How to Repair Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring continues to grow in popularity, and for good reason. It’s durable, sleek and tidy. Furthermore, it requires so much less maintenance than other types of flooring like carpet and wood.
Unfortunately, many people still remain quite uninformed as to its many nuances. Like any other type of flooring, it too comes with its own fair share of advantages and disadvantages. And it just happens that these pros and cons play a big role when it comes to repairing laminate flooring from water damage.
Nuances Of Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is technically resistant to water damage. If you spill some water on laminate flooring but promptly wipe it up, then the floor will suffer no damage. Unfortunately, the situation changes if and when flooding occurs. If and when laminate flooring becomes saturated with water, it becomes warped and damaged.
If the seams between laminate floor planks get saturated, they swell. When this occurs, your only option becomes to replace the planks with new ones. What of course makes laminate floor repair so difficult is that it’s really difficult to find perfectly matching laminate. This is why replacement is usually the recommended option.
Symptoms Of Laminate Floor Damage
So how do you know if your laminate is floor is damaged? It’s actually extraordinarily easy to detect. Just keep an eye open for some of the following types of symptoms:
- Puffy/Swollen Plank Edges
- Excessive Cupping
- Excessive Crowning
- Excessive Buckling
- Excessive Cracking
- Excessive Splitting
Unfortunately, the majority of these symptoms cannot be rectified. This means you must replace the flooring. The good news is that you don’t have to replace all of it!
Positives Of Laminate Flooring
Here’s the beautiful thing about laminate flooring — it’s composed of numerous pieces. If carpet gets really wet, then the entire carpet has to be replaced. With laminate flooring, you can just replace those boards and planks that were affected. It’s common, in fact, to discover that only some planks were damaged. So why replace everything!?
Let The Repairs Begin
Before we go on any further, we want to point out that you should speak with a professional before you begin any DIY repairs. Most restoration specialists provide absolutely free inspections. These inspections can provide you with a lot of insightful information.
Regardless, here are some basic repair tips:
Stop The Leak
Before you even think of dealing with your floors, make certain you locate and stop the leak. This usually means immediately turning off your water supply. It might also mean replacing broken pipes and whatnot. Again, you’ll want to speak to a professional, especially if you’re dealing with a leak that’s contained within your home’s walls.
Identify Damaged Plans
The next step involves identifying damaged planks. Your main goal here is to figure out which planks are so screwed up that they must be replaced.
Pry, Pry, Pry
The next thing you need to do is use a circular saw, crowbar or whatnot to pry the damaged planks loose. Note that each plank is one whole unit. This means that all components (including the baseboard) need to be pulled out.
Replace The Planks
This is the make it or break it part. Replacing a plank is not easy, especially if you have older laminate floors that may be out of style. Before you replace the planks, however, make sure you completely clean the floor underneath.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind during the repair and replacement process:
- Make sure you deal with each plank on a one-by-one basis. Avoid trying to remove multiple planks at once. They need to be removed one by one.
- Obviously, ensure that the new planks and strips match the rest of your laminate flooring. Otherwise, your floor will look quite odd.
- Consider hiring a professional to do the repair and/or replacement, especially if you are not sure of what to do.
Seeking Professional Assistance
No matter what you do, make sure you speak with a professional. It costs you nothing to get a free assessment. Plus, the professional might discover problems that didn’t even occur to you. Remember that you can only fix what you identify! And those things you don’t fix — those things you fail to identify — could wind up causing you far more problems down the road!