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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Will Professional Water Removal Save My Home’s Floors from Permanent Damage?

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

leaking ceiling from broken pipe Call SERVPRO when you have a leaking pipe in your Nutley home.

Trained and Experienced SERVPRO Technicians Restore a Wide Range of Water Damaged Flooring in Your Nutley Dwelling

There is no doubt about it, your floors in your Nutley home take the brunt of the harm when a pipe breaks, a tub overflows, or a water-using appliance proves faulty. Although the materials used for residential flooring are often more durable than you might realize, if the water stands for a period or seeps through cracks and crevices to saturate subfloors or enter building cavities, long-term and expensive to resolve problems start.

What Effect Does Water Have on Different Types of Residential Floor and Floor Covering Materials?

How Does Water Damage Carpeting?When you think about water removal from your Nutley floors, an image of sodden carpet stretching wall to wall might leap to mind. Carpets are incredibly permeable, absorbing vast amounts of fluids. Primary issues when carpeting becomes wet include:

  • Risk of tears, stretching, and shrinking
  • Latex deterioration (latex holds the fibers together)
  • Delamination (separation of the fibers and the backing)
  • Padding ruin

What Can Restoration Experts Do to Mitigate and Remediate Carpet and Padding Damage?

Extraction of Water

Removing an entire wall to wall carpet is tricky. It exacerbates stretching, stresses seam lines, and makes the wet fabric too heavy to move. Drying in place is an option:

  • Unweighted wanded extraction passes stop the migration of fluid into dry sections.
  • Weighted wands, usually with the operator standing on them to add more compression, are meticulously passed over the carpet in a predetermined and repeated pattern to remove as much water as possible.


The project manager determines how many air movers, heaters, and dehumidifiers must work in concert to dry out the extracted carpet. Techniques like carpet “floating” can get warm, dry air where needed.

What About the Padding?

In rare cases, the padding can be reused, but it is usually more sensible to remove and replace this relatively inexpensive material after initial extraction passes to reduce the weight and dripping of the padding.


If the water category is 2 or 3, padding must be removed and discarded. Cleaning and disinfection of Category 2 water damaged carpet can save in some cases. Carpeting soaked in Category 3 fluids must be removed and disposed of as hazardous waste.

How Does Water Damage Hard Flooring?

Concrete, resilient tile, and ceramic tile all survive water damage reasonably well, but each has vulnerability. Coatings and attachment methods are the weak spots SERVPRO technicians see when removing water from these surfaces.

What Can Restoration Experts Do to Mitigate and Remediate Hard Flooring Damage?

Concrete Floors

Often found in basements and garages, some modern construction moves concrete into living areas as well. The floor endures damage well, but might need:

Repainting or coating if flaking or blistering appears


  • If calcium (one of the components of concrete) deposits on the top after water wicks up through the porous material
  • If dirt or organic residues could support mold growth

Disinfection with an EPA-registered product

Resilient Tile

Asphalt tile -- typically shows a good bond with concrete following water damage. Wax or other sealants might deposit as chalky marks, easily removed.

Vinyl tile -- is less durable than asphalt. It can loosen, but replacement is straightforward and sometimes less expensive than drying.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tiles are considered waterproof, but the connecting grout can crack and allow water to saturate the plywood subfloor. Tiles can break apart and loosen when that floor swells.


  • Paints, coatings, and tiles can contain lead or asbestos. Certified hazardous waste technicians need to complete abatement.
  • Subfloors must dry out completely, even if the surface seems dry. See the strategies for thorough drying of hardwood floors below for illumination.

How Does Water Damage Wood Flooring?

Hardwood flooring is more durable than you might hope, especially if a fast response by professionals removes the water promptly. Wooden floors in the United States average 10 percent moisture content as a baseline. Less moisture risks cracking; more moisture risks warping and buckling.

  • Cupping--Water absorbed from the bottom and sides of the strips or planks raises the edges, making the center seem depressed or “cupped.”
  • Crowning--The top of the strips or planks holds more moisture than the bottom or sides, causing the middle to swell or “crown.”
  • Buckling--Occurs when planks or strips become so distorted that they separate from fasteners and the subfloor.

What Can Restoration Experts Do to Mitigate and Remediate Wood Flooring Damage?

Fast extraction -- including the use of innovations like floor mats that use negative air pressure to suction water from two or more flooring layers, is the key. Wanding and squeegeeing the surface is critical.

Comprehensive moisture detections and metering -- provide the data for drying goals. Wood must be dried carefully and at a research-based speed, with frequent monitoring to avoid overshooting the goal and removing too much moisture.


Addressing subfloor moisture levels is critical to the best outcome for any flooring that sits above particleboard, plywood, or another wood-product base.  Drying from beneath, air movers aimed upwards, or removal of sections of hardwood or tile for access, are techniques showing favorable results.

Count on the experts at SERVPRO of Nutley / Bloomfield to remove water from your floors fast. Call (973) 662-0062 to set up a consultation.

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