How to Repair Your Home when Water Damage Occurs

Learn how to act fast and fix water damage in your home before mold and mildew strip away at your hard earned investment!


Photo: Real Fit House Wife

Water damage to your home or your furnishings, major long-term investments in your home,  can be a devastating time and can be residual if not caught soon enough. There are different types of water damage, and you need to act fast before more damage happens. When water damage occurs you only have one to two days before mold and mildew set in and other damage starts to strip away your hard earned investment.

Wood Restoration Ideas from Water Damage

Restoring wood from water damage can be one of the simpler things to do and also can make you feel like you are about to have heart failure as you figure out how to bring a favorite piece of furniture back to life. Wood damage can range from years of water circles from continuous drinks being put on the wood to major wood damage that might need some type of filler.

Natural Restoration Approach

Before going into the heavy duty stains and wood moisturizers to bring out the original beauty; there are other natural approaches to restoring wood such as coconut oil, canola oil, and vinegar.

Coconut oil brings out the original wood appearance by simply hydrating the wood and bringing the original color back. Using vinegar is another approach, as you can scrub in with a wire brush to bring on a natural stain. For help on minor scratches, a mixture of 75% canola oil and 25% vinegar will restore your wood to a natural finish.  

Using Filler for Major Damage

When wood has heavier damage, it requires heavier products and labor to fix the abnormalities in the wood. If the damage is large enough, it might require a Bondo filler, typically used for auto body repair, that you can spread on to the wood.  Once the filler is spread evenly, then you need to  sand and then stain or paint the surface to cover up the filler.  

Stripping the Wood Down

When working with a piece of wood that you know is beautiful on the inside but has had its fair share of abuse and layers of paint; it might be a good idea to get back to the original shine it once had in the past.

In order to get the original finish, there are basically two approaches you can use to strip the wood. For a lighter approach, using different grades of sandpaper can take away many years of neglect, while heavier and multiple coats of primer and paint might need a heady duty paint stripper in order to chip away those years of layered paint.

If none of these DIY approaches work, you may  need to call in a professional wood restorer.

Prevention and What Do When Water Damage Happens

As we now know what to do to help refinish and make wood healthy again from water damage. A more serious problem occurs when you have water damage from a storm or accident. You need to have an approach to make sure water damage does not reoccur or cause more damage than needed. Here are the basic steps to take:

– Stop the main water source

– Check to see  if water damage would be covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

– Dry, dry, dry your house as soon as possible before 24 to 48 hours to stop mold growth. As the site RestorationElite states ” water in your home can cause expensive damage and can even lead to hazardous mold.”

– Call a plumber who offers assistance 24 hrs/7days a week for immediate help and emergency service.

– Have the plumber inspect the suspected area to document damage and establish  baseline. The site PlumbingFix states, “Using a video inspection we can show you proof of the problem before any further work is done.”

Make sure that you understand the source of water, which may be polluted from sources such as the chemicals and contaminants found in groundwater.

– Clean water sources such as a leaking bathtub line or dishwater is normally not polluted

– Toilet water or from the toilet or water that might have been sitting around for a while might be slightly contaminated.

– Heavily contaminated water would be from a sewage line or have chemicals or pesticides. This water can be very dangerous and needs to be handled by a professional.

While  you may be able to handle minor  jobs to restore woods and clean up after  water damage, you should call in professional help to prevent bigger problems.