How to minimize water damage to a hardwood floor

Water and wood don’t go together. If you’ve been following the aftermath of recent hurricanes, this should be no surprise.

Water sitting on top of hardwood floors can permanently ruin the hardwood as the wood will absorb the water through its pores, causing warping and discoloration. That said, if you have flood or water damage (or even just a spill) on your hardwood floors, you need to have the water removed as soon as possible.

Time is of the essence. The first 24 hours are very important because the longer the wood is in contact with water, the worse the damage will be. If you remove water from hardwood floors right away and dry them out correctly, you may be able to save the wood. You will most likely need to have the floors sanded and refinished, then your floors will look like new. Otherwise, you might need to replace the hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors can get wet (or moist) for a number of reasons – a flood from rain, leaky or frozen pipes, ice damming, a toilet overflow, a leaky roof, a hurricane or storm, an appliance break, and many other reasons. When wood gets wet or moist, it absorbs the water and starts to expand and eventually cup (or warp). This causes the sides of the wood floor to rise higher than the center of boards, creating an uneven surface. Also keep in mind that even if the water is on top of the wood finish, it can penetrate through the cracks between the planks and/or can be absorbed by the plywood sub-floor underneath the hardwood.

If and when you do have water damage to your hardwood floors, it’s important to remove the water quickly and dry the floors – not only to potentially save the hardwood flooring, but also to prevent mold growth. Mold growth can start within just 48-72 hours after your floors (or walls) get wet.

Will insurance cover hardwood floors damaged from water?

Whether or not your insurance company will cover water damage to your hardwood floors depends on your insurance plan and the cause of damage. If the water damage was from leaky or frozen pipes, water heater bursting, toilet overflowing, broken appliance, roof leak, etc., then there is a good chance you are covered by insurance.

Jonas Independent Contracting can help you work with your insurance company to file a claim and determine what is covered. In addition, if your hardwood floors need repairs or replacement, we can help with this as well. Give us a call at 704-956-0221.