using 6-mil poly, lightly cover the wet area of the floor. The poly should not be taped end to end, but just enough to hold the poly down to prevent excessive flapping.

2. Duct the processed air from your dehumidifier into your containment area.

3. Duct the reactivation air outside the structure if possible. If not, duct into an LGR dehumidifier.

4. Monitor moisture content frequently by using a penetrating meter with a hammer probe (slide hammer). Make sure you are checking at all levels including the sub floor.

5. When monitoring, remember if to use either an infrared thermometer or thermal imaging camera to record the material temperature of the wood floor.

6. If you are not using either the MMS2 or Navigator moisture meter, you will need to have a conversion chart for your moisture reading.

Pro Tip: If possible, dry the top and bottom of the affected area at the same time, using method one for the top and method two or three for the bottom.

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