6 Signs of Water Damage in Hardwood Floors: How to Identify and Prevent it

Have you had a flooding incident recently in your home? Or have you moved into a house with very creaky hardwood floors? Then it is probably a good time to watch out for and identify the early signs of water damage.

Any prolonged exposure to moisture can damage wooden floors, to the extent that they may require replacement or repairs.

But repairing or replacing hardwood floorboards is not only expensive but an extensive process. The best way to tackle it is to watch out for early signs and avoid further damage.

Here are some tell-tale signs of water damage to hardwood flooring.


Top Signs Your Hardwood Flooring Has Water Damage

Water damage is a serious problem for hardwood flooring, as prolonged exposure can be very destructive. Here are some signs you need to watch out for.


  1. Discoloured or Stained Flooring: Hardwood floors are known for their inherent charm and beauty. However, if they have some dark splotches or discoloured spots here and there, this could be an issue. Additionally, keep an eye out for faded floorboards or an irregular pattern in the wood’s natural grain, both of which indicate that the damage has already begun.

    It is best to clean and dry the subfloor beneath the wooden boards if you are experiencing any of these issues before starting the replacement process. Please be aware that the duration of your floorboards’ water saturation will determine the extent of the damage.

  1. Soft Hardwood Flooring: Hardwood floors are extremely durable and tend to be hard. (We have listed hardwoods based on their hardness right here.) So, as you can probably guess, soft spots on hardwood floors are not good news.

    If any of the boards feel fragile or that they could easily break, this means that your floors are rotting. Unfortunately, there is no way to salvage them and a complete replacement will be necessary. Consult AA Floors if you encounter this problem.

  1. Cupped Floors: When exposed to water for a long period, wood tends to swell up, which causes planks to push against each other and rise up. This makes the floorboard push around the edges and the depressions start to show up on the floor. Slowly, these indentations can be noticed along the floor, making it look irregular.


    This happens when there is more absorption of moisture at the top than at the bottom. This phenomenon happens when there are leaks, spills, or changes in the moisture content of the air around the flooring.

  1. Warped Floors: This is one of the most evident signs of moisture damage. In this case, the floorboards become raised, deformed, or curled. If you notice this, please check for signs such as flooding, hidden leaks, or temperature fluctuations. The main issue here is the accumulation of excess moisture under the floorboards, which is causing this problem.

    Wooden planks expand as a result of water absorption, causing distortion which can also affect other floorboards.

  1. Mould or Mildew: Mildew and mould are encouraged to grow as a result of water damage. This is one of the most obvious symptoms of serious water damage to your hardwood floors. Since mould and mildew thrive in extremely damp conditions, hardwood floors are particularly vulnerable to such harm. If you observe any of these signs, it is important to address them right away. Watch out for black, green, or white furry patches on your floor, or a pungent odour.

    Mould-or-Mildew Floors

    Mildew and mould growth can significantly lower indoor air quality, which can cause a number of illnesses like allergies, asthma, and lung infections. It is best to get in touch with a professional hardwood specialist to inspect the situation and create a plan of action.

  1. Lifted Nails : Hardwood flooring is usually installed by nailing down the planks. However, if you notice the planks lifting and the nail becoming visible or popping out of the wood, it may be because nearby hardwood has swelled.

If you are encountering any such issues, it is important to consult your nearest flooring expert for an inspection. After all, water damage can be an extensive and complex issue that requires restoration or complete replacement. It is important to seek help to prevent further damage and repair the rest of your flooring. If you are looking for hardwood flooring in Toronto, get in touch with AA Floors. Our experienced team will be happy to assist you.

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