How To Restore Your Turn Of The Century Home's Moldy And Water-Damaged Wood Floors


Part of the charm of owning a historic home comes from its interior woodwork and original hardwood floors. If you are lucky enough that your turn of the century home's antique woodwork and flooring are still intact, you should do all you can to preserve them, even after a flood or other water damage. Here are some tips to help you clean and repair your home's wood flooring after it has been damaged by water.

Expose and Remove the Water

One of the most important parts to preserving your wood flooring is to remove the water from its surface as soon as possible. The longer the water remains on the wood, the more it will soak into the wood. 

Use a pry bar to carefully remove the wood flooring so you can clean up any standing water from beneath it. Removing several planks will also decrease some of the pressure between the floorboards to prevent buckling as they expand from the moisture content.

The type of sub flooring under your original hardwood floorboards may either soak up or repel the water. Pine will soak up water and plywood will repel water, as plywood is waterproof. Either way, you will need to make sure you suck up any excess moisture before you can begin the wood's drying-out process. Trapped-in moisture can allow mold growth to occur within your wood floors. Even if the mold dries out, your home will still have mold spores trapped in your floors, which can cause allergy and other health problems.

Clean Up Any Mold

If the water has remained on the wood flooring in your home for 24 to 48 hours, there is a chance that mold has started to grow and will need to be cleaned off. Mold can grow on the surface and in the grain of the wood on your floorboards or subflooring.

When you find mold growth under your flooring on the subflooring, you will need to clean it and kill any mold growth in or on the wood. You should also wear a N-95 or P-100 respirator so you don't breathe in any of the mold spores while you are cleaning. 

Use a solution of one cup borax in one gallon of water, or a solution of one part bleach to eight parts water. Spray this solution over the surface of the mold until it has saturated in the wood. This will help keep the mold spores from releasing into the air as you clean them up, and it will start to kill the mold. 

Allow the solution to sit on the wood for 10 to 15 minutes, then wipe up the surface mold. Reapply another coating of cleaning solution and allow it to set for another 10 to 15 minutes. Using a scrub brush, dip it into the cleaning solution and use it to scrub off any mold that has begun to penetrate into the subfloor wood. The solution that has soaked into the subfloor will have killed any mold spores inside the subflooring wood. Allow this to dry completely before replacing your flooring.

For your hardwood flooring, spray the cleaning solution over all mold and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, use a sponge or rag to wipe up any surface mold. If any mold has begun to grow in the wood's grain, use a coarse grit sandpaper followed by a fine grit sandpaper to sand the mold from the wood grain. Periodically spray the cleaning solution into the wood grain to penetrate the wood and keep spores from becoming airborne while you sand. Once you have removed all trace of mold, spray the wood once more with the cleaning solution and let it sit. 

Dry the Wood

It is important to let your hardwood flooring dry out slowly. When you use heaters to force-dry hardwood flooring, the floorboards can warp and crack. Use dehumidifiers in the room and window fans to help circulate the room's air and remove moisture but not speed up the drying process. It can take several months for your flooring to completely dry after water damage.

When your flooring has completely dried out, you can sand the hardwood floorboards. By this time, your floorboards will have returned to their original flat positions and can be stained and refinished. If the floorboards have water stains, use oxalic acid crystals to remove the water stain.

Use these tips to help restore your home's hardwood flooring or visit sites like for more info or professional help.


19 August 2015

Repairing Your Home One Step At A Time

When you first move into a home, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with projects. Although everything might seem perfect before you put in that offer, things can change drastically after you finally move in. You might notice problems with tile that you never detected, or you might wonder about that dip in the floor. Fortunately, if you find devastating issues, such as heavy termite damage or altered structure, you might be able to seek refuge from damage contractors. In addition to diagnosing and resolving issues, damage contractors might be able to help you to see what your house can become after things are repaired.