Yesterday, I accidentally left the window open while it was raining heavily. Some rain poured in for a while (maybe a half-hour or so) before I noticed. After I had wiped off the floor, some dark areas remained in the vicinity of the seams between the planks. Since then, most of these dark areas have dried up and returned to their original color, but some still remain, close to the wall (see pictures below)

Image 1

Image 2

These dark areas seem to dry up extremely slowly (I guess they are a sign of trapped water, and not permanent discolouration). I guess they will dry up in due time, even if it might take a very long time, but I've read that mold growth can initiate in as little as 72 hours, which makes me a bit worried.

What should I do, just leave it and wait for it to dry up? Call a professional? (I'd rather not, of course). Take measures on my own?

  • 1
    By the way, these look like they might not be laminate floors. The way water has wicked into the ends, they look like wood with a poly or varnish finish.
    – bib
    Jul 29, 2012 at 20:14

3 Answers 3


The most common approach to dealing with flooded surfaces is to blow air across them. The constantly changing air absorbs moisture. Commercial companies use very high volume fans, but any fan should help. If you can exhaust the air from the room, the moisture level in the air should drop and more water will be absorbed from the floor.

Use of a dehumidifier would also speed up the drying.

While it is temping to use heat, there is a risk that the heat or the steamy water it generates may compromise the finish on the floor.

  • Thanks, I'll try that! Is it important that I aim the fan towards a window or the door so as to create circulation across the apartment, or shall I just let it blow across the water damaged areas no matter the direction of the air stream?
    – andreasdr
    Jul 29, 2012 at 18:56
  • 1
    Blow across the water soaked section so that the air can move away from the area as it picks up moisture. That way fresh air with lower moisture content keeps coming into contact with the wet area. Venting the whole area/apartment is also good.
    – bib
    Jul 29, 2012 at 19:53

If after drying, you are left with a stain (which you probably will), it is going to require a bit more work if you want to remove the stain.

You are going to have to remove the finish above the stain, remove the stain, then refinish the area or re-stain and refinish the area.

Mask around the stain Remove the finish covering the stain, sandpaper is fine. Use oxalic acid to remove the stain (following all directions on the package) after the stain is gone, re stain and or refinish the spot.


This answer comes a few years late for Andrea, but given the question (and answers) have received many views I thought I would chime in. Although I'm not certain Andrea's floors were laminate, if they were they would not be able to be properly dried out if they sustained water damage. Laminate flooring is a synthetic floor that uses a paper like product on the top surface. When that gets wet, it's ruined. So if others are reading this thread and are certain you have sustained water damage to your laminate floors, you're probably looking at having to replace that section of flooring.

But just as important is understanding that if the water sat for any time at all, it probably traveled through the floor itself into the sub-floor (and even into and up the drywall). Most people assume the only affected area is that which they can see, and that's usually a poor assumption that leads them to take corrective measures that don't address the underlying moisture problems. That's when you get black mold. It's always a good idea to have a certified water mitigation technician come out and do a moisture assessment to see where the water has traveled. If they are reputable they aren't going to charge you for the assessment and at a minimum you will have a better idea of what you're up against.

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