Laminate flooring can be very aesthetically pleasing for anyone to look at. Not to mention it is very durable too, compared to some fragile tiles which crack easily. But one thing that you must care about when you have laminate flooring installed is moisture. Needless to say, we all know how moisture affects wood negatively. So if you ever get water under your laminate flooring, you need to quickly get it out. If you are confused about how you can do it, let us help you out in this guide.
Laminate flooring is synthetic flooring made of multiple layers. In between the layers is board and resin which is tightly packed together. The layers are very tightly packed so they create a very durable structure. This is why most people often use laminate flooring in their houses. Not to mention it can give the look of wood or stone as well thanks to the applique layer. Although it is durable, it is highly susceptible to water.
If water gets under it, the laminate flooring can swell, get rot, or mildew. To avoid that you have to quickly dry off any water that might have fallen.
Why You Need to Clean off Water Under Laminate Flooring
Since laminate flooring is synthetically made, it is pretty inexpensive. Compared to what wood or stone tiles would cost, it is pretty affordable. But being cheap is not the only perk of laminate flooring. One thing that attracts DIY enthusiasts towards laminate flooring is the ease of installation. Laminate flooring comes with a lip on one side and a groove on the other. You just need to connect the lip to the groove and push the flooring down and they are connected. No need for glue, cement, or any other material needed for installation.
The most you might need is a miter saw or a normal saw to cut the boards when needed. Otherwise, you can install laminate flooring quite easily. Because it is so easy to install, it becomes an attractive option for most DIY enthusiasts. Since you can do it yourself instead of calling in someone for doing it for you. Professional help is always appreciated when you don’t know what to do. But with so many guides floating around, it is easy to figure out how to use yourself.
Laminate flooring usually isn’t affected by water. If you can clean off the water instantly and it is not excess water, then your laminate flooring won’t be affected. Some laminate panels come coated with a waterproof coating. This helps protect the inner layers that are packed together from absorbing moisture. But if the water is in excessive amounts, you need to clean it fast. You need to ensure that it is completely dry or it can rot, swell, and get mildew.
How to Remove Water From Under Laminate Flooring – Dry and Wet Vacuum Cleaner
A dry and wet vacuum cleaner is a very useful tool in situations where only a little water has slipped through the cracks. If there isn’t a lot of water to work on, you can just use this to suck it between the flooring.
Step 1 – Cleaning off Excess Water
First of all, you need to identify the source of the water. What is causing the leak in the first place? Did you spill the water by accident or is there a leak somewhere that is dripping water on the flooring? You need to plug the leak and wipe the excess water off the floor. This is an important step if you want to ensure that you don’t have to replace the flooring later on.
Step 2 – Identify the Affected Areas
Since the flooring can be huge, you need to identify the affected areas. Of course, there is no way you can tell if the water has gone through the cracks already. You can just identify the area that the water spilled on through accident or leakage. Because otherwise, it will take way too long since you have to be thorough in this process.
Step 3 – Use Wet and Dry Vacuum
Once you know which areas of the flooring were affected, you can now start vacuuming. Just use your wet and dry vacuum and put the head directly over the cracks between the flooring. You need to get all the cracks line by line and ensure that you don’t miss any spots whatsoever. Take it slow and ensure that all the water has been sucked out.
Once you are done, we are pretty much sure that you were able to protect the laminate flooring.
How to Dry Water Under Laminate Flooring – Excess Water
There is an underlayer of foaming under the laminate flooring usually. This is for absorbing low levels of sound and moisture under the flooring. So that if there is a thud above the flooring, the underlayer absorbs that sound. It can also absorb little moisture as well like a small spill or the moisture in the air. But it cannot absorb a large amount of water.
In case of a large spill or leak, you need to remove the laminate flooring from that area and replace it. You might not need to replace it if there is not enough water damage to the area. Firstly assess the situation, check how much water are we talking about, is the area dry or still moist. Ensure that all leaks are plugged and the source of the water damage is fixed. Once that is done you can start working on determining the damage.
If the water has already been absorbed by the laminate flooring, then chances are you need to replace that area. If it is limited to that area, you will need to pull out the shoe moulding or quarter-round moulding. Then you need to take out the boards one by one slowly, you also need to replace the underlayer if it is soaking wet. You can dry it off as well but it takes time.
Laminate flooring can be really good and provide you with an easy and affordable option. But its biggest weakness is water. If you have laminate flooring at your home, then you should take utmost care of it. Make sure there is no spillage or leakage of water on it. In case of a leakage, try to contain it as soon as possible before the laminate flooring soaks the water. If there is water damage, there can be rot and mildew under the flooring even if the floor seems dry. This can be seriously unhealthy and hazardous to health.
Keep a wet and dry vacuum and make sure to use it between the cracks in case of a water spill. Take your time with it and ensure that the floor is dry. Use a dehumidifier so that it dries the moisture in the air. If you live in a moist region, try to avoid laminate flooring altogether, try to use other alternatives.