Today, laminate floors are some of the favorites for many people. Not only because their designs are attractive, but because they can be better adapted to almost any place. Also, when it comes to installation costs, these have a clear advantage over other materials, especially since you can do it yourself.
Yet, as with other wooden floors, these are easily affected by water and humidity, so it is important to keep them dry at all times. However, situations that get out of hand sometimes happen, such as leaking pipes or faulty appliances. If you’ve come this far, it’s because you find yourself in this delicate situation and you need to know how to dry laminate flooring with water under it.
Obviously, if you see that there is water falling on the ground, it is best to dry it as soon as possible. If your laminate floor already has some deformed or water-swollen parts, the best solution is to replace the affected areas with new ones. In addition, if you are replacing the sections, you should take advantage of it to dry the water that has leaked, or the mold will start to do its thing.
But let’s not be so negative. In most cases, floors can dry out before irreparable damage happen. Today you will learn how to dry laminate flooring with water under it without the help of a professional so you can act quickly.
It is important to know the material to know how to work it
Before learning how to dry laminate flooring with water under it, it is relevant that you understand the material to know where is the damage.
Laminate floors are generally made up of four layers: the backing layer, the core layer, the design layer, and the wear layer.
- The backing layer: is the one that is touching the floor. It is a thin layer that helps level the board against the sub floor and provides protection against moisture.
- The core layer: it is the layer with more material of the sheet. It is the set of compressed pieces (generally other pieces of wood) that give the board strength. Although very dense, it is not immune to moisture, so if it gets wet, you will lose all resistance and the piece will become unusable.
- The design layer: it is a decorative layer located at the top. Although it may not seem like it, both ceramics and laminate floors do not have these striking patterns but are printed at the factory. Sometimes the image is made with resin.
- The wear layer: very similar to the backing layer but at the top. Its function is to protect the design from wear and tear. This is done with transparent resin, which is why it is not visible.
The most vulnerable layers to water are the first ones, those that are lower, so, once they have been affected by leaks, the best option is to change the board.
How to dry laminate flooring with water under it before it’s too late
Water is the main of laminate floorboards
The first thing to do is simple: stop the source of the leak. It will be useless to clean your laminate floor if in a couple of months you will have to repeat the process just because the leak still exists.
Determining the source of the leak will also help you detect potential areas affected by the water. In this way, you can fix all the areas to prevent the fungus from spreading further. Homes in cities like Chicago are more prone to fungus and mildew from water damage, and it can be challenging to get rid of them. If you find an infestation of fungus or mildew, it would be best to call a Chicago water damage expert to sort out the problem.
When the leak is already located, you should do everything possible to stop the drip, and after that, worry about the floor. Only when the water no longer comes out, you will be able to continue.
Mops are the best friend in the home
Although it is true that water is not a friend of wood or the like, this does not mean that it cannot be used for cleaning. The laminate floor should be kept relatively damp, so using the mop to wash it at least once every two months is recommended.
Similarly, if you have spilled water on the floor, use a soft mop to absorb the liquid until the boards are completely dry. This is the first line of defense you have against property damage.
Minimize the water level
It is important to be completely certain that the water is no longer leaking to the floor. If not, even if it dries, it will continue to damage the laminate. This is why you must clean as much water as possible as soon as possible, and properly verify every tile that has been affected by the leak.
Wood can hold small amounts of water, but water cannot be left to rest for a long time or wood will begin to seep until swelling.
Do not leave area unchecked
If you could determine the source of the water leakage, you could estimate which boards had been affected. It is time to use that knowledge.
You will need to do a visual, tactile, and audible check of the floor to see how severe the water damage is.
One of the best ways to check each of the boards is to step on them. Those that have been affected by water will feel different (soft or swollen). You may even hear splashes that suggest the presence of water at the bottom.
In this way, we can appreciate details that we probably do not see with the naked eye, and these are the most important. Those water spots that we do not see could be the center of a large accumulation of mold and bacteria, which if not treated will continue to grow.
Replacing laminate floor may not be the easiest option, but it is the best
In the past, uninstalling laminate flooring could be a huge headache involving a lot of destruction work. However, new laminate floors have a great feature in their designs: they come with a locking system to make it easier to place them.
As a result, you should not be afraid to disassemble your floor if you need to remove it. Once identified all bad blocks, they must be removed one by one to avoid future problems. It should be noted that the process becomes more complex if the amount of water is very large, so in these cases, you may need professional help.
Better safe than sorry
It may seem that no, but now you know how to dry laminate flooring with water under it. Yes, unfortunately, there are not many alternatives beyond replacing the damaged parts.
That is why what you need to learn is to prevent water damage. Now that you have a new, dry laminate floor, you have to think ahead to prevent it from happening again.
One of the best ways to prevent new leaks is by sealing the plank joints. In modern tongue and groove-based formats, this simple job can even be done with silicone.
In the most extreme case, you can choose to replace (or build for the first time) a waterproof laminate floor. In this way, you will not have to worry (rarely) about water damage.
Water is not the only problem to watch out for
Image source: Floor Coverings International of West County
We must also consider other elements if we want to keep our floor clean and well kept. For example, to avoid scratches, rugs or pads on chairs and tables help. Similarly, you have to constantly check for traces of dirt such as sand, which can scratch the floor.
Although it seems that this has nothing to do with the subject, by avoiding scratches in the wood you avoid areas where moisture can grow.
Another tip to maintain the integrity of the floor is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They will always know better than anyone how to take care of the sheeting you installed.
Laminate floors are difficult to treat if you don’t know how to do it correctly, and water damage can be quite serious and dangerous. If you consider that you cannot do the job or if, on the other hand, you tried to fix it but the problem persists, it is best to contact an expert.
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