Wooden floors are very popular because they are sturdy, look good, and can be created as a floating floor, allowing you to ignore the uneven surface beneath. However, wood is prone to attracting moisture and this can cause serious issues for your floor.
The problem is compounded when you have a leak or a flood. This can quickly saturate the floor and if it is not dealt with ruin it.
Eliminate The Water
The first step in the process is to find the water leak and eliminate it. You can do a meter reading and a second meter reading two hours later without using water between meter changes you have a leak and you need to locate it.
Repairing the leak is essential before you start drying out the subfloor.
The subfloor is the section below the top wood, the part that you can’t see, and the part that supports the man floor. If this is wet and not sorted it will rot, eventually becoming dangerous and an expensive repair job. This is why it is so essential to find the leak before drying the subfloor.
Drying The Subfloor
The first step is to absorb any moisture that exists on top of the floor. This means mopping up any spills and pools of water. You can then open a window and turn on a dehumidifier. This will ensure the air in the room is cool and the moisture is drawn out of the floor. Just remember to check and empty the dehumidifier periodically.
It is a good idea to isolate the space from the rest of the house, this will increase the effectiveness of your attempts to remove moisture and decrease the amount of time it takes.
Getting Under the Subfloor
Most wooden floors are created as floating floors. This means there is a gap underneath them where air can circulate. The gap and air circulation help to ensure that moisture is removed from under the floor and keeps the subfloor dry.
You need to verify that there are two ventilation points into the space under the floor. They should create a cross-flow of air, ensuring cool air comes in and warm moist air is pushed out.
In many cases, it can be beneficial to add a fan to this setup, either pushing air under the floor or pulling it out. Have the fan work at night to drag the coolest air possible into the space and this will speed up the dehumidification process. If you don’t already have a good underfloor ventilation system, now is the time to install one.
The problem with subfloors is that they can be difficult to access. You may need to remove part of your floor to look into the void and check the ventilation. If this s necessary it is advisable to remove the wettest part of the floor and dry it separately. You can also take the opportunity to verify that the existing damp proof layer is intact and working properly. This will reduce the moisture content under your floor.
Remember, cool air is more effective than warm air at removing moisture.