How Long Does It Take For Water To Damage Hardwood Floors?

How Long Does It Take For Water To Damage Hardwood Floors

Did you know that even the smallest amount of water could cause damage to hardwood floors? This includes stains, spillage and swelling from in-between the planks, and even rotting.

The tough fact about water damage is that it is not always noticeable right away. Therefore, it is important to know how long it takes for damage to occur so you can properly take action and salvage your floors.

Continue reading this guide to learn about how long it takes for water to damage hardwood floors and how to tell if your hardwood floors are damaged.

Does Water Damage Happen Immediately?

Cupping and Buckling Boards

Usually, it will take at least an hour or a full day for water damage to occur. If your house is affected by water damage, the three things that will develop quickly are mold growth, structural damage, and damage to your furniture or electronic appliances.

 The musty scent of mold can be detected almost immediately, your furniture may show visible damage, and your electronic devices may start to malfunction. Your wooden floors will also start to swell quickly if the water damage is severe enough.

What Was the Water Source?

You may be surprised to learn that different sources of water can lead to different types of water damage. There are four different types of water which include clean water, gray water, saltwater, and black water.

Clean Water

Clean water is the best source of water when it comes to water damage because it is the least likely to cause severe damage. Clean water comes from sinks, hoses, bathtubs, and showers.

Gray Water

Gray water comes from washing machines, dishwashers, and in some cases sinks or showers. The only chemical usually found in gray water is soap which could make repairs more difficult.


Saltwater more often than not comes from the ocean, but in some cases may come from an overflowing fish tank. Saltwater is more damaging than fresh water because it is corrosive, giving it the ability to destroy drywall and other infrastructure in your home.

Black Water

Black water derives from sewage systems and toilets that have overflown. This water source is by far the most difficult to manage because of the harmful bacterias and chemicals within it.

How Long Does Water Damage Take to Show?

Visible signs of water damage can show very quickly. If severe damage has occurred, you may notice your hardwood floors burst from the floor, sometimes even 4 to 5 inches. Your drywall may also bulge and the metal in your home may begin to tarnish.

Discoloration and Fading

When you notice immediate water damage, you will want to call a water restoration company like Power Dry Emergency Water Removal. The quicker you address the water damage, the more likely you are to prevent things like mold exposure and long-term damage to your home and belongings.

How Do I Know If My Hardwood Floors Is Water Damaged?

The most obvious sign that your hardwood floor is damaged is if you notice that the sides of the wood planks are more elevated than the center of the planks. This typically means that water has built up from underneath the planks and is pushing them up from underneath the ground.

Another thing to look out for is discoloration of the wood and nails lifting from the planks. If you notice that the floorboards are lifting up, this is also another telltale sign of water damage. You may even notice traces of mold on or under the planks.

Warped Floorboards

If you notice these evident signs of water damage to your hardwood floors, you will want to take a few important steps before the specialists arrive.

First, you will want to clean up any water off the floor as best as you can. Then, you will want to use a cleaner to disinfect the area of any bacteria.

After this, you should dry your floors with a vacuum and keep on an electric fan for at least 24 hours.

In minor cases, these steps could help the damage altogether. However, if the damage is severe, you will likely need your hardwood floors replaced.

Call Power Dry for Your Hardwood Drying 

If your hardwood floors have been impacted by water damage, you will want to hire a trusted water restoration company like Power Dry Emergency Water Removal for your hardwood drying in the Kansas City metro area.  

Since 1988, our company has been dedicated to providing fast, 24-hour services and free onsite inspections. We will provide quality services and ensure that your hardwood floors look as good as new. Give us a call today at (913) 285-8775 or contact us today with any other questions, comments, or concerns.

What Our Water Damage Customers Are Saying...

Deb K
Deb K
Gardener, KS
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This is the team to get when you have water damage! They showed up within an hour of initial call to analyze and provide plan. They immediately started service after our approval. Every day they called and checked on the drying equipment they set up. They even called Saturday to see if they could stop in on Sunday! Amazing! If you need water removal, this place should be your professionals!
Sharla S
Sharla S
Kansas City
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Power Dry came out within an hour after me calling (it was not an emergency) and provided excellent service. I was very impressed with their professionalism. Highly recommend!
David L.
David L.
Olathe, KS
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I just had a great experience with Power Dry! Their response time was incredibly fast! The work was completed much faster than I expected. Everyone I dealt with was very professional and friendly. The price for their services was more than fair. The quality of their work is great! I highly recommend using Power Dry.
Pat C
Pat C
Kansas City
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Very professional and kind during a stressful time for our family. I hope we don’t need to use their services again, but if we do we will not hesitate to have them help us out again.