If your home or basement was recently flooded, even after the water has retreated, you still have plenty of cleanup to do. If you have wood paneling in your basement or primary house level that now has water stains on it, you may be able to get rid of the water stains without removing and replacing the wood paneling.
You are going to need to go down to your local hardwood store and purchase some oxalic acid. You are also going to need to purchase sand paper, and potentially a sander if you want to get the job done quickly. Additionally, you will need a plastic sheet, bucket, synthetic brush, protective eyewear, gloves and a mask.
Mix The Oxalic Acid
The oxalic acid should come in a contain and should consist of crystals. You are going to want to fill your bucket up with warm water, and then add the oxalic acid to the water. The warm water should break down and dissolve the crystals, creating a diluted oxalic acid solution that you are going to use to get rid of the water stains on your wood paneling.
The package of oxalic acid should contain information about the proper ratio of oxalic acid to water; follow the instructions exactly as written. You don't want to make the acid mixture too strong. You should have on all of your protective gear as you work with the acid.
Prepare Your Work Area
Put down a plastic sheet next to the wood wall to ensure that the oxalic acid cleaning solution does not drip onto your flooring.
Apply The Acid Solution To The Stain
Then, take the solution and dip the synthetic brush that you purchased into the solution. Take the brush and apply the solution directly to the water stain on your wood paneling. You may want to work in small sections at a time.
Allow the acid to sit on the stain for a while. Watch the acid work; leave it on the wood paneling until you see the stain begin to disappear. This could happen in a minute or take ten minutes. It really depends on the type of wood paneling you have, the finish on the wood, and how deep and visible the stain is.
Wipe Away The Acid Solution
Once the stain disappears, take a clean damp rag and wipe away the acid solution. You don't want to leave it on any longer than necessary because it will start to compromise the stain on your paneling.
Sand The Wood
The acid solution may have made your wood paneling feel a little rough. To get back the same smooth surface you had before, lightly sand your wood paneling until it is smooth again.
Wipe down your wood paneling with a rag to get rid of the sawdust, and roll up and remove the plastic sheet that was protecting your flooring. Your wood paneling should no longer show signs that it was damaged by flood water.
If you need assistance cleaning up more extensive damage, be sure to contact a flood clean up company like CDM Cesspool Service.