How To Replace Water Damaged Baseboards

When there is flooding, a burst pipe or a leak within the walls, your baseboard is often the first thing to get damaged. Swelling in the baseboard can cause it to warp and separate from the wall. Also, the MDF (medium density fiberboard) that molding is usually made out of is extremely susceptible to water damage. In most cases it will need to be fully removed and replaced. This article explains how to replace water damaged baseboards.

Removing the Old Baseboard

You do not need to remove the entire piece of baseboard, if only a small part is damaged. First, you need to cut out and remove the damaged part of the baseboard. Removing the baseboard that is already attached to the walls is difficult if you don't have the right tools. The easiest way to do it is to use a hammer and sharp chisels. Mark a vertical line where you want to cut the board. Then, hammer the chisel along the line. If the chisel is sharp enough, it will cut right through the baseboard. This way you do not cut the wall or floor. Once the sectioned is separated, you can use the chisel to pry the basebaord away from the wall. You might need to first cut the caulk along the top edge of the board with a utility knife. Hammer the chisel (from the top) behind the baseboard and pry outward. Remove any nails still in the wall and then you will be ready to install the new baseboard.

Installing the New Baseboard

Of course, you need to be able to install the exact same style of baseboard. Some people will already have a leftover piece of baseboard from the original installation. Measure the gap in the baseboard and then cut the board to size with a chop or circular saw. If your measurements were correct, the piece should fit right in. You want it to fit in as tight as possible so the gap is not too large. You will need to fill this gap with wood putty. Then, you sand the dried putty til it is flat and consistent with the curves and texture of the board. Use a sponge sander to get better rounded edges. This will take a little bit of craft and patience as you try to make the gap look invisible.

At this point, all that is left to do is to paint the baseboard and caulk the top edge. Your water damage will be removed and it will look like nothing ever happened. For professional help, contact local contractors, such as Western Skies Restoration Inc.