Help! My Hardwood Is Water Damaged.

It happens more often than you think. Your new refrigerator’s water line wasn’t installed correctly and it’s been leaking for a month behind your fridge. Or every time it rains water comes in under your back door and has been seeping down under the wood for the last two years. Or the dishwasher flooded while you were out of town and the water has been sitting on the wood for three days.

Wet Floors
This wet floor has starting cupping due to the leaking of the fridge water dispenser line. Can you see the edges of the wood bowing up?

In addition to calling your insurance to see if the damage is covered, here is some information to help you know what it will take to get it fixed correctly.

  1. First, get the leak fixed ASAP. The wood won’t start drying and there is no point in restoring the wood until the leaking is resolved. Even if this means shutting off the water to the fridge, building the awning over the back door, or ditching the dishwasher.
  2. Clean up any water you can and get fans on the wood to get it started drying. Check with your insurance agent just in case the adjust wants to see the full extend of the damage first.
  3. If the damage is too bad, we will need to replace the flooring in that area. We can pull it up, then put some fans on it for a couple of days and get the subfloor completely dried. Then we can install new flooring by weaving it into the existing flooring. We will then sand and refinish the whole floor so the look is consistent throughout.
  4. If the damage isn’t that severe, we can sand out the damage, but the wood needs to be completely dry first. If there is a moisture barrier beneath the wood, it will take significantly longer for the water to dissipate. Plan for anywhere from one month to a year, in extreme cases. We can measure the moisture content with a moisture meter and give you a ballpark time frame you will need to wait. Our moisture meter will need to register 9% or less in order to move forward with the sanding process. Once we have the go ahead, we will sand out the damage and sand and refinish the whole floor.
  5. Please note that there is no way to repair/replace the damaged portion and not sand and refinish the whole floor. The new wood or newly sanded wood will never look like the existing floor, so we don’t even try to match it. Stain colors dull and fade and even natural floors turn yellow or orange and darken over time. There is just simply no way to match an existing color with new product.
American Cherry Water Damage
This homeowner’s formal living room wall leaked. The restoration company cut out the wet American Cherry hardwood. After the wall gets repainted we will go in and weave in new wood with existing wood. Then we will sand and refinish all the continuous wood throughout the rest of the home. Insurance is covering this project.

If you have floors that are water-damaged, let us come take a look. We’ll recommend whether the floor should be replaced or just sanded out.

When working with your insurance adjuster, let them know you want Hardwood Floor Guys to repair or replace your floor!

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