Water damage on wood floors, water covered wood floors for 2-3 hours

Q: We had a blackout in 10 Counties in Texas last month, which caused my 140 gallon Salt water reef tank, to reverse siphon the water out of the tank and onto my 1.5 year old Hardwood (Red Oak) floors. The water was on the floors for approximately 2-3 hours.

The floors appear to be slightly buckled, and I can see all of the wood grain now very pronounced in the floor. What is the best way to have these restored or refinished? Will sanding and applying stain if necessary or just polyurethane fix the warping? They have also lost their smooth finish. After the floors flooded, I removed the water as soon as I discovered it, and once the power was restored 6-8 hours later, I put 2 fans on the floor and ran it for 5 days 24\7 to help dry out the moisture. How should I deal with water damage on wood floors?

A: You did the right thing by removing the surface water as soon as possible. This floor is no doubt wet underneath also, which will really take some time to fully dry. I would keep a dehumidifier running in the area for a month or so. If you know someone that has a moisture meter, check it periodically until it is down to 7-9%. If you catch a break, the floor might flatten out on it’s own. I have seen it happen. If that happens, a light buff and coat may be good enough. Be patient. Rushing a sanding job before the wood has stabilized would likely cause the boards to crown or twist the other way, with the center raised.

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