After a devastating house fire, you must save your family, belongings, and home. In the aftermath, one of your first tasks will be assessing the damage and deciding what can be repaired or replaced. Your wood floors may seem beyond repair, but you can make them look new again with the right process.
You have to note, though, that if the damage is severe, you may need to hire professionals (click here to learn more).
Here are some helpful tips before deciding if you need the help of the experts:
Inspect the floor for any structural damage.
If any boards are warped or cracked, they need to be replaced. You also have to check for water damage. If the floor is soaked, it will need to be dried before you can do any repair work. You can dry it out with fans if it’s only slightly damp.
If a large portion of your floor is affected, you may need professional services from restoration companies, such as this AZ remediation company.
Assess the type of finish on your floor.
If your floor has a polyurethane finish, it can be sanded down and refinished. If it has a wax finish, you can strip and refinish it. If it has an oil-based finish, you will need to consult a professional to see if it can be refinished.
If the damage is limited to a few boards, you can replace them with new boards that match the rest of your floor. You can buy these from most home improvement stores.
Once you have assessed the damage and decided what needs to be done, you can start the process of restoring your wood floors.
Start by removing all of the soot and debris.
You can do this with a vacuum cleaner or a broom. If the debris is caked on, you can use a damp cloth to wipe it away.
Dampen a cloth or mop to wipe down the entire surface.
Be sure to use a gentle cleanser, such as dish soap, and avoid harsh chemicals.
If the finish on your floor is damaged, you will need to sand it down before you can refinish it.
Do this with a hand sander or a power sander. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper and work your way up to fine-grit sandpaper.
Use mild detergent to scrub the floor.
Use a mild detergent to scrub any stubborn areas of dirt or grime. Do this using a soft-bristled brush. Rinse the area well afterward so that no residue is left behind. If necessary, use a mixture of vinegar and water.
Dry the floor completely.
Once you’ve cleaned the floor, dry it completely. If there’s any moisture left behind, it could cause the wood to warp or discolor. Use a fan or dehumidifier to speed up the drying process, or open your windows to help with the ventilation.
Start repairing any damage.
If there are any cracks or gouges in the floor, you can use wood filler to repair them. Be sure to match the filler to the wood’s color, so it’s not noticeable. Once the filler is dry, you can sand it down to flush with the rest of the floor.
Apply a sealant or finish.
When the floor is dry, you may apply a sealant or finish to protect it from future damage. This will also give the floor a shine and make it look new. There are a variety of finishes available, so be sure to choose one that’s right for your floors.
Contact professionals if the damage is too severe.
If the damage to your floors is too severe, you may need to hire a professional restoration company. These companies have the tools and experience to repair or replace your floors.
Be sure to get multiple estimates before hiring a company, and ask for references.