Common causes of water damage to bamboo flooring

bamboo flooring

Let me tell you, whether it’s the solid wood flooring you’re familiar with or a wide variety of tiles, there’s no escaping the water clutches. No matter how strong the material is, as long as it touches water, it may suffer damage. Especially for bamboo products, the penetration of water will not only damage its aesthetics, but it is more likely to lead to the structure of the loosening and may even lead to serious safety hazards.

However, bamboo’s moisture resistance is far beyond our imagination, and its ability to resist water even exceeds that of most solid wood flooring. However, like wood, bamboo is highly hygroscopic, so when it comes into contact with water, it will begin to absorb moisture, leading to volume expansion. In this case, the excess water can cause permanent damage to the bamboo flooring.

According to our years of practical experience, water penetration is one of the leading causes of damage to bamboo flooring. To avoid this situation, we decided to share our experience in the hope that we can help more people avoid the financial loss and life disturbance caused by water damage.

So, what exactly are the factors that lead to water damage to bamboo flooring? First, moisture in the subfloor is a big trigger for water damage. During the construction process, if the underlying concrete subfloor fails to dry sufficiently, the moisture will gradually spread from the outside to the inside during the gradual drying process of the concrete. As a result, although the surface of the concrete appears to be dry, a large amount of moisture still exists inside.

Secondly, due to tight construction schedules, some construction projects cannot allow sufficient drying time for concrete, which is also a major cause of flooding. In addition, poor waterproofing allows moisture to intrude from the outside, which is also a major cause of frequent flooding.

To address this issue, we recommend that you always ask your flooring installation team to test the moisture content of the concrete before installing the flooring. This can be done with the help of an accurate and calibrated moisture meter. This instrument should have a calibration option for concrete to accurately identify excess moisture in the slab (ideally, the slab should contain less than 5% moisture), giving us enough time to take remedial action to prevent flooding.

In addition to this, we also need to pay attention to the humidity conditions at external access points. Another common cause of water damage is moisture penetrating underneath floors through doorways and other access points (e.g., wood floors near bathrooms or kitchens).

It’s also worth noting that bathtub overflows (i.e., forgetting to turn off the water after a shower) and ruptured pipes in the dishwasher or washing machine are common causes of water damage. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you adequately waterproof all access points (especially between common areas in the kitchen and bathroom) to ensure no moisture penetration occurs underneath your bamboo flooring.

Finally, we would also like to remind you that the importance of a moisture barrier should not be overlooked when installing bamboo flooring. Most subfloors are made of concrete, which is also highly hygroscopic – it both absorbs and releases moisture. Therefore, if the subfloor is left wet for an extended period, it will absorb much moisture. Because of this, we strongly recommend applying a vapor barrier between the subfloor and the floor.

In conclusion, preventing water damage to bamboo flooring requires a multifaceted approach. By considering all possible risk factors and taking targeted protective measures, we can maximize the safety of our homes and property.

Read More: Bamboo flooring is different from hardwood flooring.

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