Image Source: AA Floors
For many homeowners, laminate flooring is the best option due to its long life, low cost, and low maintenance requirements. Water damage, humidity, and temperature variations may all cause laminate flooring to expand and become damaged over time. In addition to being ugly, laminate flooring that has swelled may be dangerous.
Repair swollen laminate flooring immediately to prevent further damage and preserve the floor’s safety features. Having to replace the whole floor may seem like the only option, but this is an expensive and time-consuming project. Swollen laminate flooring may seem irreparable, but it can be fixed with the appropriate advice and methods.
If you have bloated laminate flooring, this article will provide you the information you need to fix it without having to replace it. You may save both time and money by refinishing your laminate flooring using the instructions provided in this article.
Water damage, humidity and temperature fluctuations, improper installation, and wear and tear are only few of the causes of swollen laminate flooring. Let’s investigate these root reasons further:
Causes of Swollen Laminate Flooring
Most cases of laminate flooring swelling may be traced back to water damage. The laminate boards expand and bend as water penetrates them. This may occur as a result of a broken appliance, a burst pipe, or even a flood. Water damage may promote mold and mildew development, which can be harmful to your health if not handled soon.
Humidity and temperature fluctuations:
Laminate flooring may expand and contract in response to changes in relative humidity and temperature. Because of its multilayer construction, laminate flooring may expand and contract in response to variations in humidity and temperature. The flooring may buckle if it expands and pushes against walls or other obstructions.
Laminate flooring swelling may also be caused by poor installation. Uneven pressure from below might cause the subfloor to bulge if the flooring is not laid properly and leaves gaps between the boards.
Wear and Tear:
Laminate flooring is susceptible to wear and tear, such as scratches and chips, over time. This may cause the laminate’s protective layer to become weakened, leaving it susceptible to swelling.
It is crucial to evaluate the damage to swelling laminate flooring before deciding on a repair strategy. Here are the measures used to evaluate the damage:
A. Locating the Inflamed Regions:
The first step is to pinpoint the exact locations of the bloated laminate flooring. Check for buckling or warping in the planks since these are telltale symptoms of expansion. Check the subfloor and underlayment with a moisture meter to ensure they are dry.
B. Mold and mildew inspection:
Mold and mildew development should be checked for after any water damage has occurred. Before attempting to fix the laminate flooring, you should address them, since they may provide health risks. Check for discoloration and musty scents as indicators of mold growth; if you find any, consider calling a mold treatment agency.
C. Assessing the extend of the damage
After finding the sources of the swelling and eliminating the possibility of mold growth, you may assess the damage. If the swelling is contained to a small area, individual planks may be salvageable. It may be essential to replace the whole floor if the swelling is extensive.
It’s important to assess the damage and root cause of the swelling before deciding how to fix the laminate flooring. In case your laminate flooring has become bloated, consider these solutions:
Dehumidifying the afflicted region:
If the region of swelling is minor and the cause is water damage, you may be able to fix it by drying it off. Excessive humidity may be reduced with the use of fans or dehumidifiers. The laminate flooring may regain its normal form after the area has dried fully.
You may just need to replace the affected planks if the swelling is localized to only a few of them. If the swelling boards can be lifted from the edges without damaging the surrounding planks, do so. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for laying new planks of the same kind, color, and pattern.
Reducing puffy corners:
The margins of the laminate boards may bulge and raise or buckle in certain instances. Carefully trimming the bloated edges and creating a flat surface may be done with a sharp utility knife or laminate flooring repair kit. Before doing any repairs, make sure the area is clean and dry.
Using a laminate flooring repair kit:
Swollen laminate flooring may be fixed with the use of a laminate flooring repair kit, which comes with the necessary tools and steps to take. Filler material, a putty knife, and a color-matching guide are common components of these kits.
Seeking the Advice of Experts:
Seek expert assistance if the swelling is severe or if you lack confidence in your ability to make the necessary repairs yourself. The best course of action may be determined when a professional flooring contractor inspects the damage. This may include replacing bigger sections of laminate flooring or fixing underlying concerns like underfloor dampness.
Take Note: It’s worth noting that it’s not always feasible to repair swollen laminate flooring, and that in certain circumstances it may be more cost-effective to replace the whole floor. In order to avoid further damage, it is also important to treat the underlying source of the swelling, such as repairing leaks or dealing with humidity concerns. If you are unclear how to correctly repair swollen laminate flooring, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines or speak with an expert.
Prevention and Maintenance
If you want to preserve your laminate flooring in excellent condition and avoid problems like swelling boards, prevention and maintenance are essential. Some preventative and maintenance measures for laminate flooring are as follows:
A. Repairing the effects of water and humidity:
Laminate flooring that has swelled for any reason is often the result of water damage. Avoid letting water sit on your flooring for long periods of time and mop up any accidents right once to reduce the risk of water damage. Use a dehumidifier or increase ventilation in damp places like the bathroom or kitchen if necessary to deal with excessive humidity.
B. Setup that works:
Laminate flooring may expand if not installed correctly. Before installing the flooring, it is important to acclimate it to the room’s temperature and humidity as per the manufacturer’s specifications. The right underlayment must be used, and the flooring must have enough of room around the perimeter for expansion.
C. Upkeep and cleaning on a regular basis:
In addition to extending the life of your laminate flooring, regular care and cleaning may help avoid problems like swelling. Keep your floors clean by sweeping or vacuuming away dust and grime on a regular basis, and mopping up any spills as soon as they occur. The protective coating on your floors might be scratched by employing abrasive cleansers or wax-based solutions. You could also think about protecting your furniture with felt pads to avoid dings and scratches.
Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs
What causes swelling in laminate flooring and how can I fix it?
The appearance of laminate flooring that has been swollen might be uneven, with bumps and gaps between the planks. The texture might also be rather spongy or soft.
Should I avoid walking on the swollen laminate flooring?
Tripping hazards may be created while walking over swelling laminate flooring due to the boards shifting or coming loose. If you can help it, wait for the damage to be fixed before stepping on the damaged areas.
What tools do I need to repair swollen laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring that has expanded due to moisture may need a circular saw, utility knife, hammer, chisel, putty knife, pry bar, epoxy or laminate floor repair kit, and sandpaper for repair.
Should I try to fix my swollen laminate flooring with wood filler?
Repairing swelling laminate flooring using wood filler is not suggested. When repairing laminate floors, an epoxy or laminate floor repair kit is your best bet.
How can I prevent my laminate flooring from swelling in the future?
Water damage and humidity problems, improper installation, and routine maintenance (such as mopping with a wet mop and preventing excessive moisture) may all contribute to future expansion of laminate flooring.
It’s not usually necessary to completely replace laminate flooring that has expanded due to moisture. Finding out what’s causing the swelling and how bad the damage is can help you figure out how to fix it in the most efficient way possible. Swollen laminate flooring may be repaired in a number of ways, including by removing the damaged planks and replacing them with new ones, or by patching the damaged areas using epoxy or a laminate floor repair kit.
However, prevention is vital, and fixing water damage, making sure the floor is installed correctly, and performing routine maintenance may all help prevent problems like swelling planks from occurring in the first place. Follow our advice and your laminate flooring will continue to look and perform like new for years to come.
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Written By: Trisha Mae Raymundo