Caring For Your Floors After A Flood

Posted on: 14 April 2015

A home flood is a devastating event. The water doesn't just damage your home and property; it can also cause illness by exposing you to bacteria, mold spores and other pathogens. As soon as the water has receded and you've emptied your home of wet and damaged items, turning your attention to your flooring can help you protect your investment and your health.

1. Carpets

Carpets and padding act like sponges, soaking up water and high concentrations of any pathogens the water contains. In addition, wet carpet creates an overly humid environment that encourages mold growth, both in the carpet and on surfaces elsewhere in the home. Wet vacs, dehumidifiers and fans may be sufficient for drying a lightly dampened carpet, but the only solution for wet padding and subflooring is immediate removal of the carpet and padding.

2. Vinyl Tile and Linoleum

Although vinyl and linoleum surfaces can be thoroughly washed and disinfected using a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water, it's possible that an edge or corner might be imperceptibly curled up, allowing water to seep below the flooring. If this happens, the adhesive that holds the flooring to the subflooring is likely to be compromised. Flooring that becomes "unstuck" in this manner should be replaced. Flooring that was poorly adhered to begin with should be removed, due to the likelihood that the subflooring beneath it has been saturated.

3. Ceramic, Clay and Stone Tile

It's usually possible to salvage hard-surface tile flooring by washing and disinfecting it with the bleach solution. In cases where the subflooring is wet, proper drying may require removal of the tile. Subflooring that buckles because of moisture may cause grout to crack and tiles to lift, necessitating removal of the tiles and replacement of the subflooring material.

4. Wood and Laminate Floors

Wash wood floors with a disinfecting cleaner, and dry the surface as much as possible with towels. Fans can help evaporate water the wood has absorbed, and dehumidifiers can speed the drying process as well. Although the finish may be damaged, the flooring should be salvageable as long as the wood hasn't buckled or warped.

The surface of laminate flooring is impervious to moisture. However, floating floors should be removed so that the subflooring beneath them can be washed and dried. The flooring can be reinstalled, but planks that have swollen due to saturation should be replaced.

Dealing with the aftermath of a flood can be overwhelming. But responding quickly to protect or remove your flooring can help prevent further damage to your home and dangerous effects on your health. To learn more, contact a business like A Steam Pro Carpet Cleaning.