10 Feb 2016

How Can Water Extraction Save Your Flooring?

Your hardwood floors transform your house into a home with beauty, warmth, and sophistication. So when disaster strikes – whether it´s a flood, a burst pipe, or a leaking roof – you´ll want to protect your investment. Even sealed or waxed floors can´t always withstand excessive water. And leaving water on your floors can cause irreparable damage to the wood.  Water extraction is a crucial and effective way to save your flooring from a wide variety of misfortunes.


Cupping is a condition wherein the center of a board sinks lower than its edges. Cupping can occur naturally when there is moisture in the air, particularly in the humid summer months, but severe water damage can cause serious cupping. In short, water causes the wood to swell, pushing the boards together and ultimately deforming them at their edges. Think of a cupping floorboard like a thin piece of paper reacting to a small drop of water: The paper curls up and away from where the drop hits. Water extraction can prevent the same process from happening to your floorboards.

Mildew and Mold

Water damage can mean serious physical and aesthetic hazards in the form of mildew and mold. Wet surfaces are ideal places for mold and mildew to grow, and moist floors offer a cozy home for these fungi. You can identify mildew and mold by black, green, and sometimes white stains on your floors and a strong, musty odor. Mold spores easily incite allergic reactions, and can sometimes cause long-term health detriments.

Water Stains

There are two types of stains that can occur from water damage. The first type is referred to as a white water stain. This stain indicates minor damage, since the water is merely in the finish of the wood. Most likely, white water stains are caused by water or water vapor coming into prolonged contact with the finish. The second and most difficult kind of stain is the black water stain, which occurs when water seeps beyond the finish and into the wood itself. Water contains trace particles of iron which react with the tannins present in the wood, thus creating a dark stain.


One of the more extreme reactions to water damage, buckling occurs when the floorboards completely pull away from the subfloor. Since wood naturally swells with increased moisture content, this process can bring your floorboards up to several inches above floor level-in essence, a more drastic version of cupping. Buckling most frequently happens after flooding occurs, but with timely water extraction, you can save your wood from this fate.

Water damage can ruin your elegant and expensive flooring in a number of destructive ways. But water extraction is a powerful way to help minimize the damage to your floors. Call Vital Restoration for a free estimate to determine the extent of the damage, assess the necessary steps needed for restoration, and calculate the cost and time required. Save your precious flooring before it´s too late.

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