Waterlogged? Here's What Happens When Water Gets Into Wood!

Published August 7th, 2020 by Devteam

14,000 people in the U.S. experience emergency water damage at home or work every day. Water damage isn't to be taken lightly. 

Standing water or waterlogged wood means it's time to call a professional water restoration service. Read below to learn what water can do to you and your home.

The Effects of Water in Wood

What does waterlogged mean? Standing water and wood don't mix. When wood is saturated and filled with water, it's waterlogged.

Because wood is porous, it absorbs moisture. This is why a small spill causes wood to stain. Prolonged exposure to water causes wood to rot, weaken, crumble apart, and promote the growth of mold.  

Mold Damage

Mold is a fungus that thrives in wet environments. Waterlogged floors mean the subflooring underneath is wet and prone to mold. 

Most mold on subflooring goes undetected for long periods. The longer it goes, the more damage it does. Not only is mold terrible for wooden structures, but it damages your health as well.

Symptoms of mold sickness include:

  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Dry skin or rashes 

Symptoms vary from person to person but children, pets, the elderly, and those with respiratory problems tend to feel the effects more than others. 

Saving Your Waterlogged Floors

Depending on the size and extent of the damage, the cost to restore waterlogged floors ranges from $1,142 to $4,733. If you want to avoid damage, the best first step to take is water damage prevention.

What happens if your floors are waterlogged? Call a professional. But follow these steps to prevent further damage:

Remove Objects From Floor

Whether there's a leak or floor, remove as many items from the floor as possible, even if they're wet. Water-soaked rugs and furniture continue to damage the wood. 

If anything is wet, place it in an area where it can dry as quickly as possible without causing more floor damage. 

Soak Up As Much As Possible

You need to start soaking up and draining standing water in wood. Grab towels, rags, mops, and buckets to start soaking up water. If you have a wet vacuum, use that on larger water sources.

Because wood is porous, water is in the pores and seams of the floor but you need to prevent as much damage as possible.


Use your mop and clean rags to clean and dispose of dirt and debris. Dirt and debris store water and holds bacteria. 

Clean and pick up anything on the floor to start drying the wood.


Place a dehumidifier in the center of the room for 24 hours and then create as much airflow as possible. If the weather is permitting, open windows. Turn on ceiling fans, desk fans, and standing fans to move air through the house and over the wood flooring. 

If you want to know how to test the percentage of water in wood, perform a test with a moisture meter.

Water Damage Restoration

Waterlogged wood isn't ideal but there are preventative steps to take as well as calling a professional for water damage restoration.

If you have waterlogged wood in your home, don't hesitate to contact American Emergency and Reconstruction Services.

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