Guide to Repairing Water Damaged Wood in Commercial Properties

wood damage due to water

For most businesses, building a suitable office space is the second most important and expensive company investment – with employees being the first. Mindful planning is crucial to employee productivity. Moreover, your office space serves as the face of your operation. Most visitors, potential clients included, would pass judgment on the type of company you run based solely on the look of your office. 

Maintenance should be part of your priorities as a business owner. Unfortunately, despite due diligence, damage from wear and tear does happen. Water damage especially on wood surfaces is one major concern that most office managers and owners dread. Thankfully, a leak, even a big one, isn’t the end of the world. There are ways to mitigate the damage and minimize its effect on the integrity of the office.  

This article explores wood water damage including major causes, best practices to prevent this type of damage, DIY cleaning products you might need, as well as, steps you need to take when you discover a leak in your office. 

Common Causes of Water Damage

Water damage can be disastrous for many businesses. Especially for operations that keep inventory in-store, a simple leak can wreak havoc on the bottom line. That said, knowing the main causes of wood water damage is key to preventing this concern altogether. 

Exposure to the Elements

Water damage occurs in most commercial buildings due to a damaged window or door. Lapses in proper sealing might seem innocuous, but even a tiny crack amidst a thunderstorm can cause severe damage to your office. Exposure to elements is the most likely way wood can be damaged. 

Damaged Pipes

Like the building itself, pipes degrade with age. Unfortunately, unlike external features of a structure, the integrity of the pipes is often not atop the priority list. After all, out of sight, out of mind. The older the pipes are the more likely they are to leak. There are several tell-tale signs of damaged pipes. These include bulging walls, cracked tiles, as well as a noticeable musty odor. 

Natural Disasters

Severe weather conditions can affect your office in a lot of ways. This includes the possibility of wood water damage. No one can prevent these natural disasters. However, there are ways to minimize the effects of the occurrences on your commercial property. 

HVAC Problems

A working HVAC system is crucial to the productivity of your employees. An office too hot or too cold can render your employees uninspired and uncomfortable. That said, a damaged HVAC system can cause water damage through leaks and too much condensation. 

The Effects of Water on Different Types of Wood 

Like commercial cleaning, not all wood is created equal. Different types of wood react differently to exposure to water. 


As the name suggests, hardwood is the hardiest of woods. Nevertheless, this type of surface can show damage through stains and discoloration. Once a floorboard lifts, there is pretty much no turning back from having to repair your office’s entire flooring. 


In an office setting, particle boards are often found in desks and chairs. They are lightweight and are often treated with a water-resistant coating. When particleboard is exposed to water damage, it sags and becomes more malleable. 


Plywood is made up of thin pieces of wood glued together. If they are exposed to the elements, these pieces of wood unravel and fall apart. 

Preventing Wood Water Damage

When it comes to water damage, it is better to err on the side of safety. Below are things that you can do for your office in order to minimize the chances of water damage from happening: 

Check Your Plumbing

plumbing to prevent water damage in wood

As discussed earlier, faulty plumbing is a common root cause of water damage. Being on top of your building’s pipe situation and listing down critical must-check items during commercial plumbing inspections are two things that you can do to lessen the chances of water damage from happening. 

Seal Cracks and Gaps

Any cracks and gaps in all the openings in your office must be addressed no matter the size or scale. It doesn’t matter how small a hole is because any type of opening can cause water damage in an office space. Again, best to be on the safe side. 

Inspect Gutters 

With enough pressure, water can get through the tiniest of crevices in between walls. A thunderstorm and a clogged gutter are a recipe for disaster. Make sure that your office gutters are always clean and free from debris. 

What to Do When Wood is Damaged

Accidents happen. Sometimes, even with the utmost diligence, certain circumstances such as flooding cannot be prevented: 

Tackle the Flowing Water

The first step in addressing wood water damage is to stop the leak. Especially if it involves your building’s pipes, inform your building manager and have them cut off the water supply to your space. This way your office would not incur any more damage than it already has. 

Take Care of Accumulated Water

Once the leak has been spotted, it is time to take care of the accumulated water. At the end of the day, you would want your office to reach a measure of quality cleaning that is at par with professionals. This step takes a lot of hard work as most regular vacuums do not work on wet carpets. 

Air Out the Office

 No one likes a musty-smelling office. Unfortunately, water damage, especially on wood, can stink up your office. To address this problem, air out your space and open all windows and doors. Keep them open for at least a day to aid the drying process. 

Keeping your office clean and well-maintained is vital to making a good impression. Water damage, wood or otherwise, simply isn’t what a beautiful office makes. With the tips and tricks above, we are certain that you no longer have to deal with your water damage woes. For more information about plumbing, water damage, and any other commercial maintenance concern, contact us today to learn more about how our commercial cleaning services can bolster your office maintenance process.