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How to Remove Water Leak Stains from a Hardwood Floor

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Joe in Delaware is having an issue with the kitchen flooring. Tell us what’s going on.

    JOE: I have water leaking from the cabinet onto the kitchen floor. And it’s got black spots and also some black lines in the floor.

    TOM: OK.

    JOE: I’m kind of a handyman or whatever you want to call it. I thought I’d grab my sander and want to sand it right out. Well, it didn’t work.

    TOM: Right. Because it’s deep.

    JOE: It’s deep, yes. Is there something that one can use to, well, take the blackness out?

    TOM: Well, my first question is: did you fix the leak?

    JOE: Yes. Oh, I say yes.

    TOM: OK. So leak is fixed. What happens with the hardwood floor is it gets oxidized. And the staining that you’re seeing can get quite deep. It’s possible that you could maybe, using a bleach solution, lighten that oxidation up. But the problem is that it may still not match the floor that surrounds it.

    What’s the color of the finish of the floor?

    JOE: Well, I guess you would call it “white.” Yeah, it’s [kind of blond] (ph). And I – when I sand it down, the wood would also – when I got through the finish, it’s a kind of hard finish. It was also very light and I thought, “Well, I’ll just some clear polyurethane on.” And then it turned reddish on me.

    TOM: And did you sand down the entire floor or only the area where the stains …?

    JOE: No, just the area where it was black, yeah. It’s like maybe 10 inches wide and about 18 inches long or …

    TOM: Alright. Well, look, it’s going to be difficult for you to patch this. What you might want to do is have the entire floor professionally sanded. With the right equipment, you can cut through that and make sure that it all matches. If some additional staining is needed to touch it up, a floor refinisher could do that. It’s either that or buy yourself a nice throw rug and forget about it.

    JOE: Right. OK.

    TOM: Joe, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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