Discovering water lurking under your laminate flooring can trigger instant worry. Not only does this threaten the sleek look of your floors, but it also risks severe structural damage if not addressed promptly.

Whether it’s seeping from spills, leaks, or condensation, understanding how to dry laminate flooring with water under it is essential for any homeowner.

This article is crafted to guide you through effective solutions, using professional water damage cleanup techniques and DIY approaches with commercial dehumidifiers and fans.

You’ll unearth how to swiftly manage the moisture problem and explore preventative strategies to shield your floors in the future.

From identifying the signs of moisture under laminate to employing moisture detection tools, get ready to equip yourself with the knowledge to tackle this challenge head-on, ensuring the durability and beauty of your flooring remains intact.

How to dry laminate flooring with water under it

  1. Quickly remove any standing water on top of the laminate flooring using a mop or wet/dry vacuum. Mop up any water that has seeped into the seams between boards.
  2. Drill strategically placed holes through the laminate boards, aiming for knots or natural contours in the wood grain. These holes will allow you to insert drying equipment.
  3. Set up an “injected dry air system” which heats and pushes dry air pressure down through the drilled holes and under the flooring. This forces the moisture out.
  4. Drill additional “exhaust holes” in the laminate to allow the moist air to escape.
  5. Position high-volume fans to blow air across the surface of the laminate boards to further aid drying.
  6. Do not use heat to dry the laminate, as it can cause warping or shrinkage of the boards.
  7. If the water has seeped under the edges of the laminate, you may need to remove baseboards or quarter-round molding to fully dry the area.
  8. Drying can take several days to a week or more, depending on the extent of the moisture. Monitor the process and check for any mold growth.

It is important to know the material to know how to work it

Before learning how to dry laminate flooring with water under it, it is relevant that you understand the material to know where is the damage.

Laminate floors are generally made up of four layers: the backing layer, the core layer, the design layer, and the wear layer.

  • The backing layer: is the one that is touching the floor. It is a thin layer that helps level the board against the sub floor and provides protection against moisture.
  • The core layer: it is the layer with more material of the sheet. It is the set of compressed pieces (generally other pieces of wood) that give the board strength. Although very dense, it is not immune to moisture, so if it gets wet, you will lose all resistance and the piece will become unusable.
  • The design layer: it is a decorative layer located at the top. Although it may not seem like it, both ceramics and laminate floors do not have these striking patterns but are printed at the factory. Sometimes the image is made with resin.
  • The wear layer: very similar to the backing layer but at the top. Its function is to protect the design from wear and tear. This is done with transparent resin, which is why it is not visible.

The most vulnerable layers to water are the first ones, those that are lower, so, once they have been affected by leaks, the best option is to change the board.

How to dry laminate flooring with water under it before it’s too late

Water is the main of laminate floorboards

The first thing to do is simple: stop the source of the leak. It will be useless to clean your laminate floor if in a couple of months you will have to repeat the process just because the leak still exists.

Determining the source of the leak will also help you detect potential areas affected by the water. In this way, you can fix all the areas to prevent the fungus from spreading further. Homes in cities like Chicago are more prone to fungus and mildew from water damage, and it can be challenging to get rid of them. If you find an infestation of fungus or mildew, it would be best to call a Chicago water damage expert to sort out the problem.

When the leak is already located, you should do everything possible to stop the drip, and after that, worry about the floor. Only when the water no longer comes out, you will be able to continue.

Mops are the best friends in the home

Although it is true that water is not a friend of wood or the like, this does not mean that it cannot be used for cleaning. The laminate floor should be kept relatively damp, so using the mop to wash it at least once every two months is recommended.

Similarly, if you have spilled water on the floor, use a soft mop to absorb the liquid until the boards are completely dry. This is the first line of defense you have against property damage.

Minimize the water level

It is important to be completely certain that the water is no longer leaking to the floor. If not, even if it dries, it will continue to damage the laminate. This is why you must clean as much water as possible as soon as possible, and properly verify every tile that has been affected by the leak.

Wood can hold small amounts of water, but water cannot be left to rest for a long time or wood will begin to seep until swelling.

Do not leave the area unchecked

If you could determine the source of the water leakage, you could estimate which boards had been affected. It is time to use that knowledge.

You will need to do a visual, tactile, and audible check of the floor to see how severe the water damage is.

One of the best ways to check each of the boards is to step on them. Those that have been affected by water will feel different (soft or swollen). You may even hear splashes that suggest the presence of water at the bottom.

In this way, we can appreciate details that we probably do not see with the naked eye, and these are the most important. Those water spots that we do not see could be the center of a large accumulation of mold and bacteria, which if not treated will continue to grow.

