Water damage is one of the most common problems our French polishers come across. The effects of water damage can vary, from unsightly discolouration and mildew to the warping and separating of wood. Although there are treatment options, it is much easier to prevent the damage in the first place. Our professional French polishers have put together these tips to help you avoid water damage to your woodwork.
1. Get to know the wood’s surroundings. First, check that there are no existing leaks around your wood. Remember to check the foundation if you have wood floors, because water can seep up through cracks and damage the floorboards from below. Keep wooden furniture away from water heaters and appliances that produce steam, including kettles and stove tops. Make sure to regularly examine the area to catch any leaks before they turn into disasters.
2. Know the signs. Water damage causes several visible changes to wood, including dry rot, discolouration, mildew, mould, cracking, splitting, warping and twisting of wood. The type of damage will depend on the wood, its previous treatment and how long it was in contact with water. Examine your wood on a regular basis to catch any signs early on so the wood can be saved as quickly as possible.
3. Protect your indoor wood with the right sealant. Usually wood found on floors, doors and furniture will already have a protective sealant, but many people forget to maintain it. Wax-sealed floors should be stripped and re-waxed by professional French polishers on an annual basis for the best protection. Water-based Polyurethane seals generally need attention every 5 years, while oil-based poly can last for up to 10 years.
4. Use hard wood outdoors. Some wood has a better natural defence against water damage and should be used on wood located outside. Cedar is a popular option to use outdoors because it contains natural resins that make it more resistant to moisture. Tropical hardwoods like Ipe are expensive, but because they are extremely dense, they are highly resistant to water damage and can be worth the cost. Make sure to use a seal, stain, or paint that is specifically designed for outdoor wood to help give it that extra protection against water and moisture.
5. Be prepared for disaster. Unfortunately sometimes Mother Nature has a mind of her own and a flood or burst pipe can occur even if you have taken all the right precautions. If this does happen, it is always important to tend to the wood as soon as possible to reduce the amount of water damage. Make sure to remove all the water and dry the wood using a clean cloth. It is better to blot the wood because scrubbing can push the moisture into the grain. Make sure to check any metal handles for trapped water. Use a fan or dehumidifier to remove extra moisture in the air and wood, and reduce the temperature to below 20 degrees Celsius to help minimize mould growth.
Once you have dried the wood as much as you can, try to contact a team of French polishers so they can come have a look at the wood. They’ll be able to tell you if there is any damage that you may not see, or if there are any other measures that can be taken to fix the wood.
French polishers can help restore your damaged wood
Our French polishers at Terry Waters French Polishing can help you protect your wood from water damage, so why not contact us today on 01827 874 535. Or just fill in our contact form, or email Terry Waters French Polishing