Could You be Making a Mistake in New Orleans When Drying Out Your Hardwood Flooring After a Flood?
How Flood Damage Affects Different Wood Floors in Homes Throughout New Orleans
Many of the homes in and around New Orleans contain beautiful hardwood floors. Some of these floors are original and can be several decades old. When homeowners have cared for them and maintained them well, they can significantly add to a home's value.
All of a homeowner's efforts to maintain a home's floors can wash down the drain when flood damage in New Orleans happens to a home. Because flooding may have occurred in the past, homeowners may have replaced their home's original hardwood flooring with other types of similar-looking flooring. These may cost less initially, but during a flood, the cost-effectiveness of these replacement floors diminishes rapidly.
Authentic hardwood floors may seem damaged at first, immediately after a flood. However, the cupping and crowning of correctly installed hardwood floors are often temporary or easily repaired situations compared to the damage wood laminate or engineered wood flooring exhibits after flooding.
Laminate flooring can show signs of damage from small spills, rain dripping from a leak in the roof, or a mop that held too much water. Real hardwood floors often recover with proper drying techniques. These floors are made of small bits of wood held together by glue with an imprinted image on them, which is then covered with a protective seal, which only protects the top of the piece, and not the bottom or sides. Water that comes into contact with the unprotected surfaces causes the piece to swell and expand. The protective seal can begin bubbling and peeling. The underside often disintegrates into mush. SERVPRO technicians shovel these off the surface to prepare it for new installation.
Engineered flooring can fare better than laminate flooring but still become damaged from flooding. Spills and other mishaps do not cause comparable damage to laminate flooring. Engineered flooring sustains damage because of the interlocking design that holds the boards together. Many times these floors merely float on the sub-floor without any fasteners except at the outside edges, which allows swelling from water to pop boards out from buckling. More commonly, though, these floors end up cracked and splintered from flood damage.
SERVPRO can help you recover your home's hardwood floors after suffering through your home's bout with flood damage. Slight sanding can eliminate any crowning that remains after drying brings the moisture levels down to reasonable amounts. Cupping often diminishes adequately enough when moisture content reverts to normal. Slow and steady drying of the floors with our Injectidry system means this occurs evenly.
SERVPRO of North Kenner, Harahan & Lakeview helps families in Elmwood, Jefferson, and River Ridge restore their homes after flood damage. Call us at (504) 468-3046, so we can begin mitigation work now.
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