It’s fair to say we’ve repaired and replaced more than a few moisture-damaged floors during our 30 years in the property maintenance business. Whether it’s due to floods, burst pipes or poor damp proofing, fixing or installing a new a floor can be a costly and disruptive business. However, spotting the early signs of water damage in floors and taking some simple preventative measures could reduce your chances of having to make major repairs.
What are the signs of water damage in floors?
Signs of water damage can vary from floor type to floor type.
Laminate flooring: common signs are separation between planks, warping, splitting and mouldy spots.
Hardwood flooring: discolouration or mould, cupping (where the planks turn up at the edges), swelling or boards feeling soft underfoot are indications that excess moisture may be a problem.
Vinyl and linoleum flooring: bubbling, mildew, curling and seams opening up are good indicators that there’s an excess moisture issue. As they are water resistant materials, the problem here usually stems from water getting underneath and soaking the subfloor.
Tiled flooring: loose tiles, mouldy grout and a hollow sound when the tiles are walked on are good giveaways.
When any kind of flooring gets moisture damaged there’s also usually a fairly obvious damp, musty smell, so look out for that too.
How to reduce moisture damage in floors
While there’s a limit to how much you can protect your property from exceptional events like natural disasters, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of water damage to your floors.
- If your property is susceptible to flooding, the National Flood Forum has some useful advice on how to make your building more flood resilient.
- Keep an eye out for leaks in pipes and radiators and make sure your heating and water systems are regularly checked over.
- Make sure your guttering and drains are in good working order to encourage water to run away from your property.
- Get your damp proofing sorted.
- If you’re fixing or installing a new floor, get the professionals in to do the work. They’ll ensure that everything is properly sealed and that the right flooring materials are used for the space in question. Not every material will fare well in certain environments – a good property maintenance professional will be able to advise you on the best options.
Repairing water damage
Early detection of any problem can often be the difference between small scale repair and complete replacement. It goes without saying that, where possible, you need to address the cause of the problem as well as repairing the flooring. Shortcuts rarely make business sense in the long run. So, get those pipes fixed or that damp proofing sorted out before you try and remedy the damage to the floor.
Of course, the best way to avoid having trouble in the first place is to have regular planned maintenance done by a reputable property maintenance company. They’ll be able to spot and fix things before they become an issue and make sure that any repairs or new installations are done to a high standard.
If you’d like help to keep your commercial property up to scratch, get in touch with our helpdesk. Our multi-skilled field engineers are on hand 24/7 to deliver scheduled maintenance services and sort out any emergency repairs. Our services are available across the M4 corridor area between West and South Wales and London and the Southeast.