Laminate flooring offers homeowners a wide array of benefits including durability, scratch-resistance and affordability. However, like many flooring solutions, laminate can be damaged by water and excess moisture levels.
Often, the solution is not to replace laminate but to repair it. There are several techniques that can be used to dry and flatten swollen laminate without ripping it up.
Remove the Damaged Area
The first step in repairing a swollen laminate floor is to find and stop the source of water. This is important because moisture is the leading cause of swelling in laminate floors. This could be a leaky dishwasher, faulty toilet or even burst pipes.
Once you have stopped the source of the problem, you need to dry the area. This can be done by installing a dehumidifier in the room. It is also helpful to open windows and doors to allow the moisture to escape.
Once the laminate is dry, you can replace the damaged board. To do this, remove any baseboards or molding that are attached to the laminate flooring. Next, prepare the replacement board by cutting off the grooves and tongue of the other end. Spread carpenter’s glue on the tongue of the new board and snap it into the corresponding groove of the old one. Then lower the replacement board and weigh it down with weights until the glue dries.
Apply a Laminate Repair Product
Laminate flooring is one of the most popular types of floor covering, but it isn’t without its weaknesses. It doesn’t tolerate water spills or high moisture levels well, which can cause the laminate to swell and create bubbles. If you notice your laminate floor is starting to swell, there are steps you can take to repair it without replacing the entire floor.
Begin by determining the source of the moisture. If it’s from a water leak, locate the source and fix it as soon as possible. Water leaks can come from faulty appliances (leaking dishwashers are common), burst pipes or even just high humidity levels.
If the problem is caused by a small amount of water that has not yet saturated the subfloor, you can try to use a roller or something else heavy on the floor to flatten out swollen areas. If you see large areas of swelling, however, the best solution may be to replace the swollen boards.
Sand the Area
Before you can start repairing the swollen laminate, it is crucial to remove as much of the moisture from the floor as possible. This can be done by mopping up any standing water and opening the windows to allow the room to dry as quickly as possible.
If the damage to your laminate flooring is merely a result of excess moisture or humidity, it may be simpler and less expensive to ventilate the room better or adjust the thermostat rather than paying for a costly floor replacement. Once you have removed as much of the excess moisture from your laminate floor, a wood filler in a color that matches the existing laminate should be applied to the surface of the damaged planks.
The key is to avoid sanding too hard as this can scratch the underlying image on your laminate flooring and make it look dull and damaged. You can also use a roller to help flatten out the swollen areas of the laminate floor, as this can reduce minor swelling and prevent it from getting worse.
Clean the Area
Before you repair the damage, remove all standing water from the floor. This will prevent moisture build-up in the future and keep your laminate floor from swellin again.
If you find any leaking pipes, make sure to fix them to stop the flow of water. It is important to find the source of incoming water because the laminate can’t resist high moisture levels and it will start swelling over time.
The best way to avoid swollen laminate is to clean up spills immediately and to vacuum or dry-mop the flooring at least weekly. This will help to prevent mud, dirt, and grit from being tracked into your home and it will also help to remove any dust or crumbs that can scratch the surface of the laminate.
Make sure you leave an expansion gap of 1/4 inch when installing the laminate so that it has room to expand and contract with the change in temperature. This will prevent your laminate from swelling and will keep the flooring looking new for years to come.
Floor Busters is happy to help with all your flooring needs.