Water damage on a wood floor--hurry, it's still damp!
September 3, 2006 6:23 PM   Subscribe

I just discovered a bottle of water has leaked onto my hardwood floor. What can I do to minimize the damage while the floor is still damp?

Some details: the water was about 8 oz. of San Pellegrino from an apparently busted screw cap. It dripped over the last 30 hours or so. The floor is a small parquet hardwood. I have cleaned up the surface water but some of it has seeped into the cracks and is darkening the wood.

Short term, what do I do to pull as much water as possible away from the wood as it dries? Long term, what can I do to minimize any discoloration?
posted by werty to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wouldn't newspaper or a towel wick up a lot of the water? Although, I'm not sure how much damage 8 measley ounces of water can do to your floor. If you're talking 8 gallons, then I'd be worried.
posted by NoMich at 6:56 PM on September 3, 2006

Dump a whole newspaper on top of it and leave it alone for 24 hours.
posted by flabdablet at 6:58 PM on September 3, 2006

Response by poster: Newspaper: done. NoMich, the parquet floor is comprised of 6" x 1" slats, so it darkened the edges pretty noticeably. Given the small amount of water, I expect it to lift pretty thoroughly; I just blanked on the best way to do it.
posted by werty at 7:13 PM on September 3, 2006

the water was about 8 oz. ...

Wipe up the excess and ignore it. You couldn't possibly damage anything with that small amount of water.

Now, if it were 8 oz per day, every day, you'd have something to be concerned about...
posted by frogan at 8:45 PM on September 3, 2006

About 8 oz of bug spray siphoned out of the spray bottle onto my hardwood floor while I was out of town. That area is bleached out and black along the edges, so yes, as little as 8 oz can do damage.

I suggest some neutral powder (talc?) sifted in there and vacuumed out a couple times.
posted by notsnot at 9:45 PM on September 3, 2006

Newspaper absorbs well but can leave black marks from the print. Probably your floor is already dry, but just for future searchers: I would use paper towels or *unprinted* newspaper-type paper.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:38 PM on September 3, 2006

Kitty litter. Seriously. The finer the better to get into that crack. Let it soak up and then vac it up.
posted by Gungho at 6:10 AM on September 4, 2006

I'd be concerned that the kitty litter granules would get too heavy with water to vacuum up. Kitty litter does do an amazing job of soaking things up though, as atested by my garage floor that got gasoline dumped on it when I was working on my motorsickle. I let it sit for a solid 24 hours, it soaked up most of the gasoline, but when I swept it up, it was very heavy. Now that I think about it, gasoline could be much heavier than water?
posted by NoMich at 6:28 AM on September 4, 2006

Oh yeah, my concern is related to the granules that go down into the cracks.
posted by NoMich at 6:29 AM on September 4, 2006

Response by poster: Update: two and a half days of rotating newsprint soaked up nearly all the water. There is a hint of staining but nothing a revarnishing (which we're planning at some point) won't repair. Thanks for the tips.
posted by werty at 5:05 AM on September 6, 2006

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