Water Damaged Hardwood Floors: Should you Worry about Mold?
Warped Hardwood Floors
You might be familiar with this situation: you have recently installed beautiful cherry wood floors and then you notice the thing most dreaded by homeowners.....warped floor boards.
Your first instinct might be to fix the floor. A word of caution, though. Are you ready for what you might find? Mold begins to grow after 48 hours of water damage occurring. Chances are that the water damage happened a while ago if the floor itself has started to warp.
Homeowners may have a tendency to think that the floor is warping due to faulty installation or that even the wood itself is somehow at fault. For example, in a case of water damage Clearwater, the homeowners were convinced that the moisture barrier sealant between the wood floor and the foundation had not been installed correctly. Unfortunately, the truth is that warping is caused by excess moisture in the home. And that is a serious problem.
So what should you do if you discover warping? In most cases, the floor will have to be replaced. However, before replacement, the damaged floor will need to be completely and safely removed and the damage below assessed. As mentioned before, the water damage has most likely caused mold to grow. A certified mold inspector should be called to come and do an inspection. Many companies will come out and give you an idea of what you are looking at in terms of remediation costs. Before you begin to tear out the floor, please consult a mold expert first as dead mold can be toxic. It is a wise idea to have a professional remove the flooring. Your mold company may even offer this as a service.
Warped flooring is not an easy fix and if your floors are warping, you need to get the problem addressed as quickly as possible. If there is mold growing under the floor, it could be wreaking havoc on your health without you knowing it. From allergies to migraine headaches to a general weakened immune system, mold is not a welcome house guest.
How can you prevent hardwood floors from warping? Maintain low humidity levels in your home. Experts state that relative humidity levels should be kept at 55% or less to help prevent mold growth. Also, keep the floors dry. Wipe up spills as soon as possible and use a hair dryer to help dry out the area. Use a spray mop, such as Bona, instead of a wet mop. Spray mops tend to stay on the surface of the floor rather than seep into the crevices like a wet mop. Plus, Bona is an example of an environmentally friendly,non-toxic cleaner! 5 second rule out the window!
Hardwood floors require an environment that is low in moisture. If your floors have warped, get the situation looked at as soon as you can. A happy home starts with a mold-free environment. Don't let your floors hide the truth from you any longer.
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