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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Repairing Water Damaged Wood in Commercial Properties

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

empty office with tables, chairs, and wood flooring If your commercial property has wood flooring, knowing what steps to take after a water damage event can help save your flooring.

Water damage can happen to anyone. One minute your property is fine; the next, it's a soggy mess with water leaking through the roof and walls. It's important to know how to fix this problem and get your commercial property back up and running as soon as possible.
In this article, we will discuss what you need to do when repairing water-damaged wood in commercial properties so that you can get back up on your feet quickly!

Water Damage on Commercial Property: What Is It?

Water damage can happen anywhere, including commercial properties. The first thing to know is that when any water gets into your property, it's not just the carpet and floors that will get ruined.

It would be best if you also looked for signs of mold growth on walls or ceilings, which signifies more serious potential health effects.

The second thing you should do if there has been an episode of flooding in the building, contact a professional restoration company who will have all the equipment necessary to fix this problem quickly! 

How To Repair Water Damaged Wood In Commercial Properties

Once you've contacted these professionals, they'll be able to come out and assess how difficult the situation is before coming up with a plan of action and will be able to do the work promptly.

The next step is clean up which involves drying out all wet materials and removing any water-logged items from the property as soon as possible! If you try to salvage stained or damaged furnishings, likely, they'll never look good again, so just throw them away - many stores specialize in this kind of thing for your convenience.

It also goes without saying that if you have heavy furniture near surfaces touching the water, move it at least three feet back before letting anyone dry these areas with fans.

Now we can get into some serious restoration: After everything has been dried thoroughly (at least 48 hours!), sand patches where mold might grow and then use a dehumidifier to prevent any recurrence of the problem.

Next, remove all stickers that contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can release toxic gases when heated. This includes some adhesive labels on items such as canned goods or furniture legs.

Finally, spray surfaces with an extra-strength mold killer before painting over water stains or replacing damaged boards; it takes about two weeks for DIYers to finish these steps, so be patient!

When professionals undertake restoration work in commercial properties, they often have more tools than amateurs like you and me. They may apply fungicides after removing old sealant from wood decks made out of synthetic materials since dampness usually causes problems. 

Different Types of Wood and The Effects of Water Damage

Just as different types of wood react differently to water, the same goes for finishes. It is crucial to match your finish with the type of wood you are using to withstand contact with moisture and doesn't peel or chip away from exposure to rain or wet ground. 

Wood Types/Water Damage

 *Oak - The best materials for refinishing oak are natural oil-based stains like tung oil because they have a tough surface film that resists moisture penetration. You can also use wax if you want a glossy look!

If you need an extra layer of protection, apply either varnish or polyurethane on top before applying the final coat (or mixed), which will be just as durable but won't provide the same level of transparency.

*Cedar - Cedar is a softer wood, and so it's best to use oil-based products as they'll penetrate the surface more deeply, meaning you can get away with fewer coats!

*Maple - Maple has a fairly soft texture, too, making it difficult for water to seep in deep enough to cause any damage unless there are cracks that allow moisture inside. That means if you refinish maple using oil-based stains like tung oil, one should be enough to make it waterproof.

*Pine - Pine contains more sap than oak or maple, so it can't take as much moisture before being damaged and has an uneven grain pattern which can cause problems with absorption when using oil-based products (so use them sparingly). The best thing to do for pine is to apply varnish on top after applying stain! 

Professional Equipment Used to Restore Wood from Water Damage

 Deep-Clean - This process will remove any minerals, dirt, and water from the wood before you can refinish it. It's an expensive option but well worth it if your damage is severe enough to need it!

Sanding - A very important part of the restoration process for all species of woods as this removes deep scratches or gouges to prepare them for stain/finishing products. The sandpaper grit ranges from 220 (very coarse) to 800 (extra fine).

Staining - After sanding, use a rag dipped in tung oil. Wipe the wood down gently with long strokes until the desired color has been achieved, then quickly follow up by wiping over the surface with mineral spirits, so drips don't form.

Refinishing- This is ultimately the process that will give you a beautiful, finished product. There are many different products out there, but an oil-based polyurethane will work just fine for most commercial properties!

There are many ways to handle water damage to wood in commercial properties. In many cases, the wood can be restored or replaced. Water-damaged wood can be sanded and restored to its original state. If the finish has been stripped, it will need to be refinished. There are several different options and ways to handle restorations.

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