Water has firmly established itself as arch-enemy when it comes to wooden objects. An organic material, wood is only able to resist the damaging effects of water for a short time. There are occasions where water damage can’t be avoided. You’re lying on the beach and soaking up the sun while on a family holiday, and suddenly a pipe bursts resulting in a flooded kitchen that’s impatiently awaiting your return home. Your wooden table, chairs, cupboards and shelves, even your hardwood floor have suffered immeasurable damage and you’re left at a loss of how, or even if repairs are even a possibility. Floods, in particular, have proven to be the most devastating source of water damage in the home. Can water damaged wood be saved? Let’s take a look.
Can Water Damaged Wood be Saved?
Once the excess water has been removed, the process of deciding if any of your wooden furniture or items can be salvaged. The unfortunate ordeal of letting go of valued possessions is often a part of this difficult process. The good news is that with the right combination of elbow grease and a bit of luck, some wooden items can be cleaned and restored to their original condition.
First thing’s first; carefully inspect the extent of moisture damage to the wood to see if either repair or removal are needed. It is crucial that all rotting wood be separated from damaged wood and immediately discarded. Failure to do so will lead to the rotting of wood that can possibly be repaired.
As water leaves a piece of wood, shifting tissues cause the wood to twist or bend, which may result in cracking. This sort of bending or warping wood absorbs water then begins to dry out once again. Warped wood is usually easy to spot, just look for bends, cracks or uneven sections of a piece of wood that should have a straight appearance. Staining or discoloration, popped or loose nails, mold growth, table legs may no longer fit into place, joints hold edges together at odd angles and have an uneven appearance, and furniture may jostle back and forth or up and down when bearing pressure. Much of this is relevant to the amount of time these items were exposed to water, and if they were left to dry on their own. These are telltale signs of water damage and a clear signal you’ll need to give the item up or look to restore it.
Use a hydrometer to measure the moisture content of the wood. Moisture content needs to be at or below nine percent before you can begin sanding. Extensive water damage to wooden floors results in swollen and/or warping and some sections becoming partially detached. Typically in scenarios as severe as this, the only solution is to completely remove the wood.
- If the item is solid hardwood or engineered hardwood
- Length of time the wooden item has been exposed to water
- Severity of damage
Once you have determined if wooden furniture or item can be saved, place it in a room with a dehumidifier for two to three days in order to remove the majority of leftover water. This helps pull water from the air as it evaporates from the wood, minimizing air saturation around the wood allowing it to dry as quickly as possible. Once the majority of leftover water has been released, sprinkle baking soda over the wood to aid in removing the remaining moisture.
Water Damage Restoration with Tidal Wave Response
Floods, burst or leaky pipes and countless other factors can result in either mild or catastrophic damage to your home and the wood inside of it. Now that you know what to look for when it comes to water damage you’ll be able to tell what can be repaired and what should be replaced. It’s always comforting to know Tidal Wave Response is only a phone call away for those emergencies and repairs that are outside your comfort zone or range or expertise.
Our 24-hour emergency support line (770-693-4568) is the number to call even before you dial up your insurance company, Tidal Wave Response is ready to assist and help get you and your home back in good standing. Tidal Wave Response; Atlanta’s ultimate resource and safety net for any and all water damage issues.