Water Damage Effects On Different Flooring Types

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Water damage from leaks and burst pipes can often be especially hard on flooring since gravity will pull the water down through the flooring layer if possible. However, some types of flooring are hardier in the face of water damage than others. Here are some types of flooring and the damage they're likely to experience when they get wet.

1. Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is made up of several layers, the uppermost of which is a plastic-like material. So if water only touches the top and there are no abrasions or edges where water can get in, the floor should be fine. However, if water sits on the floor for a while or rises up from beneath, it will get to the vulnerable layers of the floor and cause delamination, swelling, curling, and similar problems.

So in a severe flooding event or one that isn't stopped immediately, you can expect laminate flooring to need replacement.

2. Wood flooring

Wood can expand and contract just from the ambient humidity in the air, so you can imagine how much worse it can be when the wood actually becomes saturated with water. The wood can swell up severely, crack, warp, and even start to break down from rot. 

3. Tile flooring

If you've had a flooding event and the floor is made of ceramic tile, you can congratulate yourself that the tiles are still fine: water doesn't typically damage this type of material. However, that doesn't necessarily mean you don't need water damage restoration. If the event was bad enough, the grout may need to be replaced and the subflooring material could be damaged as well.

4. Linoleum or vinyl flooring

While linoleum flooring isn't going to swell up and delaminate like a laminate material, it may still need replacing if the water damage is bad. In some cases (if the linoleum was installed as a floating floor), you may be able to have the linoleum floor carefully removed and then re-installed once the area beneath the floor is dried out. Vinyl is a similar material that tends to have a similar water damage response.

5. Bamboo flooring

Bamboo flooring can be susceptible to water damage like wood flooring. However, it's considered somewhat more water-resistant and may not become permanently warped out of shape from moderate water damage. If it gets completely soaked, it will still be damaged, though.

As you can see, different types of flooring have different levels of water resistance, which is one reason why stone and tile are more often used in bathrooms than wood and laminate are. For more information about cleaning up and repairing water damage after a flood, get in touch with a local water damage restoration contractor today.

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