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Cincinnati Water Damage: Article About Salvaging Wood Features After A Flood

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When a historic home is flooded, the results are devastating because irreplaceable features are severely damaged or ruined. Hiring a reputable Cincinnati water damage company that is dedicated to preserving the history of these homes will ensure these features aren't replaced unless absolutely necessary.

In the event of a flood, wood floors and trim are often the most damaged because they're submerged under the water for an extended period of time. Wood will naturally warp when it gets wet, but whether it returns to its original shape depends on the type of wood it is and how well it dries out. Wood trim may or may not go back to its original shape, but if the actual wood grain was damaged, it will need to be replaced. Baseboards and the trim surrounding doors, windows and ceilings will typically survive submersion because the wood fibers are able to freely expand without being crushed. Even if these pieces are warped, they should never be removed until they're fully dry to see if they're going to return to their original shape.

Tongue and groove hardwood floors probably won't go back to their original shape.

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This is devastating in terms of historic preservation because these types of floors are very characteristic to older homes. When the wood expands, the grain is crushed because the floor boards don't have room to expand. Tongue and groove floors will cup when they're saturated, but they shouldn't be replaced until they've thoroughly dried. Cupping isn't an immediate death sentence. Floors without interlocking boards will most likely return to their original shape because they are able to expand and contract without being damaged. The boards will need to be dried thoroughly, resanded and renailed if the fixtures came loose, but they stand a great chance of surviving unscathed.

Most older homes have panel doors that should be protected when possible. These doors add unique character to the property, and they survive a flood very well. They should always be allowed to dry in place and left open so they will expand and contract with the doorframe and receive extra ventilation for faster drying. No repairs or planing should be performed until the wood is completely dry.

Wood is a sturdy material, and, with careful care, it can survive the ravages of a flood. Reputable companies should be hired for water damage remediation to ensure the home's wooden treasures are kept intact when possible.

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