Sanitizing wood floors


Old 05-23-02, 10:36 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Sanitizing wood floors

We recently had a sewage backup in our house. It not only effected our basement but also our first floor, which is mostly wood flooring. I need to find a way to sanitize the wood floors while we work with the insurance company (if covered) to fix them. I used Clorox everywhere except the wood flooring. Not all the flooring was covered with sewage (2 rooms) but I need some way of sanitizing “all wood flooring in the house”. I am very concerned with the health issues this presents to my family.
Any advice is greatly appreciated,
Sponsored Links
Old 05-23-02, 02:55 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,818
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Floors and walls: Remove sludge as quickly as possible
For floors and walls, the key is to remove water and sludge as quickly as possible, then disinfect with spray-on deodorizers, fungicides and mildew inhibitors, available at hardware stores and cleaning service companies.
Mickey Moore, technical director of the National Oak Flooring Association, says: ''All woods will succumb to flooding. It just depends on how quickly the problem is addressed and remedies are begun.''

Adds Michael McSwain, vice president of McSwain Hardwood Flooring Co. in Evendale: ''Wood and water just don't mix.'' Narrower boards and sealed, finished floors have the most protection and the best chance of surviving permanent damage from water, but saturated subfloors and insulation can complicate matters by holding moisture for long periods of time.

When the mud is gone, dry out wood floors by turning the furnace fan on (so that it runs constantly), the humidifier off and the thermostat to 76-80 degrees, Mr. Moore suggests.

''From there, it's a waiting game,'' he says. Some floors can take weeks to flatten and stabilize.

An electric blanket on low setting can help dry a wood floor, Mr. McSwain says.

When the floor is dry, inspect it for loose pieces and reattach them with screws and/or nails.

For subsequent hardwood cleaning, use white vinegar and water in a 1:16 ratio.

Wallboard soaked with contaminated water is considered a health hazard and should be discarded. Plaster walls survive floodwater better than wallboard, but it takes a long time to dry. Studs inside the wall will hold bacteria, but they will not come into human contact after they are covered with new drywall or other surfacing materials.

For walls filled with water, drill a hole about 2 inches above the floor, large enough to allow water to drain freely.

Wet fiberglass batts and loose cellulose insulation should be discarded. Styrofoam insulation can be hosed off and reused.

For more help on hardwood, call the Hardwood Manufacturers Association, 1-800-373-9663, or visit its Web site at

-Pulfer, Mike. SURVIVAL GUIDE for flood victims. 08 March 1997. Retrieved 23 May 2002.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: