Wooden things in your home, such as your furniture, flooring, and other structural components, might be affected by moisture or direct touch with the water after recent floods or a tiny pipe break.
We’ll explain what water damage looks like on wood, how to cure it, and how to prevent it in the future.
What Does Flooding or Moisture Do to Wood?
In nature, wood is able to soak up water without the use of chemicals. As a result, water can cause wood to swell, weaken, rot, decompose, and produce mold. Is water damage the same for all types of wood? No, there isn’t.
Depending on how dense the wood is, it can take a long time for it to be damaged by water. Moisture-resistant hardwoods are common. A few examples of hardwoods that are resistant to moisture include cedar, white oak, teak, ipe, redwood from California, cypress, and fir. Certain finishes, in addition to the type of wood, can improve the resistance of wood to water damage. For example, you could use lacquers or shellac to give a piece of furniture an elegant finish.
What are the Signs of Water Damage on Wood?
You now know which of your home’s wooden structures are vulnerable to water damage after reading the preceding section. Whatever the problem, it could be anything from your ceiling to your flooring. Look for any evidence of water damage in your home now.
Inspections at this phase are especially critical in the case of water damage that has not yet been identified, such as in the case of leaking pipes. Here are the warning indicators, without further ado.
Stains & Discoloration
Wooden ceilings, walls, and furniture can all sustain this type of damage. A darker shade of stain is more likely to appear than the original. Colors range from brown to orange and even green in these stains. The salt and minerals that are left behind as water evaporates are to blame for these ugly discolorations. If the finish on the wood reacts with water, a white discoloration will appear.
Change in shape or texture
Warping, sogginess, and sinking are all possible outcomes of water damage on floors. A tent-like structure may begin to form on the boards. Water damage can be detected by looking for any previously unnoticed unevenness. It’s possible for walls to grow mushy and faded. In extreme situations, they may even come to resemble sponges. In addition to swelling, sogginess, and other changes in texture, the glue or binding keeping the furniture together can be destroyed, resulting in its disintegration.
There is a lot of surplus moisture around where mould thrives. Mould in any wooden section of the house without any other evidence of water damage may only be a matter of time before other signs appear to be.
What Sort of Damage Should I Leave to the Experts?
Experts should handle any water damage to your home’s wooden structural components. Water damage to the ceiling is the most pressing concern because it is the area of your home that is most susceptible to falling and inflicting injury.
Water damage to the floor, especially if it is not the result of an interior flood (i.e., the water enters from below), is likely to inflict damage that goes much deeper than what is immediately apparent (e.g. damage to the sub-flooring).
Finally, water damage to the walls could cause the walls to become unstable, resulting in the breakage of baseboards.
Regardless of the source of the water damage (e.g. a burst pipe or a burst water heater), plumbing specialists should be contacted if there is any water damage that does not appear to have an evident cause.
What Sort of Damage Can I (and Should I) Fix?
Water damage to wooden furniture, on the other hand, is easily repaired. You may want to save valuable or emotional furniture. However, before we go into the specifics of how to achieve it, consider the following.
Your furniture has been harmed by water in some way, right? There are three main types of water damage:
- This form of water damage originates from a pipe, such as a dripping faucet or running water, and is not harmful to the structure itself. Grey Water Damage is a more serious problem if it isn’t taken care of in a timely manner. Clean water damage to furniture still necessitates cleaning and drying.
- Besides stagnant clean water, this form of water damages include water from flooded toilets, broken pipes, sump pump failures, and the like. When water damage is ignored for more than 48 hours, it progresses from gray to black. Damaged furniture has to be properly cleaned to remove any impurities.
- Sewage backups and stagnant grey water are also examples of black water damage. If your furniture has been destroyed in this way, it should be discarded because it is unsalvageable and constitutes a health hazard.
The Extent of Damage
Do you know how long this wooden item has been submerged in the water? If it’s been more than a few days, the item is probably irreversibly destroyed and should be thrown away altogether.
If you are fixing water damage on wooden furniture to save money, you may want to go through your insurance company first. They can assist you assess if repairing or replacing the furniture is more cost-effective.
How Do I Restore Water Damaged Wooden Furniture
When it comes to other sorts of restoration and reconstruction, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. In a previous part, we talked about the variables to consider while determining whether or not to restore wooden furniture.
When it comes to dealing with water-damaged wooden furniture, these are the steps:
Step 1: Cleaning
- Put on a pair of rubber gloves and look for signs of mildew and mold on the furniture you’re inspecting.
- To clean the furniture, take it outside.
- Mix two capfuls of bleach with a half-gallon of hot water.
- Add three capfuls of mild dish soap to the mixture and combine thoroughly.
- Using a scrub brush, thoroughly clean the furniture.
- Repeat the process of rinsing off the soap and water if necessary.
- Allow your furnishings to air dry.
Step 2: Removing the Stains
- Make use of a gentle white cloth to apply the wood furniture cleanser. Orange essential oil can also be added to this.
- Use circular motions to rub this into the furniture stains until the stain lifts.
Step 3: Sanding and Stripping
- To avoid breathing wood dust, wear a dust mask.
- Sand furniture in the direction of the grain with a sander and 220-grit sandpaper. Always begin by sanding any wet areas.
- Maintain an equal coating of sanding on the remaining furniture.
- Using a clean paintbrush, remove any remaining wood dust.
- Using a fresh paintbrush, apply a chemical stripper to the wood before wiping it away.
- Allow the chemical to oxidize, boil, or erupt before proceeding.
- Using a putty knife, lightly scrape the furniture’s surface.
- Scrape the surplus stripping agent from the surface with a sandpaper with 100 to 150-grit grits.
- Using a clean paintbrush, remove any excess wood dust from the surface.
Step 4: Glueing Loose Joints
- Use a 150-grit sandpaper to remove old glue from broken joints.
- Using a clean paintbrush, remove any remaining wood dust.
- Place wood glue on the loose joints to reconnect them.
- Allow the joint to rest overnight before moving on to the next step.
Step 5: Painting
- Apply the first coat of paint with even strokes using a latex enamel-based paint of your choice.
- Apply a second application when the first one has dried.
Step 6: Applying Varnish
- Use a varnish that is both water- and insect-resistant.
- Apply the first coat of varnish to your wooden furniture after the paint has dried from the previous stage.
- Apply a second coat of varnish after the first one has dried.
The look of a sleek fixture in your home is pleasing to the eye. Wood furniture is distinguished from other types of furniture by its mix of appealing design and unmatched structural integrity.
Especially in the kitchen, you’ll find plenty of wood furniture in most houses. Because of this, you must know how to repair water-damaged wood that has been drenched repeatedly. Additional harm can be greatly reduced with the use of techniques and cues.