Replacing the laminate floor may not be the easiest option, but it is the best

In the past, uninstalling laminate flooring could be a huge headache involving a lot of destruction work. However, new laminate floors have a great feature in their designs: they come with a locking system to make it easier to place them.

As a result, you should not be afraid to disassemble your floor if you need to remove it. Once identified all bad blocks, they must be removed one by one to avoid future problems. It should be noted that the process becomes more complex if the amount of water is very large, so in these cases, you may need professional help.

Better safe than sorry

It may seem that no, but now you know how to dry laminate flooring with water under it. Yes, unfortunately, there are not many alternatives beyond replacing the damaged parts.

That is why what you need to learn is to prevent water damage. Now that you have a new, dry laminate floor, you have to think ahead to prevent it from happening again.

One of the best ways to prevent new leaks is by sealing the plank joints. In modern tongue and groove-based formats, this simple job can even be done with silicone.

In the most extreme case, you can choose to replace (or build for the first time) a waterproof laminate floor. In this way, you will not have to worry (rarely) about water damage.

Water is not the only problem to watch out for

Image source: Floor Coverings International of West County

We must also consider other elements if we want to keep our floor clean and well kept. For example, to avoid scratches, rugs or pads on chairs and tables help. Similarly, you have to constantly check for traces of dirt such as sand, which can scratch the floor.

Although it seems that this has nothing to do with the subject, by avoiding scratches in the wood you avoid areas where moisture can grow.

Another tip to maintain the integrity of the floor is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They will always know better than anyone how to take care of the sheeting you installed.

Laminate floors are difficult to treat if you don’t know how to do it correctly, and water damage can be quite serious and dangerous. If you consider that you cannot do the job or if, on the other hand, you tried to fix it but the problem persists, it is best to contact an expert.

FAQ On How To Dry Laminate Flooring With Water Under It

What causes water to accumulate under laminate flooring?

Water intrusion under laminate often stems from spills, leaks, or high indoor humidity levels. Keeping a check on plumbing and promptly addressing spills can minimize risk.

How quickly should I react to water under my laminate flooring?

Immediate action is crucial. The longer water sits, the higher the risk of damage and mold growth. Aim to start drying within 24 to 48 hours.

What are the first steps to take when you discover water under laminate flooring?

Begin by locating and stopping the source of the water. Next, remove any standing water using a wet vacuum or towels. This helps mitigate further damage.

Can I dry laminate flooring by myself, or should I call professionals?

For minor dampness, DIY methods like using dehumidifiers and fans might suffice. However, extensive water damage typically requires professional water damage restoration services.

What tools are effective in drying laminate flooring?

Commercial dehumidifiers, air movers, and water extraction tools are highly effective. For DIY fixes, standard fans and dehumidifiers can also be beneficial in circulating air and reducing moisture.

How do I check if all moisture has been successfully removed?

Moisture meters are invaluable here. They assess the moisture level under the laminate and in the subflooring to ensure everything is thoroughly dry.

Is it possible to salvage laminate flooring that has water damage?

It depends on the extent of the damage. Swollen or warped planks are often beyond repair. However, if caught early, some sections can be dried and saved.

What long-term issues can arise from water under laminate flooring?

Unresolved moisture can lead to mold growth, unpleasant odors, and structural damage to your subfloor. Always ensure complete drying to prevent these issues.

How can I prevent future water damage to laminate flooring?

Consider installing a moisture barrier under your laminate flooring and maintain good room ventilation. Regularly inspect for leaks and address spills immediately.

What should I do if mold develops after drying out the laminate?

Mold requires professional remediation. If you spot mold, it’s crucial to call in mold prevention specialists to handle the cleanup and ensure that the area is safe and thoroughly treated.


Tackling the challenge of how to dry laminate flooring with water under it involves swift action and strategic methods to protect your living space’s aesthetics and integrity. By harnessing tools like commercial dehumidifiers and moisture detection equipment, homeowners can effectively mitigate the threat of prolonged damage and promote rapid recovery.

In conclusion, addressing water under laminate flooring doesn’t just stop with drying. Implementing preventive measures such as robust moisture barriers and ensuring regular maintenance, including humidity control, are essential steps to safeguard your flooring from future incidents. Remember, the key lies in prompt action and a thorough approach—be well-prepared to handle such scenarios and minimize their impacts effectively.

For severe cases, never hesitate to engage professional water damage restoration services to ensure a comprehensive and safe resolution to water damage woes. Your home is a valuable asset—protecting its components ensures its longevity and your peace of mind.

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