How Water Affects Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring can last for generations, but one of its biggest nemeses is water. Water can have disastrous effects on hardwood flooring, which is why protecting it as much as possible is essential. You can reduce the risk of water damage on your hardwood flooring by cleaning it regularly in order to preserve the finish and making sure you use a cleaner that is made specifically for hardwood. Here is a look at some of the potential effects that can happen when hardwood floors are exposed to water.


Cupping occurs when the planks of hardwood floors are higher on the edges than they are in the middle. A small amount of cupping is natural with wood floors in response to humidity. However, serious cupping can indicate that significant water damage has occurred. Minor cases of cupping sometimes disappear on their own when the wood dries out. If more major cupping is an issue, then it may be necessary to use extractor fans to remove moisture from the wood. If this can be done effectively, then the cupping should go away.

Cracks Between Boards

Cracks between boards are another natural occurrence with wood floors. The boards expand and contract in response to moisture in the air, so it’s not unusual to sometimes see some spaces. However, large spaces can appear in the wake of water damage. Natural cracks will close on their own as moisture levels change, but large cracks that are the result of water damage often need to be repaired.


If your floor is exposed to a significant amount of water, such as during a flood, then buckling can happen. When hardwood floors buckle, they pull away from the subflooring and can rise several inches. If the floor can be adequately dried, it may be possible to repair a buckled floor instead of repairing it.

Are you considering new flooring for your home? Let Broadway Carpet & Flooring Co. explain the ins and outs of all of our options so you can pick the best fit for your space. Get more information about flooring in Tucson by dialing (520) 296-8533.

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