Wood floors are averse to water. Any standing water on wood floors is a disaster waiting to happen. Urgent action is required to prevent further damage and to curb mildew and mold growth. Wood floors have various access points where water can penetrate through: cracks in top coating, between seams, through heating registers and under baseboards.
On getting wet, wood swells and cupping occurs. Cupping is simple to notice: the sides of the boards will be higher than the center forming a concave. Most of the time, cupping indicates that the flooring needs replacement.
You should immediately get rid of all the standing water and then proceed to clear any dirt that remains. A shop vacuum is an ideal tool for this task. Towels, squeegees and mops can all be effective depending on the area affected.
After removing the majority of the standing water from the baseboard, floor or other woodwork, firmly scour the area using a broom or a dry brush to detach any debris or dirt that is left over.
After scrubbing, the wood floors must be cleaned and then sanitized before drying the wood begins. There are various safe cleansing agents that you can choose from; TSP All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner is available online, is cheap and can be found at any local home improvement store.
Desist from using steam cleaners, wax or soap-based cleaners to sanitize your hardwood flooring.
The Drying Process
Even after getting rid of water on the floor, a substantial amount of moisture remains to do damage. For drying, you will require a professional-grade dehumidifier. A personal use one will not be enough.
A professional-grade dehumidifier is rarely owned by most people. You will have to do some searching or opt to rent one.
After getting the dehumidifier set it at the core of the affected section. Let it run uninterrupted for not less than 24 hours.
Also, position several fans around to stimulate air flow and support this process. The fans should be directed towards the floor and rotated around. Turn on your central AC if you have one.
Depending on the conditions outside you can open the doors and windows. Remember, your objective is to dehumidify. If the humidity is low outside fully open the windows. If otherwise just slightly open them.