Water damage | Hardwood floors | Best advice
If you haven't experienced water damage before, then please follow these steps "Immediately" to avoid further damage to your home.
Step 1: Turn off the water source. If you don't know where the water is leaking from, turn off the main valve. This main valve is usually found in front of the home.
Step 2: If the damage is extensive, call your home owners insurance company ASAP! Much too often, homeowners go on the cheap and think everything will work itself out. When water is beneath the surface, it migrates. If you are not trained to detect water damage, then don't act like an expert and get expert advice.
Step 3: When speaking with your insurance company, demand to have a water damage professional come to your home ASAP! These people will properly assess the situation and get you to the next step.
What happens next "May" be a big deal. The water must be removed ASAP if you want to avoid big problems in the near future. It is not uncommon for the water restoration company to use machines such as fans and dehumidifiers to get you back to normal. I can't express enough how important it is to follow these steps to protect your property. What's also important to understand is that National Floors does not benefit financially in any way if you follow this advice. We do not have any affiliation with any water restoration companies, so please do not ask for suggestions on which company to use.
After all the water has been removed and the hardwood floor is completely dry, it is then time for you to call National Floors to repair your hardwood floor. If you call us prior to the proper steps being completed, you will be redirected back to this page.
About Water damage and hardwood floors
Water damage is an everyday occurrence for hardwood flooring. Identifying the root issue and correcting it is your primary goal. Once the water issue is located, shut that water supply off immediately! Then get it that plumbing issue professionally repaired.
The typical sources for water damage include:
- The dishwasher
- Water heater
- The refrigerator water line
- Sink or toilet.
The less obvious water leaks are slow leaking sliding back doors, windows that won't leak until it rains or perhaps a drip inside the kitchen sink cabinet. If a leaky door or window is the issue, contact a window contractor/manufacturer or general contractor to properly address your concerns. If you are uncertain of the origin of the water leak, common sense would dictate that you check the water source closest to the damaged area.
The problem must be addressed immediately and professionally corrected if you want to avoid looking over your shoulder in the coming months.
Homeowners insurance companies may not provide proper service
We have found in the recent past that some homeowner insurance companies are implementing a "Hands off" approach with their clients when water damage has occurred. That basically means, in the event of a claim, the home owners insurance company will assign you the title of "General Contractor". That means the responsibility of assessing the issue and hiring the right professional is now your problem on top of the water damage. Unfortunately, water damage can be like peeling an onion back. There can be layers of issues that are not recognizable on the surface, especially by an untrained homeowner.
If you choose to take on the challenge of hiring someone who is not fully qualified and licensed, in lieu of saving a buck, this can really come back and bite you in the end. Since you have chosen to take on the role of General contractor, you are ultimately responsible for all work performed at the end of the day in the eyes of your Home Owners Insurance. If something fails down the road, it's on you. Since the origins of the water damage is not always obvious to the average homeowner, a trained professional is needed to detect what could be a very slow and continuous drip. The slowest type of water leakage can sometimes be the most costly and most difficult to repair.
Assigning the homeowner as the General Contractor benefits the insurance company in a few ways:
- The "Time" spent detecting and educating yourself about the issue at hand.
- The time spent having multiple contractors come to your home. Some people have to take time off work. Now it's time and money.
- At the completion of the repair, the insurance company typically will have you sign a release closing the claim leaving you out to dry if something is missed or reoccurs down the road due to faulty repair work.
Water damage | Insurance claims | Hardwood floors | your rights
If the water damage is significant, have your insurance company send a water damage/ restoration company to your home NOW! These companies will typically tear into your walls and floors in an attempt to dry your home asap. This is absolutely necessary to avoid MOLD. MOLD begins to develop 48 hours after the water issue begins. That is why you must move now! The tearing into the walls and floor seem excessive, but it is absolutely essential they do this for the sake of you and your families health. It's not uncommon that the water damage people use dehumidifiers and water extraction tools to do the clean up. Don't be surprised if it takes a week or more for your home to completely dry. The picutre on the right shows a hardwood floor that didn't get serviced. The homeowners went on the cheap and this happened weeks later. Since neglect is evident, the insurance company may not pay the claim.
Next, have the insurance company provide a seasoned General Contractor that has dealt with water damage to access the issue. A lot of times, an insurance company will send a claims adjuster. These people are absolutely useless because they will give you a superficial opinion. It's not until you know what's going on behind the walls and under your floor will you know the absolute truth to your problem. It is imperative to get a "Complete assessment" of the damages, including the root issue of the water source. Don't be fooled with a claims adjusters ability to act with authority, their pencil pushers and have never actually done the work. Have the General Contractor educate you as to what has transpired and what it takes to correct the issue. At that point, the General Contractor should be able to produce a lined item(s) quote for materials and labor of the total cost of repairs. Without the total cost of materials and repairs needed, you may not get what you have coming to you as far as payout from the insurance company.
If the water damage to your hardwood floors is extensive, you must contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
- The root issue MUST be identified and corrected by a professional plumber prior to any repairs made to your floors or walls.
- Secondly, an important reason for contacting your insurance company is that "Mold" starts to set in after the first 48 hours.
- The total cost for "All" professional service calls, water damage visit(s), materials and repairs can be very costly. We suggest paying the deductible and move forward with your life.
WARNING: Any repairs made prior to the home being professionally dried is pointless, because the moisture issue must be "Completely" resolved. If not, that residual moisture will ruin the repair work. In other words, the last contractor to show up at your home is not responsible for the prior work executed by another company or contractor.
Water damaged hardwood floors | Water damaged hardwood repaired
The floors will typically cup, expand and split (picture on the left). Dark discoloration will eventually follow. This is an indication of rot and or mold.
If the floors experience minimum cupping, a "Sand and finish" of your hardwood floors will correct the damage. This is evident in the "Before & After" water damage pics above.
If the damage is severe, board replacement will be necessary. If the majority of your floor suffered excessive moisture, then the entire floor will probably have to be replaced.
National Floors recommends waiting at least 3 weeks after a professional water damage team has left the property. We care enough to inform you and it would be great if you gave us the chance to fix your hardwood floors. Contact Us