If you have a hardwood floor, you’ll be only too aware of the need to protect your floor from excess water. Excess water, if left on the surface of your floor for any length of time can wreak havoc and, like most things in life, prevention is better than cure.
The best way to start your water damage prevention process is by checking your home regularly for leaks. Wooden floors most commonly get water damaged in either kitchens or bathrooms where the risk of plumbing leaks, spills and splashes is much higher than in the rest of the home. That said it is well worth making sure that on a grander scale you don’t have water damage risk from leaks in your roof, your windows and doors or cracks in your walls, all of which could allow rainwater or moisture to seep into your property and cause damage to your wood. Another thing to keep an eye on is humidity levels as they could be a slow damaging enemy to your wooden floor.
The second level of water damage prevention is protection. You can protect your floor by oiling it, lacquering it or varnishing it, both when it is first installed and thereafter on a regular basis. Each of these methods will provide different levels of protection (with oil at the lower end and varnishing at the upper end). Depending on the risk of humidity, water leaks or spillage, you need to be careful to choose the most appropriate protection or sealing method for your room. Having said that, even with a high level of protection, it’s worth remembering that no matter how effectively you treat your floor, any hardwood floor will take harm from prolonged exposure to water, so this is something you should aim to avoid at all costs.
On a day-to-day basis, you can protect your wooden floor from water damage by making sure that you mop up any spills as soon as practically possible. By doing so, you’ll not only be helping preserve the protective properties of your floor’s finish but you’ll also be avoiding the risk of the spill seeping deep into the wood. Adopting this practise will not only help avoid water damage, it’ll also help avoid staining. Finally, a regular cleaning schedule using a damp (not wet) mop as well as standard maintenance and regular periodic re-application of oils or lacquers will not only help protect your floor from the risk of water damage, but will also prolong its life and keep it looking better for longer.