Spilled a cup of water on wood floor

Q: Our toddler spilled a cup of water on the floor that we did not notice until the next day. It was probably there for 12-16 hours. When we saw it, there was a puddle over an area about a foot square. After wiping it up we’ve been running a fan and dehumidifier in the room for about 24 hours. There is a slight rise in the floor in the area and two or three boards are cupping.

This is over a basement area with a finished bathroom. From the unfinished part right next to the bathroom I can see there is some sort of black fabric over the 2×4 sub floor. There are no water spots on the bathroom ceiling. We plan on getting a second dehumidifier for the basement bathroom.

Do we need to worry about mold? Is there anything more we should be doing to prevent further cupping or just wait and see.

A: No, you don’t have to worry about mold. Mold has to be fed by a certain environment, warm and moist. This spill was a ‘one off’. Dry it out and give it some time. Occasionally but not always, they will flatten out on their own. A hygrometer is a good buy since it will tell you the temperature and relative humidity in any given room and this can help you know when and if you need to run a dehumidifier or not.

Related Q: I live on the 2nd story of an apartment complex. I spilled about 2 gallons of water on my kitchen floor, which is laminate flooring. I immediately used all the towels I could to soak up and completely dry up the water, even under the refrigerator and stove. The water was on the floor for less than 5 minutes, but it did reach the edges of the cupboards and walls. I have my windows open to air out. Should I still call a professional?

A: Calling in a floor professional at this point won’t do you any good. If it is a good quality laminate such as Torlys there should be no issue with water penetration between the panels. Plus they use a high density core which is much more resistant to turning edges. I’d wait and see if anything nasty occurs. If you have a dehumidifier you could run that also. Air circulation also helps.

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